Writtle College graduates have thrown their mortar boards into the air as they celebrated at the first Writtle College Graduation Ceremony of this year.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students from courses in Animal, Sport and Equine studies were presented with their University of Essex degrees at Chelmsford Cathedral earlier today
Lise-Lotte Olsen, a former Chair of the Board of Governors at Writtle College, was given an Honorary Degree, while Dr Geoff Hosey, Honorary Professor of Biology at the University of Bolton, was the Guest of Honour.
Dr Stephen Waite, Principal of the College, said: “This year has been a milestone in the College’s history as we take further steps to focus our mission of transforming lives and the environment through inspiring education.
“Writtle was granted Taught-Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council in March this year, allowing the College to validate its own Higher Education programmes. This development builds on the recognition of academic standards and quality that Writtle has earned from external agencies.
“This is hugely significant, as one of Writtle’s strategic ambitions is to become an independent, internationally-recognised university college in our specialist fields.
“These are exciting times for Writtle, and our graduates here today will contribute towards our long history of producing outstanding leaders in their fields.”
TV horticulturist Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Writtle College’s Patron, will be at the ceremony tomorrow morning – his fifteenth year of attending – when graduates of courses in Agriculture, Conservation, Floristry and Horticulture will be presented with their awards.
Robert Howie, who farms and runs business ventures with his four sons at the family farm in Essex – well-known for the Wicks Manor premium bacon and sausages brand as well as Shaken Udder milkshakes – will be presented with an Honorary Fellowship.
Dr Phil Askew, Writtle College alumnus and the landscape architect behind the Olympic Park, will attend the afternoon ceremony, which will honour those graduating from Writtle School of Design courses – including Landscape Architecture & Garden Design, Art & Design and Interior Architecture & Design.
Essex-based sculptor Professor Grenville Davey, who won the Turner Prize in 1992, will be given an Honorary Degree.
The Duchess of Kent awards – which honour support and academic staff for their exceptional contribution to the College – was awarded to 14-19 Development Officer Esther Blakey today and will be awarded to Management Accountant Pauline Eagar and Senior Lecturer in Floristry Julia Ryde tomorrow.
The Students’ Union RAG (Raise and Give) charities, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Farming Community Network, will each receive cheques for £1,750 raised from the year’s activities.