Posted 1 October 2001More than 475 students from across the UK and beyond became the Centenary Graduates of Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, at a special ceremony last week. The 2001 Graduation Ceremony, which uniquely coincides with Harper Adams Centenary year, took place on campus in front of an audience of college staff, friends, family and well-wishers on Friday, September 21.
The 476 Centenary Graduates include 16 recipients of Masters degrees and two PhD's. Harper Adams graduates were joined in their celebrations by the graduates of three jointly run courses at partner colleges Reaseheath and Rodbaston.
In addition, a total of 27 annual prizes, trophies and awards were presented to students during a special, midday session. Mr Terry Leahy, Chief Executive of Tesco PLC, attended as guest of honour, to give the graduation address and formally present graduands with their degrees and diplomas.
Mr Leahy told the audience: "I'm delighted to be here on this special occasion. Special because it is the centenary year of Harper Adams, which is a unique institution providing the food industry with so much of its talent and so much for its future.
"May I immediately congratulate you and your families on your special achievements today. These are great things to accomplish and will help shape your future life."
He said: "You will be entering what is, in my experience of over 20 years, the very best food chain in the world and you will, I have no doubt, make it even better."
The Principal of Harper Adams Professor Wynne Jones also endorsed the efforts of the graduating students and told them: "We are here to celebrate your success."
He said: "It is thanks to your efforts and the partnership which you have engendered us as staff that has ensured this excellent feeling of community, friendship and motivation that permeates the college and instils that genuine sense of pride and indeed energy of being a student at Harper.
"Your motivation and enthusiasm as a final year body has been contagious and this has been passed down to succeeding years. I am confident that they will take on the baton, while you take your place amongst the distinguished body of graduates of Harper Adams.
"Many of us on the staff are of the view that it is the holistic experience of being a student at this University College, rather than the study of a specific course, which makes you such an employable group of young people. May we all work together to carry this 'Harper Spirit' into our next century."