Warwickshire and Worcestershire graduates at college group WCG have been celebrating their success in a series of graduation ceremonies in Warwick.
Around 250 graduates from Royal Leamington Spa College, Rugby College, Moreton Morrell College and Pershore College graduated across four ceremonies at St Mary’s Church.
The graduating students were a mix of 2020 and 2021 graduates – as 2020 graduates were finally able to celebrate their achievements after disruption caused last year due to the pandemic.
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, presented students with certificate scrolls and was joined by the representatives of the college’s board of governors across the three days of celebrations.
Peter Manford, Linda Norville, Rachel Sandby-Thomas and Chris Bradshaw represented the board of governors at individual ceremonies.
The ceremonies also featured a trio of keynote speakers, with Helen Peters, CEO of Shakespeare’s England speaking at the first ceremony. Nik Spencer, an entrepreneur, inventor of the HERU and former student at Moreton Morrell College addressed graduates during the second ceremony.
Helen Peters said: “It’s been fantastic. I felt so sorry for graduates last year who didn’t get this opportunity. It’s great that they have that chance today and then also that the class of 2021 hasn’t had the same disruption.”
Nik Spencer added: “I was educated at Kineton High School, went to Moreton Morrell and my education was here in Warwickshire. To be here today and be able to address the students was a fantastic honour to me.
“I know how important a day like this is for the students. It’s a day you will remember for the rest of your life.”
For the two final ceremonies on the third day, WCG welcomed Chris Moody, who recently retired as CEO of Landex. He spoke with Moreton Morrell College and Pershore College graduates about the importance of the land-based industries in which both colleges specialise.
Chris said: “The opportunities available to students graduating in the land-based industries today are enormous and they’ve made a very wise choice.
“It’s always quite the achievement to achieve a degree, but to do so given the circumstances of the last two years is a doubly impressive achievement.”
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said: “After an incredibly difficult couple of years it was fantastic to bring together all of our graduates to celebrate their achievements – which had been a long time coming for our class of 2020.
“Our degree-level courses pride themselves on providing the skills and knowledge to help our graduates to succeed in the next stage of their development, and that is reflected in the latest figures showing that 95 per cent of our graduates currently are in employment or undertaking further study.
“Graduation day is a culmination of three years of hard work for many of our students, who may have been juggling jobs with education and overcoming other personal challenges. Add a pandemic into that and it is all the more impressive that they have achieved what they have.
“We would like to congratulate all of our graduates on this magnificent achievement and look forward to following their development as they take their next steps into employment or by continuing to develop in education.”