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Graduates celebrate in ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral

03 Nov Graduates celebrate in ceremony at Chelmsford Cathedral

Writtle University College graduates are celebrating their success. On October 29th, the classes of 2020 and 2021 took part in ceremonies at Chelmsford Cathedral. They marked the University College’s first in-person graduation since the start of lockdown.

Students from sport, land-based, equine, veterinary physiotherapy, art and animal-related courses received qualifications in higher education.

Writtle University College’s Vice-Chancellor, professor Tim Middleton, said: “Congratulations to our graduating classes on behalf of all staff at Writtle University College.

“During the last two years, our graduates faced unprecedented challenges and I am hugely proud of the determination and resilience they displayed in difficult circumstances. Our entire community is delighted to see their success.”

Local dignitaries joined University College’s Founding Chancellor, Baroness Anne Jenkin, and Chair of the Board, Dan Hewitt, to mark the special occasion.

Dan Hewitt said: “Employers do not only praise Writtle University College graduates for their academic achievements, they also highlight their adaptability, their integrity and their readiness for the workplace.

“The world is experiencing great change, and I am confident of our graduates’ ability to make a lasting, positive difference.”

During the two ceremonies, Writtle University College awarded honorary degrees to several special guests, in recognition of the positive contributions they make to the equine, animal and land-based sectors.

Honorary degrees were presented to:
• World champion event rider Ros Canter. Ros won the Land Rover Blair Castle International Horse Trials CCI4*-S riding Lordships Graffalo, a nine-year-old gelding bred at Writtle University College’s Lordships Stud.
• Former Writtle University College student Steve Coghill. Steve pioneers environmentally-friendly growing methods and works to promote educational opportunities in horticulture.
• Leading equine behaviourist, Justine Harrison. Justine has shown ongoing support for Writtle University College’s courses.
• Magnolia Cup winning jockey, Khadijah Mellah. In 2019, Khadijah become the first British Muslim woman to win a horse race. The Riding A Dream Academy, named after a documentary about Khadijah’s story, is inspired by her success.
• Pioneering farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, MBE, and veterinarian Elaine Pendlebury were unable to attend the ceremony, so received honorary degrees in absentia.

PC Pitchford was welcomed to the stage to receive a Chancellor’s Gold Award on behalf of the Essex Police Dog Section. The award recognised the strong relationship between the two organisations. More than 20 serving and retired police dogs have received support from the University College’s Canine Therapy Unit.

The ceremonies ended with a Vote of Thanks from the Students of the Year for 2020 and 2021. Emily Toogood told graduates to be “tremendously proud”. Elliot Wollen said: “it’s truly inspiring what you have all achieved”.