Students and families defied the weather to celebrate the graduation of almost 100 National Design Academy students at Staffordshire University’s graduation ceremony, held on Friday 16th July. The ceremony, set against the picturesque, although slightly damp, backdrop of Trentham Gardens, was preceded by a champagne reception and provided an opportunity for graduates to celebrate with their tutors.
The NDA turn out was far beyond Staffordshire University’s expectations which resulted in a little congestion around the champagne table! The ceremony was a lively celebration of academic achievement and NDA’s diverse range of students aged from 21 to 67 competed well with their young university-based counterparts to out shout, clap, whistle or cheer their colleagues onto the platform. Tutors and NDA staff stood to applaud them and Anthony Rayworth, the Director of Studies provided a congratulatory hug or handshake as they left the platform.
The National Design Academy has received excellent support from Staffordshire University’s Vice Chancellor Christine King for this programme offering a foundation degree (FdA) in interior design by distance learning. In her address to the new graduands, Professor King described NDA as Staffordshire’s “exceptional partner” and paid tribute to the achievement of the graduands often balancing full time jobs alongside childcare and other family commitments.
At the end of the ceremony, academic staff provided a “guard of honour” to applaud the graduands as they processed out of the hall. The day was celebrated by friends and families, many having travelled long distances in order to participate in the celebrations but all felt it had been a fantastic day.