A 21-year-old university student in the UK got a very special gift at his graduation ceremony when he managed to sneakily snap a selfie with the world’s most famous physicist Stephen Hawking.
Alex Greenwood, had just collected his degree in geography at The Queen Mary University of London, where Hawking was also present to see his daughter Lucy receive her Honorary Degree as Doctor of Sciences.
Greenwood spotted the 73-year-old wheelchair-bound scientist as he was leaving the ceremony, running across the lawn to snap the once-in-a-lifetime pic, student newspaper ‘The Tab’ reported.
“I saw him across the lawn when he was leaving and I raced over. His bodyguards said no photos, but I just thought, ‘I need to get one’,” Greenwood said.
“I slyly turned to the right just as he did, and managed to get the selfie quite easily,” he said.
“He’s so distinctive, so at first glance you knew it was him, but I didn’t fully believe it until I saw his daughter’s name on the programme and when they confirmed it in the speeches,” Greenwood said.
Hawking, currently the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge, is regarded as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists.
His work on the origins and structure of the universe, from the Big Bang to black holes, has revolutionised the field.
Hawking was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease, at the age of 21 and the condition has left him almost completely paralysed.