Boston College holds its first ever graduation for higher education students

Caps were flung into the air to the sound of cheers as Boston College held its first ever graduation ceremony on Friday.

Caps in the air - Boston College students celebrate outside the Stump.
Caps in the air - Boston College students celebrate outside the Stump.

Held at the town’s iconic Stump church, more than 150 Higher Education students were honoured at the graduation, with 95 in attendance to receive their Certificate of Achievement in front of their peers, friends, family and lecturers.

Qualifications gained and celebrated ranged from Higher National Diplomas, Foundation Degrees, Degrees and Postgraduate Certificates in Education.

The ceremony was opened by Claire Foster, Boston College Principal and CEO, who said: “Today is special, today is unparalleled. Today is Boston College’s first official graduation and we have never felt so proud. Our college vision is to be ‘brilliant today, better tomorrow’ and our graduates are the epitome of hope and aspiration for better lives and better futures. You all deserve the finest that life has in store for you.”

Boston College Graduates at the Stump

Following the opening, guest speaker Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, University of Nottingham’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, addressed the ceremony and spoke about how education is one of the greatest gift a society can give to its citizens.

He said: “Use your success today as the springboard to future success in your careers; and use it as the catalyst to go on to an attitude in life, a mindset, that says you will always be open and prepared to learn and develop, challenge your own and other people’s thinking as you go through life. That is how we progress and innovate as a society – think differently and never be afraid to challenge the status quo.”

Sir Van-Tam was then followed by Claire Petley, Education Studies BA (Hons) graduate, who gave a speech to her peers regarding her time studying at the college and about how life-changing education can be.

“University wasn’t an option for me when I left school," she said. "It wasn’t until I attended a family learning course, that I realised, I loved learning, so I started my journey on a Level 3 course at Boston College and got a part-time job in a local school. After receiving amazing support from my tutors, I realised that a university degree was within my reach. I started to dream bigger, I moved on to a more fulfilling and challenging job, with the aim of supporting and encouraging those students who, like myself at school don’t have the confidence or belief in themselves. I would especially like to say thank you to the lectures at Boston College, who have inspired so many who never believed they could become more, so I’d like to thank you from all of us students past, present and future.”

Professor Sir Jonathan Van Tam at the graduation ceremony in the Stump.

A college spokesperson said: “The graduands were called up one-by-one to collect their certificate from Sir Van-Tam, Professor Kamil Omoteso, University of Derby Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences and Claire Foster, each receiving a wave of applause from the audience, as they became graduates.”

Throughout the day guests received an array of musical performances from Music student, Anthony Swan, who sang ‘Hallelujah’, an ex-Boston College student, Lora Jones, who sang ‘One Moment in Time’ - as well as a string quartet and a live organist performance.

The college spokesperson added: "We wish our graduates the very best of luck in their future endeavours.”

Boston College graduates take a selfie to capture the happy occasion.
Boston College Higher Education learners outside the Stump on graduation day.