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Curtain comes down on final day of graduation ceremonies

21 Oct 2015 10:00PM

The final University Campus Suffolk (UCS) graduation ceremonies of 2015 took place today, with over 1,280 graduates toasting their achievements during ceremonies held at Ipswich Town Hall and Corn Exchange over the past three days.

The last of the Honorary Awards were also presented to Chief Executive of East Anglias Childrens Hospices (EACH) Graham Butland, Chairman of Ipswich Central Terry Baxter and British Chanmpion an two times Olympian ice skater Nicky Slater.

During his address to students graduating from the Department of Health Studies, Graham Butland, who received an honorary fellowship said To you I say a huge congratulations, I am sure there have been times over the past few months and years when you didnt think you would get there and questioned whether it was worth it. Youve done it and you can be very, very proud of yourselves for that achievement.

I dont feel this is an honour and I am not accepting it in the way it is awarded for me personally, I believe very much it is as a result of the organisation of EACH and the many people who work there. The group I want to share it with is the volunteers, we have some 800 volunteers across East Anglia who do all sorts to help us, we could not survive without the help of the volunteers.

The next group I feel I am accepting this award on behalf of is our staff. I have said before that I have the best job in East Anglia. I have a workforce that are so committed to the organisation but in particularly to the children and families . When we talk about life work balance at EACH it is usually along the lines of you really ought to go home. I am amazed in the way that all staff are so dedicated to the cause.

And finally I would like to accept this award on behalf of the children and the families who use our service. Of course the parents of the children that we provide care and support to will never come to a ceremony like this for their children. Their children will not survive into adulthood but they will make a contribution. Our strapline at EACH is that we are a place for living. Our philosophy is to maximise every moment of a childs life no matter how short that may be.

I would say to those graduating today there will be periods in your career when you will think life is tough, one piece of advice always concentrate on patients, on your clients who by in large, they will be having a much tougher time than you. You can do so much to help other people.

During his address to students graduating from the Department of Nursing Studies, honorary fellow Terry Baxter said I would like to add my congratulations to you for all that you have achieved Ipswich and indeed however may I make a plea to you, do not give up on Ipswich. Ipswich and indeed Suffolk needs well qualified, bright, intelligent young people to help continue its journey. It needs people like you to take on plans that are being formulated now and into the future to make them your own. It needs people like you to take on research here, to work here, to create new businesses here, to live here, to play here and to raise your families here. I firmly believe with a real passion that this town and indeed our county are taking huge steps towards a brighter future whether by intent, economic necessity or fear of doing nothing major players in Ipswich and Suffolk are working together with united objectives and this is really a time to be excited about the future of this town, not to give up on it.

Nicky Slater received an honorary doctorate at this years graduation. He told the graduating students I knew what I wanted to do when I was 16 but I didnt have the courage to step or the knowledge of how to make that happen so now I am doing that. Its about finding the courage to step, to do what is in your heart. You are at the start of your career, you can change the world, your ability can literally can redefine how things are done. So who here is the radical one, who is the one with courage to go for their dreams , who is the one who is thinking I cant do that because everyone says I cant, will the time is now, that dream in your heart, that going for what you love that fires you up. When you do what you love you will find other things come around you and you can make a difference.

Others who received Honorary Awards at ceremonies this week included singer songwriter Ed Sheeran, author Ronald Blythe, Chief Operating Officer at Adnams Karen Hester and Founder of Suffolk charity FIND Maureen Reynel MBE.

Honorary Awards recognise notable contributions to the educational or cultural well-being of society, in business, industry, commerce or enterprise, for academic distinction, for public or community service or an exceptional contribution to UCS.

Over 1,700 students graduated from UCS at ceremonies held at Bury St Edmunds, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Ipswich this year. UCS looks forward to celebrating the successes of thousands more students in 2016.