IT’S not often you see a knight on horseback at a graduation ceremony.
But that was the experience of graduates from south Warwickshire as they took over Warwick Castle for the day.
More than 160 graduates headed to Warwick to mark the completion of their degrees with the Warwickshire College and University Centre.
The day saw the university centre, which is the higher education arm of Warwickshire College Group, set up base at Warwick Castle.
Graduates, including those from Moreton Morrell and Leamington Colleges, were gowned and had photos at the castle, before making the short walk to the historic St Mary’s Church for the graduation ceremonies.
Both ceremonies opened with an address from Gill Clipson MBE, chair of the corporation board for WCG, before Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, addressed the graduates and their guests.
May Parsons, associate chief nurse director for governance, risk and compliance at Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust gave the keynote speech for the first ceremony.
She came to worldwide fame when she delivered the first Covid-19 vaccine outside of clinical trials in December 2020 in Coventry.
The second ceremony saw Nik Spencer, an entrepreneur and founder of the HERU, receive a Fellowship from WCUC.
Led by a knight on horseback, graduates processed from the church through Warwick and back to the castle for a celebratory drinks reception in the Great Hall.
Graduates came from a wide range of courses, including business, marketing, accounting, education and training, and graphic design.
WCG CEO Angela Joyce said: “Graduation is an end and a beginning, it is the celebration of the achievement of an ambition, but it’s also the start of a new chapter for graduates as they head into new careers and directions which may not have been possible before starting their studies.
“St Mary’s Church and Warwick Castle provided a magnificent backdrop for this very special occasion and it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the hard work, dedication and commitment of our graduates.
“I would like to congratulate all of our graduates and wish them the very best for their future.”
In 2021, WCG became the first college in the UK to be granted Bachelor degree awarding powers by the Office for Students, alongside its existing Foundation degree awarding powers.