Writtle College held its Graduation ceremonies on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th September at Chelmsford Cathedral with more than 350 students attending.
Two ceremonies took place on the Thursday. The first honoured undergraduate and postgraduate students from Business Management, Agriculture, Rural Resources and Leisure Management courses. The second honoured graduates from Horticulture, Floristry, Interior Design and Garden Design courses. Alan Titchmarsh MBE, Writtle College patron and famous gardener, broadcaster and author, was guest of honour at both ceremonies to present degrees to graduates. Also in attendance was the University of Essex's Professor Nigel South, Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Regional Development.
The morning ceremony also saw the presentation of the Duchess of Kent Awards, awarded to two members of staff at the College in recognition of their services. The 2007 awards went to Jill Baldwin, Lecturer and Head of Careers, and John Williams, Senior Science Technician.
One ceremony took place on the Friday to honour undergraduate and postgraduate students from Sport, Equine and Animal Science/Management courses. Dr Tony Rich, Registrar and Secretary of University of Essex, presented graduates with their awards.
During the Friday ceremony, the Writtle College Students' Union presented cheques to their chosen charities, from money raised from RAG events which took place throughout the academic year. The charities selected this year were Colchester Zoo, Freeplay Foundation and Cancer Research UK.
£500 was also donated to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust. The Trust is particularly close to the College after four-year-old Tabitha Whitaker, daughter of Claire and Tim Whitaker, Equine lecturers at the College, was diagnosed with eye cancer in 2006. Tabitha went through chemotherapy to treat the cancer and has lost the sight in one eye, but is now fully recovered. She started school in September and enjoys gymnastics, dancing and horse riding. Tabitha attended the ceremony with her parents to collect the cheque on behalf of the Trust.
This was the first graduation for Principal, Professor David Butcher, and the College's Head of HE, Dr Jeremy Strong. David Butcher said: "The three ceremonies went very well and we were delighted that Alan Titchmarsh and Dr Tony Rich were able to attend the graduations and honour our students. The number of graduates involved in each ceremony is testament to the hard work they put in to their studies while at the College. We are very proud of each and every one of them."
Photo: Alan Titchmarsh, MBE with Writtle College Graduates, from Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes.