Graduation celebrates two decades of success

Truro Cathedral was bursting with excitement as it saw hundreds of graduating University level students from Truro and Penwith College take to the stage to receive their well-deserved awards. Full to capacity, the Cathedral hosted almost 1000 supportive friends, family and fellow classmates who gathered to give each and every one of the graduating students a celebration to remember.

Graduate Family Selfie at Truro and Penwith College Graduation in Truro Cathedral

The TEF Gold-rated College’s 20th Graduation ceremony recognised the achievements of 339 students who have worked so hard to obtain Higher Education certificates this year.

Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, represented the College’s accrediting body and welcomed guests and students alike to the grand ceremony. In his speech, he congratulated the College on its excellent performance noting that: “Results are achieved by excellence in teaching, student support and leadership delivered by the staff, many of whom are here tonight.”

Professor Simon Payne said of the event that “The University appreciates and values the collaboration between our two institutions and the work we do together, in partnership”. He added: “We are very proud of our relationship with Truro and Penwith College”, noting in particular that the college “has achieved Gold in the national Teaching Excellence Framework”.

David Walrond, Principal at Truro and Penwith College, was thrilled with the successes of Higher Education students who have completed their studies with the College. He said: “We are here tonight to celebrate a remarkable achievement and the successful students really do deserve all of our praise.”  David continued, saying: “It is the real privilege of our work as a College to give people the opportunity to learn, to develop and to change and that means the communities they serve can develop and make progress too.”

BA (Hons) Archaeology students with Caradoc Peters at Graduation 2018 in Truro Cathedral

Among those receiving their awards on the evening, a selection of students were recognised as being particularly successful in their achievements. FdSc Biomedical Studies graduate, Dawn Rowe, was awarded with the Academic Partnerships Prize having graduated with distinction for her high quality research on ‘The antibacterial properties of garlic compared to prescription Antibiotics’. This was presented by Mark Glasson, the Faculty Partnerships Manager at the University of Plymouth.

Mark said: “Dawn has demonstrated outstanding academic excellence despite returning to education as a mature student and managing the demands of a family and job alongside her studies.”

Overwhelmed to receive her award, Dawn said: “My family are so proud, they basically did the course with me, as they read lecture notes and tried and tested parts of my project, as well as putting up with constant conversations about garlic.”

“I feel like we all put so much effort in that I’m happy to accept the award, on behalf of everyone on the course,” she added.

The Education Cup was won by BA (Hons) Education and Training student, Eugenie Walker, whose passion, motivation and critical thought processes on top of her ability to interact and work with her peers won her the award.

She said: “It was a big shock, my husband and children are so proud.”

Receiving special recognition for being a substantially high academic achiever, assisting her fellow students and using her compassionate nature and understanding to successfully support a family during her work placement, FdA Children and Young People’s Workforce graduate Maria Murray was awarded with the Children and Young People’s Workforce Cup of Excellence.

FdA Childhood Education graduate, Michelle Preston received the Bianca Trew Award for her particularly creative approach to her assignment for the Early Years Curriculum Science and Technology Module, where she created a video clip of a gardener whose cabbages were being eaten, inspiring and motivating the children to find the culprits.

She said: “I feel fantastic! It’s been such a great evening. A hard year but really worth it.”

 “I hope it’s an inspiration to my daughter who came down from Farnham where she is also at University,” added Michelle.

Andrew Smart, Higher Education Team Leader at Truro and Penwith College, thoroughly enjoyed the evening, watching many hard-working students graduate.

He said: “So many of our students graduate having overcome significant challenges to achieve their awards and it’s great to recognise their achievements and the support they have had from family and friends. We run small friendly groups, providing excellent student support and compress the timetable into as few days as possible as most students are also employed throughout their period of study. It is inspiring to see our learners, who come to our HE programmes from Access courses, Diplomas, A Levels and as mature learners returning to education, take the opportunity that has been presented to them and succeed. This year we achieved over 90% “student satisfaction with their course” in the National Student Survey, which reflects the professional and supportive role played by teaching and support staff.

“We really had something to celebrate here today. I know that I speak on behalf of all the staff involved in Higher Education when I say how proud we are of our students’ achievements and we wish them all the best in for their future studies or employment.”

After the final award was given and the evening was drawing to a close, graduates departed Truro Cathedral, safe with the knowledge that their future careers are now closer than ever before.

University Courses are closer than you think; with over 60% of Truro and Penwith College Graduates achieving either a first-class, 2:1, distinction or merit grade, there has never been a better time to think about your future. Come and talk to us about your options at our upcoming University Courses Open Day on Saturday 3 November, visit to register.