Students’ hard work is recognised at graduation ceremony

THE achievements of further education students have been celebrated at a moving ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

Nearly 150 students from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) Bury St Edmunds attended the graduation ceremony on Saturday, accompanied by proud family and friends.

In total more than 700 people were at the third graduation ceremony for UCS Bury St Edmunds, which is located at the site of West Suffolk College in the town.

An honorary degree of Doctor of the University was awarded to Betty Milburn, MBE, a long-standing supporter of the college and former chairman of governors, and prizes were also awarded to a number of outstanding students.

Carly Stebbing, from Bury St Edmunds, who is in the third year of a four-year part-time BA (Hons) in Business Management, won the Towergate Risk Solutions Cup for outstanding management students.

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The 25-year-old, of Barn Lane, has managed to juggle the demands of a full-time job at the West Suffolk Hospital with her studies, consistently achieving first-class grades.

“Because I work full-time as well at the same time, it’s nice to see your hard work has been recognised,” she said.

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She added how the ceremony was “brilliant” and had given her a real incentive to work towards.

Her tutor, Dennis Stevens, said she was a “highly self-motivated individual who has been supportive of her fellow students throughout”.

Tony Cunningham, from Sudbury, was awarded the Waterstones Prize for English and History for making exceptional progress on the BA (Hons) English and History course.

The 45-year-old father-of-two, of First Avenue, said both of his parents were illiterate and the attitude towards his schooling had been what was important as well as getting a job at the end of it.

He said as soon as he started an access course – a stepping stone to a degree – “it just felt right”. Mr Cunningham, who is a key worker at the West Suffolk College, described the atmosphere at his graduation ceremony as “joyous” and “electric”.

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