“Know what you want to do in life and have the dream” – Sally Gunnell, 2011
During three ceremonies on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September, 240 Writtle College students graduated at Chelmsford cathedral with University of Essex accredited degrees.
On Thursday, College Patron and celebrity gardener, Alan Titchmarsh MBE honoured undergraduate and postgraduate students from courses in Agriculture, Business, Conservation, Floristry, Horticulture and Writtle School of Design.
Speaking directly to College graduates Alan gave some inspirational advice: “Be flexible, but keep your core values. The greatest gift in life is to discover what you are best at. Make today that great start and be proud of yourself.”
Honouring undergraduate and postgraduate students during the Friday ceremony for Sports, Equine and Animal Management/ Science was Sally Gunnell OBE, who last year received an Honorary Doctorate from Writtle College in recognition of her contribution to British sport and athletics.
Sally, who is also a motivational speaker, gave graduates some inspirational words during an emotional ceremony, saying: “As I look back at my running career it took me 12 years to achieve what I wanted to achieve. It is important to know what you want to do in life and have the dream.
Sally went on to speak in-depth about her own 12 year journey to achieve her gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 saying: “I knew I had done everything in my capabilities to achieve my goal, and I knew that Barcelona was my best opportunity.” Leaving graduates with one final inspirational comment Sally said: “Good luck, believe in yourself and go out and get your gold medal.”
Honorary Doctorates this year were awarded to: Peter Harvey who has been a leading light in the study of natural history in Essex for well over two decades; Mike Porter who has a clear passion for educating young people and the general public from Essex about their food; Peter Wilkin who is Chairman of Wilkin & Sons, the manufacturers of the world renowned Tiptree Jams.
The Duchess of Kent awards were this year presented to Tamzin Mills, Lecturer in Veterinary Nursing, Michelle Williams, Sales Support Officer for Short Course Training, and Helen Fitch who is the Higher Education Quality Systems Development Manager.
The Students’ Union Rag charities, J’s Hospice and Chelmsford YMCA, received cheques from the money raised throughout the year through RAG (Raise and Give) activities.