Hundreds of students from the School of Social Sciences and Humanities and Unitas graduated this morning alongside singer, songwriter and producer Nik Kershaw who was presented with an honorary doctorate.
Nik grew up and spent his formative years in Ipswich, where he embarked on his early musical adventures. He rose to fame in the mid-80s, achieving international success and multi-platinum album sales and performing at events such as Live Aid at Wembley Stadium in July 1985.
He has worked with artists including Cliff Richard, Bonnie Tyler, Lulu, Ronan Keating, Jason Donovan, Gary Barlow, Sia, Imogen Heap and Elton John. He penned and co-produced the ubiquitous “The one and only” for Chesney Hawkes.
Nik addressed the graduating students with this inspirational message, “Dream, dream big and when the opportunity to do something you love presents itself, no matter how scary it is, grab it with both hands and never let it go. Take it from me, and I speak as a man of five foot three inches, it is totally possible to have your feet on the ground and your head in the clouds at the same time.”
Students were celebrating after being awarded degrees in Social Work, Criminology, Sociology and Psychology.
The first cohort from the Leadership and Custodial Environments Masters also graduated. The Masters programme is delivered by Unlocked Graduates and aims to meet the need for more prison officers. Laura Polley completed the Masters and will now be working at the University as a Lecturer in Criminology. Laura said, “Being the first cohort, a lot of it was unknown so it is great to see us all finish the course successfully and graduating together, it is a really nice feeling.”
“I have always been interested in helping offenders and working within the criminal justice sector. I started by studying Criminology here at the University of Suffolk. I wanted to continue studying in the same field and to join the mission of reducing re-offending. The opportunities the University have given me have been great; I didn’t want to go anywhere else, there was no reason to leave the county.”
“The course, and the job combined, gives you so many skills that are transferable to so many different areas of employment. I have got ambitions of doing a PGCE and a PhD so for me taking a lecturing route is the best option for now so I can focus on my academic career.”
Graduation ceremonies continue on the Ipswich Waterfront until Thursday.
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