A PROCESSION of gown-clad graduates paraded through Rotherham as part of a spectacular ceremony.
Students of all ages came together to celebrate their achievements at the first graduation ceremony hosted by Rotherham College of Arts and Technology.
They turned heads in a parade through the town led by the Concord Youth Music Band.
And there was a special guest at the Rotherham Minster event in the shape of James Toseland, the former Superbike world champion, who shook hands with graduates before they were handed their certificates.
James spoke about his goals and achievements, including his recent marriage to singer Katie Melua.
Gill Alton, principal and chief executive, said: “Graduation is a special moment to be proud of and it is wonderful this event, in the amazing surroundings of Rotherham Minster, was the first of many such celebrations for our students. I warmly congratulate every successful student.”
The college has offered higher education courses for a number of years, but this was its first graduation ceremony.
Graduates also heard from other speakers, while Andrew Frost, a former music student of the college turned professional musician, provided entertainment on his guitar.
Students posed for photographs outside the minster and in the nearby gardens before returning to the college campus for an informal lunch.
Claire Maidens, who had graduated with one the college’s teaching qualifications, said: “The best thing is to be able to come and celebrate something that is actually bringing money in – doing my course has helped me land a really good job.”
Ann Hardy, assistant principal for post-19 studies, said: “The event recognised the success of our students, but also highlighted ithe opportunities for higher education study in Rotherham. We wanted to inspire, as well as celebrate.”