The success of over 120 students from University Centre St Helens were celebrated at St Helens Parish Church on Saturday at its annual Graduation Ceremony.
The ceremony recognised the hard work and achievements of students who have completed higher education qualifications including students who have achieved BA honours and foundation degrees, HNDs, HNCs and a wide variety of higher professional accredited qualifications.
The ceremony took place in the heart of the town at St Helens Parish Church. Before the ceremony commenced, proud graduands processed through the town centre led by the sounds of the Parr Band and Town Crier, bringing shoppers in the town centre to a standstill, applauding the students on their success.
Graduates received an inspiring and motivational keynote speech at the ceremony from the new Chair of the St Helens College Corporation, Susan Jee, a highly experienced, now retired chartered accountant for many major national companies.
Guests on the day also included, the Mayor and Mayoress of St Helens and MP for St Helens South, Marie Rimmer.
Susan Jee, honoured guest at the ceremony said: “On behalf of all the governors, it was wonderful to see so many of our students, of all ages, achieving so much, proving it is never too late to invest in your education and your future, but mostly, what a stunning event it was. It was fabulous to see such energy both in the College and in the ceremony itself. To witness shoppers in the town stopping in their tracks to applaud and congratulate or students was indeed a very proud moment.”
Anne Pryer, Principal of St Helens College commented: “I am extremely proud of the achievements of all our students and would like to congratulate all those who have graduated with us this year. We have been delivering first class degrees and professional qualifications at University Centre St Helens for decades, endeavouring to provide students with an innovative learning environment and real opportunities on their doorstep. I would like to wish all our students the very best of luck as they embark on the next stage of their journey.”
This year was extra special as University Centre St Helens also welcomed students from Knowsley Community College’s Higher Education courses who also graduated at the ceremony.
To commemorate the graduation ceremony this year, University Centre St Helens commissioned Liam Bluck, a graduate of its BA (Hons) Photography degree to photograph the Beecham’s Clocktower. This was presented to all graduates at the ceremony.
Liam’s photography places heavy emphasis on black and white, a medium to bring out the more dramatic side of architecture, revealing details that you would not normally see with the distraction of colour.
Liam said: “The Beecham’s Building is one of the most recognisable buildings in St Helens and it was an honour to capture. My photograph is intended to highlight the grandeur of the iconic Beecham’s Building – home to University Centre St Helens. The chime of the Clock Tower is iconic. For 111 years the clock has chimed every 15 minutes having been heard by the population of St Helens over several generations from the factory workers to local shoppers. It is significant to me as a student as it would always indicate how long had been spent locked away working in the dark room!”
Addresses were also made by St Helens Rotary Club President, Dr John Kerry who presented Andrew Shaw, who graduated from the Chartered Management Institute with the Rotary Club award. A prize which is awarded to a student who has demonstrated an ethos in overcoming adversity to obtain their qualifications in Higher Education and successfully graduate. Andrew was awarded the Rotary Club bursary of £250, the provision for which is made from a fund set up at the turn of the millennium.
Along with excellent industry links the University Centre St Helens boasts partnerships with validating universities across the region including, The University of Central Lancashire, Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Chester.
Over recent years, official results from National Student Survey (NSS) has placed University Centre St Helens consistently amongst the best in the Northwest for student satisfaction.
If you’re interested in studying for a degree or professional qualification at University Centre St Helens visit one of their upcoming Open Days.