More than 800 people attended Nottingham College’s Higher Education (HE) Graduation Ceremony on Monday 18 November at the atmospheric Royal Concert Hall. They gathered together to celebrate the achievements and academic success of nearly 200 university-level course graduates.
Family, friends and College staff joined the graduating students for the ceremony. Special guests included the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Rosemary Healy; and the Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Kevin Rostance.
Among the graduates was 27-year-old Jade Carter, from Rise Park. The BA (Hons) Art and Design (Fashion) graduate has cystinosis, a rare condition which affects only around 2000 people in the world. It leaves her feeling very poorly on a regular basis. Jade not only picked up a faculty award on the day, but was also named Graduate of the Year for Outstanding Achievement.
I feel quite overwhelmed, it doesn’t feel real. My tutors encouraged me to be myself and they were just amazing. They’ve allowed me to achieve everything I have.— Jade Carter
Despite having to deal with her health issues, including being on and off dialysis, Jade not only kept up with her work, but also used her creative talents to create accessible clothing for others going through similar experiences. While on her Foundation Degree in Fashion, Jade developed her own range of modern clothing aimed at young people going through dialysis.
A year later, she’s now completed her BA qualification and registered her own new business, We Are Able Ltd., with plans to develop a range of accessible loungewear next year.
I want my clothes to be suitable for everyone. I’m working with my partner Jay to develop my website and we’ve got an Instagram account too.— Jade Carter
It was a double win for fashion, as the Graduate of the Year Award for Academic Excellence went to Jade’s coursemate Sarah Gotheridge. As well as achieving a high first class degree, the 46-year-old from Mickleover has earned a place representing the UK in the prestigious SDC (Society of Dyers and Colourists) International Design Competition in China later this month.
It’s doubly amazing to be an award winner on graduation day, and I’m incredibly grateful to my tutors for the help and support they have given me. Every time I had a wobble or a problem they were there to support me. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have.— Sarah Gotheridge
Many of their fellow students also won special faculty awards to recognise their extra efforts and successes. Here are just a few photos capturing the day of celebrating all of our graduating class of 2019.
Our graduation ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter in the lives of our university-level students. They have put in huge amounts of hard work and dedication, and it’s a really momentous day for them, along with their Lecturers, friends and families who have supported them throughout.
Watching the class of 2019 grow while they’ve been with us has been a privilege. Some are now continuing in education, and others are embarking on their careers with the skills and knowledge they’ve gained here at the College. All of them are taking Nottingham College out into the wider world with them, and that’s something we’re very proud of.John van de Laarschot — Nottingham College Chief Executive
Current Nottingham College Foundation Degree Hospitality Management students also supported the event, gaining valuable experience of a live event and helping the day run smoothly.