The event began with an academic procession and a speech from College Principal and Chief Executive, Jeanette Dawson OBE. She said; “I would like to offer congratulations to all here – graduating today is a fine achievement and one you, and those family members that have supported you, have all worked extremely hard for.”
She added; “I am particularly proud that record numbers of mature students are graduating today. You have successfully completed your programmes whilst holding down full-time jobs, looking after families, and some even studying from abroad and getting up in the early hours of the morning to join lectures via Skype. That dedication and drive is the reason you are here today.”
Each graduand was presented with a scroll by the representatives from the College’s partner universities. Those eligible for University of Hull and Royal Agricultural University degrees were congratulated by Professor Julie Jomeen, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care at Hull University, while the University of Huddersfield conferees were awarded their degrees by Dr. Roy Fisher, Head of Initial Teacher Education.
This year’s student representative, Ian McParland, from Worthing in Sussex, thanked the College staff on behalf of the graduates for their unfailing support and dedication.
“Without our tutors’ knowledge, guidance and care, we would not be here receiving our qualifications today.”
He also went on to thank friends, family and loved ones, who, he acknowledged had supported, encouraged and motivated the students throughout their academic journeys.
“The late evenings, weekends of assignment writing, the shutting ourselves away to study – the pressures of studying alongside full-time jobs and family commitments have impacted on them as well as on ourselves, but we have all been well-supported by our loved ones and they should also be proud of their contribution to our achievements today.”
“We must also congratulate ourselves,” added Ian. “The long hours of seemingly endless study are over. We are here today to celebrate our new qualification, and we should all feel justifiably fulfilled.”
Some 90 per cent of those that graduated this weekend have already secured exciting roles in a variety of careers, putting their practical skills to good use, even before formally graduating. Among the 80 graduates were College staff members Hollie Rhodes and David Whitelock, who were both awarded the Post Graduate Certificate in Education, and Deborah Brewer and Camilla Holmes, who were awarded the Diploma in Education and Training.
Helen Molton, Assistant Principal for Higher Education added; “While today’s graduates have only just started on their journeys, today has afforded them a chance to pause and reflect on what has been achieved over the last few years. Today’s graduates will go onto promising careers within their chosen field, and we wish them the very best success for their onward journeys."
Closing the ceremony, the Principal summarised; “Your achievements have prepared you well to embark on a new stage in your journey through life. Some say that education is what remains after you’ve forgotten what the teachers taught you. I hope that what will remain after your time at the College is the ability, self-confidence and desire to go on learning for the rest of your lives.
“The qualifications you have been awarded today are not the full stop at the end of the book, but the opening words of the next chapter.”
In total more than 300 degree students and almost 1,500 further education students have graduated from Bishop Burton College this year. For more information on the range of vocational courses available at Bishop Burton, use our course finder.