It was a fifth for UCS Bury St Edmunds but a first for new West Suffolk College principal Dr Nikos Savvas and there was a message of inspiration from sportsman Henry Olonga for all.
The fifth graduation ceremony for University Campus Suffolk on Saturday saw 186 graduands recognised at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
Dr Olonga, who was the first black player to represent Zimbabwe at Test cricket, was made an honorary doctor at the ceremony and told his listeners that it was important for people to treasure every moment and make every day of their lives count.
Provost and chief executive of UCS, Professor Mike Saks, said that UCS was seen as a 21st Century institution that was on the rise and the college was a key part of the organisation.
Richard Carter, chairman of West Suffolk College governors, said this would be a day they would look back on with pride and warmth. A total of 282 people graduated from UCS Bury St Edmunds this year with a further 15 completing AAT and Edexcel qualifications at degree level.
Prizes were presented to 14 students for outstanding achievement and after the ceremony graduates and guests enjoyed a celebration buffet at The Apex.