Students celebrated their ‘incredible success’ during a graduation ceremony in Bury St Edmunds.
Surrounded by family and friends, 164 students from the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College took to the stage at St Edmundsbury Cathedral to receive their degrees.
The event started with a procession through the Abbey Gardens to the front of the cathedral and students were welcomed by Ken Golding, chairman of governors at the college.
He said: “Every graduand here today has shown exceptional grit and perseverance, and their incredible success is testament to this.
“I know all too well, from my many years as a governor here, that our students reflect our diverse society: from young adult learners who have begun studying for their degrees straight after leaving school or college; to older students, often supported by their employers, studying in order to improve their skills and knowledge and develop their careers; right through to those students returning to, or coming late to, higher education simply because only now do their circumstances enable them to do so.
“This mixture makes studying here a unique, special and rewarding experience, one that we hope you have enjoyed.”
Every graduand here today has shown exceptional grit and perseveranceKen Golding, chairman of governors
Twenty three students were awarded a First Class Honours degree and 22 gained Foundation degrees with distinction.
This year 11 students were presented with special sponsored awards for their work.
In his closing speech, Dr Nikos Savvas, college principal, said: “It has been the university’s privilege to nurture your talent here in Suffolk, and we will watch with awe and pride as you, our graduates, transform East Anglia for the better; becoming innovators and entrepreneurs, contributing to your local economy and community, and carving yourselves successful and fulfilling careers.
“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in your lives. You have graduated, you have made us all proud.
“The next step is up to you, and I know that each and every one of you will make a success of whatever you turn your hand to.”
For more pictures and a full list of graduates, see Friday’s Bury Free Press newspaper.