MORE than 130 students launched their journey to success at their graduation ceremony.
They were applauded for their achievements by family and friends at the University Campus Suffolk Bury St Edmunds event in St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday.
Overall, 230 students graduated from the centre this year, including 14 who were handed first class honours degrees. In addition, 19 gained higher education qualifications at West Suffolk College.
College principal Dr Ann Williams said: “For many of our students it’s about studying higher education locally and many of them are also mature so it’s a second chance to have a higher education experience, which is just wonderful. Others have also progressed through from local further education.”
Prizes were also handed out to recognise students’ outstanding work.
Among those who scooped accolades was former soldier Timothy Vitalis, of Bury, for his progress and dedication on the FdA Hospitality and Event Management course.
The 29-year-old, who is from St Lucia and served in Afghanistan, is on target to complete the degree next year and plans to top it up with a full BA (Hons) in Business Management.
He said: “I didn’t see my total career as being in the Army. Hospitality is my passion and I’m really enjoying the course.”
Emma Gribble, who has four children including a son with a complex form of epilepsy, autism, ADHD and learning difficulties, was recognised for her talents on the BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology.
The 41-year-old, of Ixworth, said: “I was interested in finding out about the mind and behaviour because of my son’s disability.”
She hopes to become a clinical psychologist.
Lucy Gillam, 24, of Bury, who has a one-year-old daughter, won for her outstanding commitment and determination in the School of Business, Management and Tourism Studies.
George Reynolds, 22, of Rougham, who played a major role in developing the student union and graduated with a BA (Hons) Business Management, also received a prize.