Olympian joins Graduation to celebrate over two decades of success.

With caps neatly arranged and gowns pressed and straightened, Truro Cathedral was bursting with excitement as it saw hundreds of graduating students from the University Centre Truro and Penwith take to the stage to receive their well-deserved awards.

Olympian Annie Vernon inspired graduates

Olympian Annie Vernon inspired graduates

Supportive friends, family, fellow classmates and staff were joined by special guest and Olympian Annie Vernon to give each and every one of the graduating students a celebration to remember.

The University Centre’s 23rd Graduation ceremony recognised the achievements of over 250 students who have worked hard to obtain Higher Education qualifications this year.

Gowns were neatly pressed and straightened

Gowns were neatly pressed and straightened

Annie Vernon, British rower who was born in Truro, took centre stage, motivating and inspiring graduates with stories of competing for team GB, her experiences of team working and the vital impact graduates can have on the workplace teams they are about to join.

Professor Dafydd Moore, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, represented Truro and Penwith 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: “The College is creating a brighter future for people living and working in Cornwall, providing a high-quality academic experience for those who wish to study in Cornwall and creating links with industry, maximising employment opportunities.”

Professor Dafydd Moore said of the event: “The partnership [between the University of Plymouth and Truro and Penwith College] has flourished and the degree-level programmes at the College continue to have a major impact on students’ life chances and upon the local economy.” He added: “The graduates before us add to the rich mixture of talent, ideals, and understanding that flows from the strong partnership between our institutions.”

College Principal Martin Tucker addressing graduates, families and guests

College Principal Martin Tucker addressing graduates, families and guests

Martin Tucker, Principal at Truro and Penwith College, was thrilled with the level of successes. He said: “Education can alter people’s lives, it can bring new jobs, new opportunities and moves to new places. Education can alter people themselves; new knowledge, new ideas, skills and attitudes. Who we are is so closely linked to what we know and what we can do.

“We all change with our experience, but during an intense period of formal education we often change more and more rapidly than at any other time in our lives. That is the real privilege of our work, to give people the opportunity to learn and influence the communities they serve to develop and make progress”.

Carol Rea receives the Academic Partnership Prize from Mark Glasson

Carol Rea receives the Academic Partnership Prize from Mark Glasson

Among those receiving awards on the evening was a selection of students who were recognised as being particularly successful. BA (Hons) Applied Media graduate, Carol Rea, was awarded with the Academic Partnerships Prize for overcoming considerable adversity to complete her course. This was presented by Mark Glasson, the Faculty Partnerships Manager at the University of Plymouth.

Mark said: “Carol is a very talented artist who mainly works in photography, but she has also produced films and illustrations for books. You only have to look at the blog she created for the course to see how the [Covid pandemic] situation affected her state of mind and her work. The media team know she found motivating herself very difficult during the lockdowns but Carol didn't give up and worked on all modules to a standard that has allowed her to achieve a First-Class degree”.

Carol said “I feel really pleased and surprised to have won. It feels like recognition. I worked really hard. I found my creative side and found myself. It was very valuable for me. It’s been a journey all the staff have been lovely. I’m now looking to be employed as a photographer, videographer, or in other creative roles, and might go down the route of self-employment.”

Naomi Soloman picks up the Education Cup

Naomi Soloman picks up the Education Cup

FdA Childhood Education graduate, Madeleine Maia received the Bianca Trew Award for her creative approach to education.

Of her win, she said: “It’s cool and exciting. I now plan to do the top-up in Human Behavioural Studies at the University Centre Truro and Penwith and go on to be a counsellor, and do a Masters in Psychology. I’d like to thank Sue, Catherine, Helen and all my lecturers, they’ve been very helpful.”

The Education Cup was awarded to Naomi Solomon who studied the Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), Naomi said: “It is amazing to win this award, I had no idea. I didn’t have much belief at the start. I’d like to thank my parents and Jess Cowen, my tutor, and Anne Lazenby, my mentor. It was the hardest course I’d ever done and I enjoyed parts and modules of it that I never thought I would. I hope to go into teaching.”

Mark Glasson who awarded the prize noted Naomi’s “outstanding progress” and “strong work ethic” while concluding: “We believe that Naomi will go far and prove herself to be a charismatic and extremely competent member of the teaching profession.”

The Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is a popular course that allows graduates to teach in Further Education (16-19) and the skills sector, including adult and community education, work-based training, offender learning and public sector organisations.

Graduates paraded their scrolls

Graduates paraded their scrolls

Lucy Maggs, Director of Operations at Truro and Penwith College, thoroughly enjoyed the evening, watching many hard-working students graduate. She said: “It was fantastic to see our students graduating and celebrating with their friends and families. So many have come through the College either as Access course students returning to education, mature learners changing careers, or A Level and Diploma students who wanted to stay in Cornwall for a friendly, supportive Higher Education experience”.

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

Graduates wait to collect their scrolls

Graduates wait to collect their scrolls

University Courses are closer than you think; with over 50 courses and higher-level Apprenticeships spanning 12 subject areas including, Engineering, Nursing and Sport, there has never been a better time to think about changing your future at the University Centre Truro and Penwith. If you’ve been thinking about a change in direction and are interested in a subject area, from Computing and IT to Education, discuss your options at the Truro College’s forthcoming Open Day on Saturday 06 November, head to www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/openevents to find out more.

The team at The University Centre Truro and Penwith is holding an Information Talk on our degree level courses as part of Truro College Open Day on 6 November in the Fal Building. This talk with help you understand the College's University study opportunities, employer links and industry-standard facilities.

Follow this link to find out more.