The sun shone on smiling Chichester College graduates as they celebrated their successes at Chichester Cathedral.
The ceremony recognised the hard work and achievements of students who have completed higher national certificates (HNCs), higher national diplomas (HNDs) or foundation degrees in subjects ranging from animal management to performing arts.
The cathedral was packed with family members, college staff, governors and guests including Professor Catherine Harper, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at University of Chichester, who gave an inspiring speech to the congregation and presented certificates to the graduating class of 2018.
Emily Boyce, who completed her HND in Equine Management and is going on to the Royal Agricultural University to complete her top up degree, said: “It’s been a lot of hard work but definitely worth it – especially being able to come here to celebrate and enjoy the day.
“We’ve had a lot support from our lecturers, who have pushed us and helped us to achieve the best of our abilities.”
Amy Allan, who graduated with her HNC in Performing Arts (Acting), paid tribute to her lecturers. She said: “I’d like to say thank you to them for everything. They’ve given me so much support and helped me to grow into the person I am today, giving me the confidence to do what I want to do in life.”
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, led the ceremony, which started with a procession of college staff and dignitaries at the cathedral.
She said: “We are always so proud to celebrate and honour the hard work and achievements of our new graduates.
“They have all put in so much effort in to reaching this point and have demonstrated an enormous amount of dedication, commitment and passion for their subjects.
“We are also very lucky to be able to host our graduation at Chichester Cathedral, such a beautiful setting which adds to the sense of occasion.
“It was a fantastic, happy day and we now look forward to our graduates’ futures and the achievements that I am sure are to come. I very much look forward to hearing their stories.”
During the ceremony the college paid tribute to Diana Levantine, chairman and co-founder of the Sussex Snowdrop Trust, who was awarded an honorary fellowship.
A number of special awards, sponsored by local organisations, were also handed out to those who have demonstrated a particular flare or ability during their course, had achieved outstanding grades or made significant progress.
The following special awards were presented:
Pet Pantry Award for Animal Management Student of the Year – Georgina Phillips
LMS Group Award for Computing & Systems Development Student of the Year – Jean Rauwers
Chichester College Award for Equine Management Student of the Year – Emma Leete
Chichester College Award for Performing Arts (Dance) Student of the Year – Sophia Jarrom
Chichester College Award for Performing Arts (Acting) Student of the Year – Amy Allan
Chichester College Award for Business Student of the Year – Angelika Hegedus