Rugby College graduates from across the last two years have been celebrating their successes at a special ceremony.
The former students were presented with certificates at St Mary’s Church in Warwick as part of college group WCG’s (which includes Rugby College) three days of celebrations.
The graduating students were a mix of 2020 and 2021 graduates – as 2020 graduates were finally able to celebrate their achievements after disruption caused last year due to the pandemic.
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, was on hand to present students with certificate scrolls and was joined by Linda Norville from the college’s board of governors for the ceremony featuring Rugby College graduates.
The ceremonies featured a keynote speech from Nik Spencer, an entrepreneur, inventor of the HERU and former student at Moreton Morrell College, which is also part of college group WCG.
Angela Joyce said: “After an incredibly difficult couple of years it was fantastic to bring together all of our graduates to celebrate their achievements – which had been a long time coming for our class of 2020.
“Our degree-level courses pride themselves on providing the skills and knowledge to help our graduates to succeed in the next stage of their development, and that is reflected in the latest figures showing that 95 per cent of our graduates currently are in employment or undertaking further study.
“Graduation day is a culmination of three years of hard work for many of our students, who may have been juggling jobs with education and overcoming other personal challenges. Add a pandemic into that and it is all the more impressive that they have achieved what they have.
“We would like to congratulate all of our graduates on this magnificent achievement and look forward to following their development as they take their next steps into employment or by continuing to develop in education.”
Fiona Kelly, 21, from Leamington, graduated with FdA Performing Arts from Rugby College.
She said: “I’m really pleased to be graduating. The course requires a lot of hard work, sometimes you wonder if it is the right decision. But to be here today has been really exciting and it makes you realise all the hard work was worth it.
“Because of Covid-19 we had to work from home which was really disappointing at first because we had performances we wanted to do and we weren’t able to. It was really hard sometimes to do classes online, but we pulled through. But even though it was really
challenging, it has made us better performers.”
Jodie Townsend, 20, from Rugby, graduated with HND General Engineering from Rugby College.
“When I was 13, I did a Girls into Engineering course and that really piqued my interest. I did a Level 3 course at the college and it made sense then for me to follow through with the staff I already knew and knowing it would be a supportive environment,” she said.
“I do have anxiety so new changes can throw me off, and Covid-19 was a big one! But the college were wonderful and supported me.
“My plan is to stay at the college now to complete my top-up degree with Rugby College.”
Sharifa Rodgers, 36, from Rugby, also graduated at the WCG event and achieved her FdSc Computer Networks and IT Management with Royal Leamington Spa College.
She said: “I used to work in IT but had to leave because my daughter is autistic and I needed to look after her. However, I’m not one to sit around, so I decided to study alongside trying to help her.
“The tutors were great and helped so much. They were more supportive than any other education establishment I’ve been through. I’ve learnt so much.
“I’m very excited to be graduating. It’s been a long road but I’m so happy I stuck with it and did it.”