Bury St Edmunds: Pride and delight for students at graduation ceremony

The UCS Bury St Edmunds Graduation Ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

The UCS Bury St Edmunds Graduation Ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. - Credit: Archant

The smiles on the faces of more than 200 students and the pride from their parents, family and friends spoke volumes as one by one they walked up to the stage to collect their hard-earned awards and degrees.

Broad grins were greeted with a warm handshake, a round of applause and flashing cameras and mobile phones on Saturday inside St Edmundsbury Cathedral, for the University Campus Suffolk Bury St Edmunds Graduation Ceremony.

Caps and gowns were the order of the day for 208 students among the 306 who graduated from the town’s West Suffolk College, an event which resulted in the cumlination of their years of dedication and study.

The glorious setting of the Cathedral was packed to the rafters for the annual event which has become an iconic feature on the calendar in Bury St Edmunds with its colour and tradition along with the customary photograph of all of the students lined up on the lawn outside the building.

Civic dignitaries and senior college staff led a procession which preceeded the handing out of the awards which included an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University, bestowed on Dr Ann Williams, the former principal of West Suffolk College, and the handing over of cups, plaques and shields, to 13 prizewinners for their exceptional achievements.

It included Paula Clerkin, a single mother who suffers from MS, who has battled through adversity and gained a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology and Sociology. She was awarded the Lloyds Bank Shield.

And Steven Perry, who gained a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Construction Management. He was handed the Chartered Institute of Building - Eastern Region Award for the best professional construction student.

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He returned to education in his 40s and has saved the American military millions of dollars through his work on urinal systems.

Steven works as base energy manager at RAF Mildenhall and has been recognised for his studies into water and energy conservation with an award from the US Federal Government, which will be presented in a ceremony at Washington DC, in November.

Dr Williams’ accolade comes after her 33 years of dedication to education.

She said she had felt “inspired” by learning from an early age and loved being a student but how she was also given full support from her family which she said was crucial to her success.

She told students to be “passionate and prepared to take risks” in their careers and to take every opportunity to get additional training whenever the situation arose.

Dr Williams started at the West Suffolk College in 1979 as a part time lecturer and went on to take a full time role, then programme leader, head of department, vice principal and in 2002 Principal, up until her retirement last year.

As head of the campus and an inspirational leader she oversaw a growth in student numbers and financial turnover and the site transformed with several new buildings and the refurbishment of others.

Then it was the time for the students to collect their awards and pose for a treasured photograph and receive the much deserved credit for their studies and hard work.


Higher Education: Zaccariah Bingham.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Music Production: Kazeem Toluwalashe Aderonmu, Sarah Louise Beard,

Michael Lee Clements, Murray Collins, Damon Johnathon Dickerson, Alexander Foster, Jarred Friars, Lee Hayden, Nicholas Owen, Lucy Pearson, George Perks, Stephen Brian Quigley, Wayne Scott, Jake Smith, Jinian Wilde, George Wilson.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Production: Geoffrey Henry Halliday.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Music Production: Dale Bennett, Ashley James Hardy, Matt Hunt, Ashley David Jones,

Daniel George Mayhew, Michael Orange, Nicholas Pitt Roche, Jasmine Robinson, Benjamin David Stammers,

Douglas James Waters, Craig Wells.

Foundation Degree of Science in Sports Coaching and Development: Thomas Bigg, Hannah Carr, Carly Dawes, Simon Fenn, Joe Fisher-Stevenson, Lily Charlotte Grant-Lawrence, Jack Hamilton, Robert Knight, Stephanie Louise Powell, Luke Reilly, Nicholas Peter Rose, Jack Rutherford, Babajide Sonupe, Jessica Todd.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Graphic Design: Abigail Baxter, Liam James Baxter, Hayley Clarke, Rebecca Curtis, Jake Christopher Darby, Abigail Dennis, Henry Diaz, James Peter Freeman, Lucy Hardiman, Ryan Hatton,

Saulius Konstantinovas, Edward Nuttall, Nuno Rodrigues Teixeira, Brendon Rush, Jessica Staddon.

