WRITTLE GRADUATES TO BE HONOURED BY HORTICULTURAL AND SPORTING PERSONALITIES

August 2010

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

9TH AND 10TH SEPTEMBER

220 Writtle College students will travel to Chelmsford, Essex next month to receive their specialist degrees at the College graduation ceremonies to be held in Chelmsford Cathedral. Alan Titchmarsh MBE, College patron, famous gardener, broadcaster and author will be in attendance on Thursday 9 September to honour students from undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Management, Conservation and Agriculture, followed by an afternoon ceremony for Horticulture, Design and Floristry students.

Graham Gooch, OBE, former cricketer and captain of the Essex and England teams will be honouring students on Friday 10 September with a morning graduation ceremony for Animal, Sport and Equine students.

Students will shake hands and be presented with their degrees by Principal of the College, Professor David Butcher. Alongside him on the Thursday will be Nigel South, Pro Vice-Chancellor from the University of Essex and on the Friday Dr Colin Riordan, Vice- Chancellor from Essex will be present.

Also awarded on the Thursday morning will be an Honorary Doctorate to Sally Gunnell in recognition of her contribution to British sport and athletics, other Honorary Doctorates will be presented to Peter Philpot, owner of Barleylands in Billericay Essex, Christine Walkdon, a celebrated horticulturist, and Wol and Sue Staines supporters of undergraduate horticultural and garden design students.

This year the Duchess of Kent awards will be presented to Tim Whitaker as College Research Coordinator, and Jenny Bulman as an outstanding administrator of the College.

The Students’ Union Rag charities, Little Havens Children's Hospice and Martin and Sue's Essex Kids, will receive cheques from the money raised throughout the year through RAG activities.

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Notes to Editors

Ceremony one - 9 September 11am

Students of: Management, Conservation and Agriculture

Ceremony two – 9 September 2.30pm

Students of: Horticulture, Design and Floristry

Ceremony three - 10 September 11am

Students of: Animal, Sport and Equine studies & science

Peter Philpot has made an outstanding contribution to agriculture and to the education of school children on rural life and history, most notably through the Barleylands Farm Park and Craft Village.

Sally Gunnell OBE is the only woman ever to hold four major track titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth – and is one of the UK’s most popular female sportspeople.

Christine Walkdon’s passion for horticulture blossomed at an early age of just 10 when she first obtained an allotment and started growing vegetables and flowers, Since then, she has gone on to become one of the most celebrated horticulturalists in the UK. Now, a household name, Christine is known to millions through her regular appearances on the BBC’s The One Show, Gardeners’ World and her own series, ‘Christine’s Garden’.

Wol and Sue Staines have supported undergraduate horticultural and garden design students at Writtle College for many years, allowing them access to their private garden, Glen Chantry. The garden contains a unique collection of plants displayed in a creative and inspiring way.