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Graduates celebrate at University Centre’s 25th Graduation ceremony

The world awaits the Graduate's talents and contributions as they graduate under Gaia at Truro Cathedral.

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Published Tuesday 17 October 2023
A female student walks down the center of Truro Cathedral, under the Gaia, having just received their scroll on stage
Graduating under the Gaia

Truro Cathedral was a buzz of excitement on Saturday 14 October as hundreds of students and staff celebrated the 25th Graduation ceremony of the University Centre Truro and Penwith.

Taking to the stage to receive their well-deserved awards the ceremony recognised the achievements of students who have worked hard to obtain Higher Education qualifications.

Supportive friends, family, fellow classmates, and staff watched on as the Graduation ceremony took place under Luke Jerram’s spectacular floating globe ‘Gaia’, suspended above the Cathedral as part of the artwork’s grand tour, with the ‘world now awaiting the Graduates talents and contributions’ as they embark on their future careers.

A graduate stands on the steps outside Truro cathedral with a bunh of white roses and lilys with her family around her smiling down camera. One of the graduates guests is pointing at her while cheering.
Family and friends joined the Graduates to celebrate

After a warm welcome from the Dean of the Cathedral, Simon Robinson, Graduates and guests heard from Martin Tucker, Principal at Truro and Penwith College, who was thrilled to speak to Graduates about their success at the 25th Graduation ceremony since the Centre started delivering University-Level courses in 1998. He said: “Congratulations to all our students on their well-deserved successes. We are delighted to be celebrating with you all today.

“This is now the 25th year that we have celebrated the success of Higher Education students who have completed their studies with us. With a large number of University courses including; Foundation Degrees, Top-Up Degrees, HNDs, HNCs and other professional qualifications, we constantly see our students achieve excellent outcomes.

“The University Centre is always updating and introducing new courses to meet the emerging skills needs identified in Cornwall, as the county establishes itself as a leader in renewable technology, such as offshore wind, space technology and in engineering. We continue to train nurses here in Cornwall who can enter direct employment in the county and begin to address the shortages in our health services while adding construction and health & wellbeing to the already wide range of subjects on offer, both full-time and part-time to help fit family life around study”.

A group of seven graduates in cap and gowns remove their caps and toss in the air in celebration inside Truro Cathedral
Students celebrate after the ceremony

Roland Bray, Student Orator and PGCE Graduand gave a touching and inspiring speech to celebrate the momentous occasion with stories of his journey with the University Centre Truro & Penwith to complete his teacher training. Admitting studying at higher-level is not always easy Roland said: “The support of our lecturers has played a pivotal role. They have been more than educators, they’ve been mentors. They’ve ignited our curiosity, challenged our thinking and inspired us to reach new heights. Most importantly, their commitment to our growth and success has been nothing short of remarkable.

“My fellow Graduates, you are the embodiment of hard work, dedication, and the pursuit of knowledge. The world awaits your talents and contributions, and I have no doubt that you will shine brightly wherever you go.”

Student Orator Roland Bray smiles down camera in his cap, gown and with scroll in hand. Fellow Graduate Dean Bungay does the same to Roland's left showing off his glass trophy he received for the Education Award
Student Orator Roland Bray (right), with fellow PGCE Graduate Dean Bungay, winner of the Education Award.

Scrolls were presented by Emily Myatt, Head of the University Centre Truro & Penwith. There were also several awards and honourable mentions including the Student Ambassador Award, Bianca Trew Award, Education Award, Principal’s Commendations and Academic Partnership Prizes from Pearson, University of Plymouth and University of Greenwich.

BA (Hons) Education and Training Graduate Stephanie Marshall-Whitley, who received a Principal’s Commendation for Academic Excellence, said: “I started doing a part-time adult learning course in Beauty Therapy at Truro and Penwith College and realised I wanted to develop my professional skills so decided to study a Teacher Training qualification close to home at the University Centre Truro & Penwith. I am now working as a Lecturer at Truro and Penwith College.”