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communication: Jessica Barrell.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Graphic Communication: Chloe Hannah Kennell, Charlotte Murray, Krysten Newby, David John Richard Preston, Martha Southgate, Stephanie Wallis, Joe Wooster.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Business Management: Liam David Nudd.

Diploma of Higher Education in Business Management: Natasha McEnteggart.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Business Management: Grace Armstrong, Harvey Emerson Winchester Baker, Andrew Bigg, Jake Jason Brown, Ben Buckmaster, Samantha Bullard, Debbie Carthy, Natasha Crotty, Lindsay Eaglen, Abigail Theresa Edwards, Frances Greening, Claire Gridley, Antony Hayes, Lorraine Jobson, Lorna Elizabeth Kelly, Louise Kelly, Alison Kerridge, Jason Ling, Aaron Lipede, Hannah Rosemary Mannell, Madeleine Antoinette McNaught, Elizabeth Rosemarie Claire Millea, Christopher Newnes, Danielle Jessy O’Shea, Ryan Perry, Benjamin Elliot Rush, Sandra Jean Scott, David Smith, Hannah Soanes, Jonathan Stanley Spizick, Lewis Stratton, Jezamyn Sturman, Karena Suckling, Jennie Frances Ward, Calum James Warden, Matthew Watson, George Matthew Welham, William White.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Professional Studies: Andrea Aylward, Aaron Cross, Joshua Liam Curry, Liam Robert Jones, Tony Frank Vinyard.

Certificate of Higher Education: Clare Jane Mills.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Children’s Care, Learning and Development: Michelle Bainbridge, Charlie Baker, Victoria Kate Bursford, Annmarie Cheshire, Kay Fynn, Claire Louise Gott, Angela Jewell, Rebecca Louisa MacKenzie, Susan Iris Milner, Ryan Noonan, Melissa Ellen Roberts, Laura Rzeczycki, Charlotte Lisa Smith, Michelle Julie Wappett, Georgia Rose Wells.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Children’s Care, Learning and Development: Diane Grant, Jordan Dakota Gyte, Zoe May Maguire, Nicola Louise Mears, Deborah Ann Palmer, Samantha Wright.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Counselling: Rachael Lillian Bailey, Emma Bird, Joanna Elizabeth Clark, Neil Ross Evans, Scott Michael Gates, Carl Anthony Jones, Kevin Lillie, Lindsey Lee Denise Markwell, Louise Rachael Oliver, Hannah Victoria Wimsey, Eileen Wise.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Counselling: Jenny Blade, Michelle Clements, Simon Matthew Hitchcock, Laura Gemma Mosedale, Jean-Mary Myers, Lisa Robertson, Paul Warren Rudolph, Button Louise Wilde.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Hospitality and Event Management: Shakira Dion Allen, Adam David Burroughs, Craig Clark, Polly Clarke, Joshua Paul Cornish, Chloe Dewsbery, Kirsty Joanne Downes, Lucy-Marie Hart, Emma Hatten, Mary Ann Hildreth, Daniel Adam Stocks.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Business Management and Psychology: Hannah Mary Stewart Baker, Claire Haslam-Wise, Lorna Lambert, Jack Lanham.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English and History: Julie Helen Aldous, Amy Louise Bell, Stephen John Berry, Christopher Anthony Boughton, Joanna Claire Brooks, Hannah Crompton, Elaine Dear, Sarah Louise Ellison, Stella Kaye Goodey, Shereen Hales, Michelle Keeling, Warren John Marlow, Sarah Jane McNaughton, Craig Newton, Justine Caroline Opheim, Nyiesha Louise Pooley, Jessica Price, Amanda Jane Shedden, Emily Alice Simmons, Holly Maree Snowling, Laura Jane Stannard, Maxine Tyler, Jane Mary Warren, Rebecca Lynne Waters, Sarah Jane Watson, Maria Tereza Winter, Zoe Victoria Wood, Julie Ann Wordley, Victoria Rose York, Averil Rifey Young.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English and Psychology: Sarah Jane Rashleigh, Lindsay Trow.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in History and Sociology: Lara Victoria Knapp.

