Great Yarmouth graduates set to celebrate

POMP and ceremony will come to St Nicholas Church in Great Yarmouth on Saturday as students celebrate their graudation.

Proud family and friends will gather to congratulate the latest graduates of degrees, foundation degrees, professional and teaching qualifications from great Yarmouth College.

The graduation ceremony will be the eighth celebration in the borough of those who have made the most of the higher education opportunities on their doorstep.

Many joined the college straight from school at 16 on vocational BTEC programmes and followed a clear pathway through to higher education through UCS Great Yarmouth.

In five years, they progressed from school leaver to graduate without having to leave their hometown, avoiding huge student debts.

Some chose to move as students to Great Yarmouth from around the country, while others were mature students who had returned to learning and fitted their studies around job and families.

Guest of honour and speaker at the event, which starts at 11.30am, will be retired hospital consultant Hugh Sturzaker, an honorary fellow of the college.

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Peter Jay, owner of Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome Circus, will become an honorary fellow at tomorrow’s ceremony.

The title of Higher Education Student of the Year will go to photography graduate Natalie Rackham who achieved a first class degree.

Another student who will be there on the day is Heather Brown, who started her FdA in Fashion and Textiles after a 21-year career in the civil service. Having achieved a first in her results she is now running her own business alongside a job at Great Yarmouth College.

She said: “I decided it was now or never so I decided now.”

The procession will enter the church to the Graduation March by former Great Yarmouth College student and UEA music graduate John Stephens, who composed it specifically for the occasion.