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Day of celebration at College graduation

PUBLISHED: 12:09 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:30 05 July 2010

MORTAR boards and gowns were the order of the day as more than 50 students gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate their graduation day in style.

Bright autumn sunshine and the picturesque location of St Margaret's Church proved the perfect backdrop for Saturday's ceremony to mark the success of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) students based at Lowestoft College.

MORTAR boards and gowns were the order of the day as more than 50 students gathered in Lowestoft to celebrate their graduation day in style.

Bright autumn sunshine and the picturesque location of St Margaret's Church proved the perfect backdrop for Saturday's ceremony to mark the success of University Campus Suffolk (UCS) students based at Lowestoft College.

The new university has just completed its first academic year and students at Lowestoft graduated in a range of courses, including engineering, art and design, business management, teacher training and childcare, learning and development.

Watched by their proud families and friends in a packed audience at the church, the students were loudly clapped and cheered as they collected their certificates.

Acting principal of Lowestoft College Ros Pugh told the students: “There is something special about graduation; it is not like any other event.

“The day belongs to all of you so please cherish it and know you belong to a very special group of high achievers. There have been so many heart-warming stories of courage, bravery, commitment and determination.”

For mother-of-two Lisa Cole, the graduation ceremony was made even more special when she was named winner of the higher education student of the year award.

The 45-year-old, from Kirkley, combined her studies with her job as a tutor at Lowestoft College to earn a certificate in education and her work to motivate students was described as “inspirational and innovative”.

Her new qualifications now mean she can teach post-compulsory student and she is also celebrating after earning a new contract as a literacy and numeracy tutor at the college.

Mrs Cole, who is married to Andy and has two sons, James, 17, and Charlie, 14, said of her award: “I am really shocked and surprised. It was an honour to be nominated. I'm proud of the fact that I am 45 and have gone back into education.”

Mrs Cole, who previously worked at the college library, is now planning to embark on part-time studies for an English degree.

Guest speaker at Saturday's ceremony was entrepreneur Will King, who hails from Lowestoft and has made his fortune from his King of Shaves company.

The audience, including dignitaries such as Waveney MP Bob Blizzard and Lowestoft Mayor Frank Mortimer, was also told how higher education facilities at the college would be improved as part of a major redevelopment programme.

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