THE families of two Aberystwyth University students, who tragically died before receiving their degrees, have picked up their awards on their behalf on a “sad but happy” graduation day.

Emily Price was awarded a posthumous BSc degree in mathematics and physics, while Caitríona Rós Lucas was awarded a posthumous BSc degree in information and library studies during ceremonies on Thursday.

Originally from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Emily came to Aber­ystwyth in 2014 to study maths and physics.

Her degree was picked up on the day by her father John, mother Natasha and sister Katie.

Natasha told the Cambrian News that the family were “honoured to be invited”.

“It meant so much to us that the university agreed to award Emily her degree,” she said. “The way the university included Emily in the ceremony was dignified but at the same time very touching.

“We were presented with the degree certificate by the vice-chancellor, Prof Elizabeth Treasure, after the ceremony, who told us that Emily would have achieved her goal of a first-class degree.

“The day was very emotional, both happy and sad, but the university staff were on hand to support us the whole time."

Caitríona, 41, was from Ballyvaughan in County Clare in Ireland and began her BSc degree in information and library studies in June 2015.

She studied by distance learning while also bringing up a family, working as a librarian for Clare County Council and volunteering for the Search and Rescue Dog Association.

She also completed over 700 hours every year as a volunteer with the Doolin Coastguard in Ireland after joining the service in 2006, serving with her husband Bernard.

Caitríona died in September last year during a search and rescue mission with the coastguard service after the lifeboat capsized in rough seas.

Bernard, and the couple’s son Ben, were both in attendance to pick up the posthumous degree.

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