Students proved hard work pays off and took their next step towards a bright future at University Campus Suffolk Bury St Edmunds’ graduation ceremony.
Surrounded by proud family, friends and tutors, 169 students received their qualifications at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Saturday.
Twenty were awarded a First Class Honours degree and nine Foundation Degree students scooped a distinction.
At the School of Professional Technologies, half of their students graduating with a degree in construction management were awarded First Class Honours - a record for the department.
Steve Steeds, director of higher education at UCS Bury, said: “We are so proud of their achievements of all our students this year and the excellent results reflect the hard work and commitment of the students and the excellent standard of teaching that takes place locally.”
Eleven prizes were handed out to students who have excelled in their various fields.
This year’s honorary fellows were Richard Bridgman, chairman of Warren Services, in Thetford, and Alan Ridealgh, group managing director of Muntons, in Stowmarket.
With a passion for training apprentices, Mr Bridgman started his career through a five year apprenticeship as a toolmaker in Surrey and worked his way up the ranks.
He formed engineering company Warren Services in 1990 and the company now employs 100 staff.
His son has taken over the company as managing director but Mr Bridgman remains closely involved in developing the company’s apprenticeship and training programme.
He believes apprenticeships are ‘the best approach to training the workforce of the future’ and works closely with West Suffolk College.
Under Mr Ridealgh’s leadership, business has grown significantly at malt producers Muntons, which employs about 300 people and has an annual sales revenue of more than £110 million globally.
He joined Muntons at its Bridlington site in 1980 as a trainee grain buyer and became managing director in 2006.
Since becoming MD he has been instrumental in developing Muntons’ sustainability programme which has included installing an anaerobic digester system which will generate half of the Stowmarket site’s electricity.
Mr Ridealgh has encouraged staff to become involved with local schools in the mid Suffolk area supporting activities such as science and various careers projects.
For more pictures see Friday’s Bury Free Press newspaper.