Head and shoulders shot of Stephanie Marshall-Whiteley in her cap and gown
Stephanie Marshall-Whiteley

Stephanie progressed to study the BA (Hons) Education and Training degree at the University Centre Truro & Penwith alongside her teaching career, to delve deeper into the theory of teaching and learning.

Stephanie continued: “Staff at the University Centre have been so supportive all the way through, when I first started I was a single parent, they’ve always been supportive of me, my children and in supporting me to study around my work, there’s support constantly.

“The University Centre Truro & Penwith facilitated me going on to Masters-Level study in Learning and Teaching at the University of Oxford, it’s a really really welcoming, kind and supportive environment, I always had somebody to talk to if I needed to and had encouragement for my studies that motivated me to achieve.”

A group of four female Graduates in caps and gowns gather around a mobile phone for a selfie inside Truro Cathedral
It was all selfies and smiles inside Truro Cathedral

Molly Bailey, HNC Hospitality Graduate, was the winner of the Pearson Academic Partnership Prize with lecturers highlighting her confidence flourishing during her time at the University Centre with her nomination stating: ‘Whilst studying her course Molly has overcome many challenges in both her workplace and personal life, showing huge growth. Molly’s hard work, dedication and commitment has led to her being taken on in the role of Assistant Restaurant Manager at Penventon Park Hotel and she is a worthy winner of this award.’

Molly commented: “I had a lot of problems and I think this award, which I wasn’t expecting at all, is in recognition of pulling myself through it with lots of hard work and dedication.”

Molly Bailey smiles down camera inside Truro Cathedral wearing her cap and gown.
Molly Bailey

Olivia Berryman, FdSc Nursing Associate Apprentice Graduate, picked up the University of Greenwich Academic Partnership Prize for being a ‘model student’ with staff highlighting: ‘Olivia changed career in order to pursue nursing and started her journey at Truro and Penwith College on a Level 3 Healthcare course. She is an extremely positive and caring person who has displayed this not only in her studies but also in her work at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust. Alongside having a young family and English not being her first language she has worked extremely hard and deserves every success.’

Olivia commented: “I feel like everyone would have deserved the prize but I am extremely grateful. I really enjoyed it being a small group, we came together so well and supported each other.

“I fell in love with Nursing and because the hospital offered Apprenticeships [with the University Centre Truro & Penwith] was able to get on the course. Although English was not my first language the lecturers were very supportive.”

Dr Beverly Joshua stands at the podium in her blue cap and gown to present the University of Greenwhich Academic Partnership Prize
Dr Beverly Joshua, Head of School, School of Health Sciences at the University of Greenwich presented the Academic Partnership Prize

Charlotte Summers, LLB Law Graduate, won the University of Plymouth Academic Partnership Prize for being an ‘inspiration to her peers and lecturers alike’. Charlotte commented: “I had to deal with tough times over the last couple of years and received lots of support from my lecturers.

“I’m really glad they offered the Law course at the University Centre Truro & Penwith. It was important for me with a young family to be able to study locally so I could still do the nursery and school drop offs.”

Charlotte Summers shows off her University of Plymouth Partnership Award certificate in her cap and gown in Truro Cathedral
Charlotte Summers scooped the University of Plymouth Academic Partnership Prize

After the final award was given and the event drew to a close, Graduates departed Truro Cathedral, safe in the knowledge that their future careers are now closer than ever before.

University Courses are closer than you think; with 50 courses and higher-level Apprenticeships spanning 10 subject areas including; Engineering, Construction, Education, Nursing and Sport, there has never been a better time to think about changing your future at the University Centre Truro & Penwith. If you’ve been thinking about a change in direction and are interested in a subject area, discuss your options at the University Centre’s Open Day on Saturday 11 November, head to www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/uni to find out more.

The University Centre Truro & Penwith has released a photo gallery offering free downloads of the day’s photography online.

A group of Graduates in caps and gowns stand in a line with their around around each other outside Truro Cathedral.
Graduates gathered outside of Truro Cathedral before receiving their awards

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