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    Determination and dedication of Harper Adams students marked at Graduation 2022 ceremonies

    Posted 23 September 2022

    “Today’s ceremony acknowledges your determination and dedication. You overcame any barriers standing in your way – perceived or actual – and demonstrated that you are more than worthy to join our global community of Harper Graduates.”

    A Harper Adams bear mascot with graduands milling behind

    The determination and dedication of Harper Adams students has been marked at the University’s 2022 Graduation ceremonies.

    Today’s ceremonies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, celebrated students who completed their courses in the 2021-22 academic year.

    The events were presided over by Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Lee, who noted that they followed immediately after the period of national mourning of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

    He told the congregation: “The University wrote a letter of condolence to our Chancellor, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, and she has since written back to thank the entire University community for their kindness and their thoughts.”

    Professor Lee also marked the attendance at the ceremonies of Professor Jude Capper and Judith Batchelar OBE, both of whom were bestowed Honorary Doctorates in 2020. Each received their awards in a virtual ceremony in early 2021 and then joined this year’s academic procession – with Professor Capper having joined Harper Adams as an academic since receiving her award.

    Before marking the achievements of this year’s graduates, Professor Lee also explained that University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ken Sloan, was unable to attend the ceremonies as he had to undergo emergency eye surgery at short notice – and asked the crowd to wish him well.

    He then turned to address the graduating students, noting many had travelled long distances from the Far East, other parts of the world, and all four nations of the United Kingdom.

    He said: “The award you have received is a mark of academic achievement and excellence from one of the world’s leading specialist, agri-food universities.

    “A degree and qualification from Harper Adams University is highly valued.  It is intended to be challenging – practically and intellectually.  You will have had highs and lows and I know there will have been occasions where self-doubt may have got the better of you.

    “Today’s ceremony acknowledges your determination and dedication. You overcame any barriers standing in your way – perceived or actual – and demonstrated that you are more than worthy to join our global community of Harper Graduates.”

    Students’ Union President for the 2022-3 Academic Year, Jess Millbank, gave a vote of thanks to all those involved in the day’s events.

    Jess – who graduated from her BSc (Hons) Geography and Environmental Management degree during the morning ceremony – said: “Today we mark the end of this hopefully unforgettable journey – the people you have met, the memories and knowledge you have gained at this institution, and the invaluable friendships will last a lifetime.”

    Graduands and guests also heard from two Harper Adams alumni who gave speeches as Guests of Honour during the day.

    The morning ceremony was addressed by Forest Operations Officer at Natural Resources Wales, Ellen Humphrey, who said: “You are entering the job market in a period where many sectors, including forestry, need people like you.

    “As new graduates, you have up to date knowledge and a fresh pair of eyes so don’t be afraid ask questions and make suggestions. Do not underestimate your worth, the value you bring to the workplace, or indeed, what it can do for you.

    “And if you do find yourself going through a bumpy patch, which we all do from time to time, review your options, listen to your gut and have the confidence to do what is right for you.”

    Meanwhile, the afternoon ceremony heard from Guy Coggrave, Managing Director of GSC Grays chartered surveyors, who told the graduands: “Agriculture and the rural sector is going through the biggest change I believe we will ever see in our lifetime, and you are all in the enviable position of just starting your careers and will have the opportunity to influence it.”

    Guy – whose company employs a number of Harper Adams alumni – added: “My advice to you all is to approach your careers with energy, positivity and enthusiasm.

    “Grasp the opportunities that present themselves and importantly, ensure you maintain a strong network of your fellow Harper Adams University colleagues, as this will be invaluable to you throughout your career and will be something that you rely on, as I have done.”

    Today’s events capped an unusual year with three sets of Graduation celebrations, with students from 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years celebrating their graduations in the summer.

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