Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th December 2010
Dressed in mortarboards and gowns, hundreds of graduands beamed with delight as they stepped up to receive their Honours Degrees from Bradford College Principal, Michele Sutton, OBE, during the annual Festival of Achievement.
The Graduation Ceremonies, held at St. George’s Hall, Bradford, recognise the achievements of students graduating from degree programmes validated by Leeds Metropolitan University, BTEC, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the Association of Accounting Technician's.
Mr Richard Wightman, Chairman of the Corporation opened the ceremony, before handing over to Bradford College Principal and Chief Executive, Michele Sutton, OBE.
Vice Principal for Curriculum and Quality, Kath Oldale officiated the proceedings as the Master of Ceremonies at the memorable event. Guest speakers also in attendance included former Bradford College PGCE student teacher, Edward Vickerman. Edward was told he would never make it as a teacher because of his dyslexia. Bradford College tutors, Joanne Courtney and Jill Powell recognised his potential and accepted him on the PGCE course at Bradford College. Edward has since gone on to scoop the national ‘Outstanding Teacher of the Year 2009’ Award. Edward described his education at Bradford College as ‘A first class introduction into teaching.’
Edward shared his story of determination with Bradford College students who were celebrating their Graduation at St George’s Hall. He also recognised the part Bradford College had played in helping him pursue his dream of becoming a Teacher, smiling he added: “I didn’t attend my own Graduation Ceremony, as I didn’t want to spend a day out of the classroom.”
Looking forward to the future with optimism, graduands, family and friends expressed their delight at attending the unforgettable event…
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychology in Community Settings Graduate Celiyah Russell, was asked to take part in a photo shoot organised by the local press, featuring guest speaker Edward Vickerman and other Bradford College graduates. Beaming Celiyah said: “Today has been a memorable day – I will never forget!”
Mother of two, Celiyah was accompanied by her partner, sons, mother and brother, who watched with delight as she stepped up to receive her Honours Degree from Bradford College Principal, Michele Sutton. Celiyah’s family expressed how proud they were at her outstanding achievements.
When asked how she felt to graduate, Celiyah replied: “I feel fantastic and to have my family with me during such an unforgettable day is brilliant. I’ve followed in my mother’s footsteps, as she graduated and has gone on to do her Masters.”
When asked how, Celiyah had managed to juggle College life with the commitments of bringing up a family, Celiyah smiled and replied: “Its been hard at times, but you’ve just got to stay focused.”
Celiyah’s brother was unable to attend his own Bradford University Graduation Ceremony last week due to adverse weather condition. He was delighted when he was able to don a mortarboard and gown and take part in the graduation festivities for a family photograph.
Hardworking graduate, Teresa wanted a career change. She decided to take the plunge and enrol on the two year part-time Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) course in teaching. Despite working full-time for the Inland Revenue and looking after her elderly mother, she took on a part-time position in teaching to fulfil her course requirements. Teresa explained: “Its been extremely difficult at times, as I’ve had to fit in studying, with work and caring for my 83 year old mum. At times I didn’t think I could get through it… its probably been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; not in terms of the course being difficult, but just in terms of disciplining yourself to sit down and do the work. I got through it and its been worthwhile to pursue my career ambitions!”
PCET graduates Maybelline agreed with fellow graduate Teresa. Maybelline added: “It was very challenging at times. I had to deal with other factors outside of the course, such as family commitments and my parents being sick – but I got there in the end… I was determined to succeed!” Maybelline reflected: “The qualification will really help me; I run a Training Centre and English School in Leeds. I’ve got everything I need now to expand my business.”
Adam Walker speaking at the Graduation Ceremony said: “I’m graduating in PGCE Secondary Science and Physics. It feels good to have come this far. The course has been excellent - and the lecturers are extremely friendly and knowledgeable.” Adam has secured a position as a teacher in a special needs school. Adam remarked: “I find teaching very rewarding – I love it!”
Adam’s parents spoke of their joy as they watched son Adam graduate. Adam’s Mother, Pamela said: “I’m over the moon – I’m thrilled!”
Michelle Greenwood was thrilled to be graduating from her Post Compulsory Education and Training (PCET) course. When asked how she felt to have achieved her goals, Michelle remarked: “It’s absolutely amazing! Its been very hard, but great.” Michele is currently employed by the College as a Part-time Lecturer in Entry PathWays. Michelle added: “The course has been extremely beneficial and has helped me immensely in my current role.”
Michelle was accompanied by her sons Jacob and Elliot and mum Patricia.
Speaking on behalf of the entire family, mum Patricia said: “We are all
very proud of her!”
Graduate James Pollack travelled from Teeside to attend his Graduation Ceremony. Commenting on his Bradford College experience, James said: “The course was really well supported – so I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved.”
James mum, Denise added: “We’re delighted at his achievements – today has been a wonderful experience!”
BA (Hons) in Primary Education graduate, Alicia Fenton attended her Graduation Ceremony with her husband, children and mother. Speaking about her plans for the future, Alicia said: “I have a Primary School position now, but intend to work my way through into management and hopefully get into a headship.” Adding: “Its been a long four years but its been worth it!”
Husband, Dean commenting on his wife Alicia’s great achievement said: “I feel very proud of her; she’s worked incredibly hard.”
Fakhra Shah studied for a Learning Management and Education Foundation Degree. With great happiness Fakhra said: “I feel very excited and overjoyed! It’s a wonderful feeling to know this is a step in the right direction for my career!” Fakhra has plans in the pipeline to become a primary school teacher.
Fakhra was accompanied by husband, Kazim Shah, commenting on his wife’s success, Kazim said: “I’m overwhelmed and delighted that my wife is graduating today. I wish her the best of luck in the future.”
Michele Sutton, Bradford College Principal and Chief Executive, concluded: “We are very proud of our graduates and wish them every success in their future studies and careers. They are our ambassadors and we look forward to celebrating their invaluable contributions to the continued development of Bradford, the region and communities overseas.”
Graduation day undoubtedly occupies a unique place in the lives of every graduate, marking the successful completion of academic achievements. Wearing their academic gowns, graduates walked from the hall – the ceremony providing a glittering climax to academic life.