Rapturous applause from families, lecturers, governors and civic dignitaries marked the culmination of ceremonies as graduates officially completed their studies at Darlington College.
One by one they collected their awards from Darlington College’s principal Kate Roe and Teesside University’s academic registrar Jonathan Eaton after being praised for their dedication to learning.
Dressed in gowns and traditional mortarboards, they then processed through the Mercure
Darlington King’s Head Hotel towards the next chapter of their lives.
Ms Roe said: “It takes patience, commitment, tenacity and, of course, hard work to achieve these qualifications. This is particularly true of those people who chose to study part-time whilst also juggling work and families, often writing assignments at night after reading bedtime stories.
“Nobody can ever take this away from you. You are awesome and we could not be prouder of you.”
Mr Eaton said: “Darlington College and Teesside University are united through a long standing commitment to provide access to first class education and training right across the Tees Valley. These are excellent courses taught by excellent staff and graduates’ achievements today also reflect the dedication of staff.”
Guest of honour Darlington Mayor Nick Wallis added: “This is the culmination of years of work which will give graduates the skills needed to create a bright future for themselves, the borough and the region.”
Students graduated in a variety of qualifications in an array of subjects including computing, electrical and electronic engineering, mechanical and manufacturing engineering, building studies, mechatronics, education, counselling, early years sector endorsed, working with young people and business management.
Graduate in education and training Patrick Robinson was charged with making the valedictory address.
He told the audience: “We are here together to end this chapter, to enjoy the moment, savour the day and enjoy the experience. You never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.
“Our tutors go above and beyond for us, to pass on their knowledge which we will have for the rest of our lives. In uncertain times we need to motivate people so use what we have learnt to make the world a better place.”