Class of 2022 Graduate from Bradford College
On Friday 18 November, hundreds of Bradford College students took part in an emotional day as the class of 2022 graduated. At over two ceremonies at St George’s Hall, special guests gathered to watch loved ones receive their higher-level awards.
Bradley Cook-Pattison, who received a BA (Hons) in Performance from the Bradford School of Art, said: “I’m feeling very nervous, but I am absolutely proud to be here. I’m the first person in my family to come to university and graduate. I feel absolutely honored to be identified as an alumni.”
Another graduand, Nasreen Akhtar, was awarded a Foundation Degree in Supporting and Managing Learning in Education from the Margaret MacMillan School of Education. She said:
“I’m proud of myself […] My two children were doing their GCSEs when I had brain surgery at the time. […] I tried to get a tutor for my children, but it was too expensive. So, I came back to college to re-do my English and maths […] Bradford College is like my second home – I have been a student since 2016!”
Our Honorary Fellows
At the ceremonies, Bradford College named two Honorary Fellow Awards. This year, Muslim Women’s Council Chief Executive Bana Gora received the Award for campaigning for women’s rights in the city and beyond. Bana is a former BTEC National Business Studies student and received an Honorary Fellow Award for over 20 years of campaigning for and supporting women’s rights. Bana co-founded the Muslim Women’s Council in 2009 – an independent charity based in Bradford. By 2015, Bana announced the intention to build the UK’s first female-led mosque as a community hub, offering advice and acting as a symbol of inclusion for all women.
Bana has been involved with social policy and community engagement on a local and national level, working directly with ethnically and religiously diverse communities and marginalised groups. Bana also founded a weekly food initiative called the Curry Circle, which supports the homeless and those in need. In 2019, Vogue announced Bana as one of the top 25 women shaping Britain’s future alongside names such as Naomi Campbell and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Bana was the first Muslim woman to receive the Peacemaker Award in 2021, and has inspired many women with messages of empowerment.
A former Bradford College Fashion student, Neil Bedford is now an internationally acclaimed photographer working with some of the biggest brands in the industry. Since leaving Bradford College, Neil has been commissioned to photograph some of the most well-known athletes, musicians, and actors of our times, including Pharrell Williams, Kobe Bryant, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra, Emma Raducanu, and David Beckham.
In his touching Honorary Fellow speech, Neil paid tribute to his former Bradford School of Art tutor, Angela Loftus. Neil said: “When I met Angela, I felt like I suddenly had someone who completely understood me and also saw my real potential, pushing me every time to do more and be more. She had the knowledge I craved and the industry experience to back it up. Without people like her, there wouldn’t be people like me, out there, doing what we love – so thank you.”
Chris Webb opened both ceremonies – “Many of you have overcome unique challenges on your journey toward completing your qualification, often managing competing demands in your life such as family commitment or work, which makes your success even more remarkable. Today’s ceremony marks a new beginning for you – whether it’s into a graduate career, further study or incredible new opportunities. We hope that you take with you very special memories of the College and the city of Bradford […] You are now a Bradford College Alumni, joining a family of graduates who have all gone on to remarkable success in life, this is just the beginning. Congratulations to you all.”