Friday 18th July proved to be a perfect day. The sun was shining, the bubbles were flowing and of course, our NDA class of 2014 were streaming into the National Design Academy marquee.
The day started with a gathering in the NDA marquee which offered students and tutors alike the opportunity to network with likeminded individuals and for some, the chance to meet their tutor face-to-face for the first time. This type of strenuous activity obviously requires some form of sustenance, luckily Academy Director; Pauline Riley, had planned ahead and provided an array of delicious complimentary nibbles and of course, a greatly appreciated champagne reception.
Once everyone was fully refreshed, Pauline took to the stage to officially welcome the NDA Class of 2014.
“Every day of the year and all the years’ that we’ve been here, everybody at NDA will say the same, this is the best day of the year, and this is all because you have all achieved. Congratulations to the class of 2014.”
Once the clapping and cheers had died down, Director of Studies Anthony Rayworth took to the stage to announce the Student of the Year 2014.
“2013-14 has seen an incredible array of detailed, imaginative and thought-provoking work being submitted by our students.
It is at this point in the year when the tutors can reflect on the progress of all students and from the list of this years’ graduates, pick out one outstanding student to be named ‘NDA Student of the Year – 2014’. It gives us great pleasure to announce that the title this year is awarded to Vicky Hedley, who graduates with an FdA in Interior Design (Distinction).”
We took some time out to talk to Vicky Hedley and find out her reaction to the news.
“What can I say, I am so so shocked and I can’t thank you enough for choosing me for student of the year. I honestly didn’t think I would be awarded with that out of so many fantastic students so I really am so overwhelmed and grateful. Thank you so much for believing in me and for all your kind words in the magazine. I have always lacked confidence in my work but I guess I really do need to start believing in myself a little bit more!
What a graduation, I couldn’t have wished for a better day and in fact, I think it was the best day of my life. I was so proud to have achieved a degree in a subject that I am so passionate about, to then achieve student of the year on the same day was a complete honour. Thank you again and for all the support over the last 2 half years and please thank everyone at the NDA, it really is a brilliant college.”
Students were then led outside by our in-house expert photographer, who took a few wonderful NDA group photos, including the classic ‘hats in the air’ shot. It’s fair to say everyone had great fun throwing their mortar boards around, as the photos show!
It was then time for our design tutors to join the elaborate procession that marks the start of the official ceremony. Our tutors formerly took to the stage to proudly cheer on our many NDA students as they were officially granted the title of ‘graduate’ by Vice-Chancellor of Staffordshire University; Professor Michael Gunn.
A great day was had by all and to mark the occasion we have put together a small video so that you can relive your special day.