Smiles Light Up Graduation Ceremony
It was smiles all round on Saturday 26th November as hundreds of students donned the traditional mortar boards and gowns to graduate from Cornwall College, Duchy College and Falmouth Marine School in ceremonies held at Truro Cathedral.
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More than 800 students graduated from over 100 university courses, with 475 able to attend the two ceremonies on the day. Subjects ranged from Science, Business, Sport and Teaching to Catering, Veterinary Nursing and Marine Conservation.
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “This is one of the highlights of the year for Cornwall College and, indeed, the County of Cornwall. The development of Higher Education is one of the many success stories in our County over the last decade and for that we are grateful to Plymouth University which has been awarding the majority of our degrees since 1982. As well as foundation and honours degrees we have expanded to offer high quality masters degrees allowing our students to expand their knowledge at the top level.
“My congratulations go to all of our graduates and I wish them the best for the future.”
Graduates attended from all Cornwall College campuses in Camborne, Newquay, Saltash and St Austell, as well as Duchy College in Stoke Climsland and Rosewarne, and Falmouth Marine School.
Whilst the majority of graduates are from Cornwall and Devon, about 10 per cent are from outside of the region, including Kent, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Suffolk, Leicester, Nottingham, Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Aberdeenshire, including some international students.
Special recognition was given to selected students. Cornwall College Student of the Year awards went to Toby Hale, an FdSc Boat Design and Production graduate from Falmouth Marine School, and Katherine Sears from Okehampton, who studied FdSc Equine Sports Performance and Coaching at Duchy College Stoke Climsland, presented by Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College.
The Cornwall Chamber of Commerce Award, presented by Martin Follett, President of the Chamber, was awarded to a group of FdSc Renewable Energy Technologies graduates who started their own company, Aether Renewable Energy Consultancy, during their course. These were Nicholas Braine (St Austell), Adam Campkin (Newquay), Timothy Dowling (Truro), Rebekah Hancock (Penryn), Christopher Smith (Truro).
Rachel Craze, an FdA Business graduate from Newquay, gained the Plymouth University Student of the Year title at the morning ceremony, presented by Dr Colin Williams, Dean of the University of Plymouth Colleges (UPC) Faculty at the Plymouth University.
Belinda Venables from Callington claimed the Plymouth University Student of the Year award at the afternoon ceremony for her efforts in BSc (Hons) Equitation. Belinda said: “It feels great to be graduating. When I was at school I was told I would never pass my GCSEs and now I’ve got a full degree. I really enjoyed the course, it’s given me a much wider knowledge of equitation and helped me gain my job working on an equine yard.”
Toni Pearce, Vice President of the National Union of Students, and former Cornwall College Students’ Union President, was guest of honour, presenting inspirational speeches at both morning and afternoon ceremonies. Addressing graduates, she said: “Education has given all of us opportunity. The opportunity to discover ourselves, and other people. The opportunity to do better, work harder and push ourselves to fulfil our potential every single time. I fundamentally believe in the power of education, not just to transform peoples’ lives, but to change society, politics and the world that we live in. Education is what moulds us, both as individuals and as a collective. And I can guarantee that for whatever reason, Cornwall College has changed your life as much as it’s changed mine. It has introduced you to people you will never forget, and who have become your best friends. It’s opened your eyes to completely new worlds that you never knew existed, and very simply, it has given you a better shot at the rest of your life.
“Cornwall College is an organisation that permeates every part of life in Cornwall. An employer and educator of tens of thousands of people, and a support network that has pushed all of us to be here today. But what’s most important to remember is that the really exciting thing about education is that it doesn’t just stop today, when you graduate. Many of you will be back in education right now, some of you might not come back for years, but today really is just the beginning of something incredible.”
The ceremonies finished on a high as graduates processed up the central aisle in front of the platform party, academics and guests to the song ‘Shine’ by Take That.
Cornwall College is a partner of the University of Plymouth Colleges faculty, having worked together for over 25 years. All undergraduate courses are awarded by the Plymouth University through the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) initiative. The MA in Management is accredited by Coventry University.
Cornwall College is currently taking applications for courses starting in September, with a range of bursaries and scholarships available to those eligible. For details see www.cornwall.ac.uk or call 0845 22 32 567.
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