Bury St Edmunds: Proud moment for students and their family at awards ceremony

Students graduate from UCS Bury at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Students graduate from UCS Bury at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. - Credit: Archant

Smiles pride, delight, joy ... all etched on the faces of students as they stepped up to receive their accolades.

It was a day to remember for them, their family and friends as up to 900 people gathered at the Cathedral, in Bury St Edmunds, for the Graduation Ceremony of UCS Bury St Edmundson, on Saturday.

A total of 186 graduands were presented with awards with a further 14 getting special prizes for outstanding work and comittment.

The glittering annual event, which was attended by civic dignitaries and VIPs, including the High Sheriff of Suffolk Sir Edward Greenwell, the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Terry Buckle and senior university and college staff, included the presentaiton of an honorory degree of Doctor of the University to former Zimbabwean test cricketer Henry Olonga who made his international debut in 1995 becoming the youngest player to represent his country and also the first black cricketer to play for Zimbabwe.

The colourful ceremony began with a procession through the cathedral which was led by the university mace bearer. the Provost of UCS Mike Saks, representatives from the University of Essex, members of the academic staff and senior officers of UCS.

Mr Olonga achieved international recognition (along with team mate Andy Flower) in 2003 by wearing a black armband in a Cricket World Cup match to protest against the policies of Zimbabwe’s government, led by Robert Mugabe, and has continued to be a campaigner for democracy in his country.

It led to a warrant being issued for his arrest on charges of treason, which carries the death penalty in Zimbabwe and forced him to retire from international cricket and temporarily go into hiding.

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Since retiring from cricket his decision to wear the armband has been detailed in his critically acclaimed autobiography and was nominated for the Best Autobiography award at the British Sports Book Awards 2011.

He is also an accomplished musician and now spends most of his time performing and spreaking to groups and organisations around the country. Details of his amazing life and career were outlined in a glowing tribute by Dr Julian Case, senior lecturer in English at UCS, before Mr Olonga was presented with his degree.

He went on to tell students and those crowded in the cathedral to treasure each moment of their lives and give their best in whatever they do and to make a difference.

He added: “Try to leave the world a better place then when you found it.”

Then it was the turn of the students to step up to collect their awards and the joy was clear to see for all as they collected their much deserved accolades.

The Graduation Prizewinners 2013

Camera Dynamics Award

Sponsored by Camera Dynamics Ltd

Awarded to the student who has shown outstanding commitment and determination within the School of Business, Enterprise and Tourism

Winners: Dana Simurdova and Jana Simurdova, from Bury St Edmunds

Towergate Risk Solutions Cup

Sponsored by Towergate Risk Solutions

Awarded to the outstanding student on a Management course

Winner: Jennie Ward, from Bury St Edmunds

Jennifer J Black Cup

Sponsored by Gerald Black (in memory of his late wife)

Awarded to the outstanding Hospitality student showing the most progress and dedication

Winner: Ben Buckmaster, from Palgrave

Busy Bees Prize

Sponsored by Busy Bees at West Suffolk Hospital

Awarded to the outstanding student of the year in Children’s Care, Learning and Development

Winner: Kerrie Williams, from Haverhill

Waterstones Prize for English and History

Sponsored by Waterstones

Awarded to the student making exceptional progress on the BA (Hons) English and History

Winner: Francis Hales, from Stradbroke

Lloyds Bank Shield

Sponsored by Lloyds Bank

Awarded to the student making exceptional progress on the BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

Winner: Susana Andrews, from Bury St Edmunds (Portuguese)

Professional Development Prize

Sponsored by The West Suffolk Professional Development Centre

Awarded to the Teacher Education student of the year

Winner: Louise Dyer, from Thurston

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT Prize

Sponsored by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

Awarded for the best overall performance on the FdSc Computing and Networking course

Winner: Peter Kotus, from Bury St Edmunds

C H Lindsey & Son Outstanding Achievement Award in Building Services Engineering

Sponsored by C H Lindsey & Son Ltd

Awarded to the outstanding student who consistently demonstrated high levels of achievement

Winner: Allan Peacock, from Braintree

Design Award for FdSc Construction

Sponsored by MLT Architects

Awarded to the student showing outstanding design and innovation skills during the completion of the Project Module

Winner: Dariusz Dracynski, from North Lopham, near Diss

CIOB Best Professional Construction student at UCS Bury St Edmunds

Sponsored by The Chartered Institute of Building – East of England Branch

Awarded to the best Professional Construction student

Winner: Gary Fowler, from Bury St Edmunds

BSc Construction Management Student of the Year

Sponsored by Taylor Wimpey East Anglia

Awarded to the most improved student on a built environment course

Winner: Lewis Nicholas, from Gorleston

Finance Cup

Sponsored by Baker Tilly

Awarded for outstanding performance on an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) course

Winner: Kerry Blackman, from Haverhill

Havebury Award for Design Innovation

Sponsored by The Havebury Housing Partnership

Awarded for the best technical innovation within the contexts of sustainable construction, development and community living

Winner: Paul Rudland, from Stowmarket