Lord Mayor's Dinner


Lord Mayor invites University of Hull international students to civic dinner

International students from Hull University Business School were guests of honour at a civic dinner at Hull’s Guildhall – at the invitation of the Lord Mayor and Admiral of the Humber.

The students were presented individually to the Lord Mayor and her Consort, Councillor Steve Wilson and enjoyed a four-course dinner in the Lord Mayor’s dining room followed by a tour of the council chamber and other parlour rooms.

The Lord Mayor and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor Christine Randall shared many historic details about the Guildhall – it’s royal connections including royal visitors such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the elaborate décor with carvings depicting Hull’s historic trades and interests.

The Lord Mayor and students also exchanged gifts after the dinner – in a heartfelt tribute to different cultures and the students’ relationship with the city.

Dr Fannie Yeung, Lecturer in Marketing and Director of Student Experience at Hull University Business School, said: “It was wonderful of the Lord Mayor and her Consort to invite the students and to hear them pay tribute to the cultural and economic contribution they make to our city.

“The students enjoyed a remarkable evening at the Guildhall – which combined formality with some truly magical moments. There were tears in many eyes as the Lord Mayor received her gifts from the students. There was also humour during a quick Yorkshire-themed quiz – the inspiration of Richard Stott from Kexgill.”

Lord Mayor's Dinner
Students signed the Lord Mayor’s visitors book and enjoyed seeing the signature and photograph of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth who visited the Guildhall in 2017.

Peace Mmezi, who is studying MSc Advertising and Marketing, described the occasion as a royal banquet and a memorable evening. While Ikenna Chukwulkelu, who is studying MSc Marketing Management, said: “Picture a lovely feast where you and fellow international students gather to share ideas and chat with the city mayor in a buzzing atmosphere filled with good food, inspiring history about Hull, and lively conversation. It was an experience of a lifetime.”

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Randall, said: “It was a great opportunity to share with students from around the globe the history of this great city. I enjoyed seeing their amazement at the splendour of the Guildhall, something those who use the building on a daily basis take for granted.

“The contribution foreign students make to the life of the city is sometimes overlooked so it was a pleasure to acknowledge their contribution and to wish them all well as they continue their journeys.”

Richard Stott, Managing Director for the Kexgill Group (which owns and operate the University Quarter), said: “A private banquet in the Lord Mayor’s chamber showed appreciation from Kingston upon Hull for the contribution international students make to the city. It was a very special evening and I felt privileged and delighted to attend.

“Fostering relationships with international students and postgraduates is considered hugely important for the country.

“What is often overlooked is how valuable these alumni become because of the friends they make and experiences they have in the UK. There continue to be so many partnerships, business deals and collaborations as a result.

“These strong ties to the UK are needed, embracing greater entrepreneurial talent retained by the country.”

Lord Mayor's Dinner
Yuhzu Li presented artwork she had created for the Lord Mayor
Lord Mayor's Dinner
An Indian flute was gifted by Vettri Balamurugan

The civic dinner was attended by 2 undergraduate students and 18 masters students from a range of countries including India, Bangladesh, Nigeria and China. It followed the success of a day trip to Castle Howard, Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby last summer. This trip, which was also organised by student accommodation provider Kexgill, gave students the chance to experience Yorkshire life, including highlights such as fish and chips in Robin Hood’s Bay and a cream tea at Castle Howard.

The trip has been inspired following the cultural gala that was organised by and for the Hull University Business School students earlier last year. At the gala, it became apparent that many students who were studying in Hull were keen to explore Yorkshire and find out more about the history of the region.

The evening at the Guildhall was a memorable experience for the students – and was a perfect continuation of their introduction to the region.

Councillor Steve Wilson said: “I was delighted to be part of this civic tribute to our University of Hull international students. The students bring so much to the city and it seemed the right to time to acknowledge this. The Lord Mayor graciously allowed me to be her consort on a night which we will all remember. "

Richard said: “I wanted to show the organising committee of the University Cultural Gala the best of Yorkshire sights and hospitality. After Channel 4’s coverage of our Castle Howard trip including Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby, a visit to the Guildhall in Hull was required.”

Oyebola Toyese, who is studying MSc Advertising and Marketing, said: “It was exciting to attend the dinner with the Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull. It was an opportunity to learn about Hull and I am happy to have been a part of such wonderful recognition.

“Thanks to Richard Stott, University Quarter, Councillor Christine Randall and Hull City Council for the opportunity.”

The University of Hull is home to students and staff from more than 100 countries and offers a friendly, inclusive environment to study.

Lord Mayor's Dinner
The Nigerian talking drum, presented by Jamiu Kareem, is now on display in Hull’s Guildhall
The Lord Mayor was presented with tea from Bangladesh by Kazi Shams Ahmed

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