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology and Sociology: Sarah Buckley, Paula Lisa Clerkin, Elizabeth Fuller, Tarna Louise Garner, Victoria Jane Glazier, Sarah Haynes, Abbie Clare Millett, Soumaya Rayner, Joanna Rowan.

Certificate in Education: Deborah Anne Rudling, Ruth Watkinson.

Professional Graduate Certificate in Education: Alex Hugh Elliott, Mary McIntosh, Gillian Lorraine Mitchell, Andrew James Smith.

Foundation Degree of Science in Architectural Technology: Craig Attmere, Adam Manchip-Hill, Alice Woodward.

Certificate of Higher Education: Kevin Sturgeon.

Foundation Degree of Science in Building Services Engineering: Nigel Cameron Clarke, Jamie Cullum, Alexander Docherty, William Thomas Johnson, Martyn John Mead, Adam Tawell.

Foundation Degree of Science in Construction Management: Adam Chappell, Lauren Cullington, Kevin Earp, Gareth Jameson, Scott McPhail, Daniel Reeve, Daniel Mark Robert Tree, Philip Tyrrell.

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Construction Management: David William Bulford, Courtney David, Ashley Stephen Else, Mark Hardy, Stuart James Humphrey, Mohan Lal Kalyan, Julian Paul Patrick, Jeremy Pearl, Steven Perry, David Mills Pittaway, Ryan Scott, Dale Smith, Oliver James Taylor, Jake Waggott, Neil John Wylde.

Certificate of Higher Education in Electrical Engineering: Harry Booker, Matthew Deane, Matthew Powell, Curtis Walker.

Foundation Degree of Science in Electrical Engineering: Sarah Jane Bullock, Alexander Fox, Carl Steven Herrington, Stuart Edward Jackson, Uriah Leon James.

Certificate of Higher Education in Mechanical Engineering: Thomas Coleman, Steven Grimmer, Rhys James, Nicholas Kerridge, Richard Frederick Park, Dale Stewart Parker-Hodds, Nathaniel Thomson, Samuel Tovell, Malcolm Varley.

Foundation Degree of Science in Mechanical Engineering: Joshua Bruce Crewe, Edwin Emery, Daniel John Swain, Jake Thrussell.

Certificate of Higher Education: Craig Bradbury.

Foundation Degree of Science in Computing and Networking: Azeem Bux, Andrew Catchpole, Raymond Eales, Fabian Hearne, Daniel Marchant, Andrew Palfrey, Peter Anthony Scales, Michael Sundalskliev, Joseph Whithead.

Bachelor of Science with Honours in Applied Computing: Morgan George James, Peter Kotus, Lewis Markwell, Jack William Myers, Ben Olley, Rhys Tate, Joshua Wigley.

Foundation Degree of Arts in Computing and Management: John Keating.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Computing and Management: Jamie Hopkins.

Association of Accounting Technicians NVQ Level 4 in Accounting: Jenny Parkes, Tony Prior, Laura Rawlings, Elliott Watson, Rachel Whiting, Sally Yerby.

Edexcel Higher National Certificate in Electrical Engineering: Ricky Acott, Stuart Hill, Michael Robert Jones.

Edexcel Higher National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering: Joe Anderson-Brown, David Evans, Carl Philip Jones, Andrew Philip Kimpton, Adam Licence, Jake Kevin Mansfield, Matthew David Pettit, Jefimovs Vitalijs.


Vitec Videocom Award, Liz Milnes; Towergate Risk Solutions Prize, Alison Kerridge; Busy Bees Prize, Samantha Wright; Jennifer J Black Cup, Emma Hatten; West Suffolk Professional Development Centre Prize, Sarah Ellison; Lloyds Bank Shield, Paula Clerkin; Design Award for Construction, Alice Woodward; C H Lindsey & Son Outstanding Achievement Award in Building Services Engineering, Alexander Docherty; BSc Construction Management Student of the Year, David Bulford; CIOB Best Professional Constructon Student at UCS Bury St Edmunds, Steven Perry; BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Prize, Azeem Bux; Havebury Award for Design Innovation, Ben Olley; Finance Cup, Sally Yerby.