REASEHEATH College graduates, including many from Chester, celebrated the highlight of their academic year with a graduation ceremony at Nant- wich Civic Hall.
The ceremony, attended by parents, college governors, education leaders and civic dignitaries, celebrated the achievement of 130 students who have successfully completed higher level courses validated by Harper Adams University College (HAUC) this year.
The graduation was held during Colleges Week, a nationwide celebration of the unique contribution colleges make to the economic and social life within their communities.
The event was particularly significant because although Reaseheath College has been delivering higher education programmes for more than 20 years and has over 600 students enrolled on programmes with its two partner universities, this was the first time that the college had hosted a graduation ceremony and, it is believed, the first time that a graduation ceremony had been held in Nantwich.
Passers-by stopped to congratulate the graduates as they celebrated in brilliant sunshine on the green in front of St Mary’s Parish Church.
The graduates have studied agriculture, equine science, food manufacture, horticulture or engineering.
In his opening speech, Reaseheath principal Meredydd David outlined the positive effects that high level education and skills have both on the national economy and on the individual.
He applauded the government’s policy to make higher level learning truly available to all, enabling young people and adults, including those in work, to have the opportunity to reach full potential.
Guest speaker was triple Olympian Richard Davison, whose son Joe was one of the graduates.
Successful students included Jon Miles from Tattenhall (BSc Hons in landscape design and management). Jon, aged 24, has been working as a landscaper for Countryside Conservation Ltd. on the Wirral alongside his studies. He is a former pupil at Bishop Heber High School, Malpas.
Also successful was Rob Brown of Tarporley (Higher National Certificate in garden and landscape design) who set up his own business, Greenspaces Landscapes, two and a half years ago. A family man with two young daughters, Rob chose to study part-time because he was keen to increase his knowledge of design.
Another star student was Rose Farthing of Bretton near Chester (Certificate in Equine Science, Complementary Therapy and Natural Horsemanship). A nurse who is keenly interested in horses, Rose has taken the opportunity to study part-time at Reaseheath’s Equestrian Centre.