University Centre Croydon (UCC) celebrated the exceptional talent and success of its Higher Education students at its graduation ceremonies on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 November 2017.

Held at Croydon College, over 200 graduates were joined by almost 1,000 guests. The events were attended by College Governor, Piers White, Professor Clare Mackie, Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Sussex, Gordon Smith, Chairman of the College Governors, and Mayor of Croydon, Toni Letts OBE all of whom delivered speeches of encouragement and praise to the graduates and their guests.

The Worshipful the Mayor of Croydon Toni Letts gave a personal insight to her own path to success, sharing a story about a young woman that she knew who had studied whilst working part time and raising a family – revealing that this was in fact herself!

Professor Mackie fittingly quoted the late Nelson Mandela, who said, ‘“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.’ Piers White gave an inspirational insight in to the world of work post graduating and importance of giving back. Gordon Smith invited everyone to stand and applaud the graduates for their hard work and great success.

Students graduated from UCC in a variety of disciplines, including from Art, Design & Media to Business, Public Health & Social Care, Law, Criminology, Early Childhood Studies and Human Resource Management.

Attendees were treated to the amazing talents of current Croydon College students. Lois Moodie, performed a personal and heartfelt tribute to the graduates with her rendition of ‘Better Days’ by Leandria Johnson. Cameron Millar sang Cosmo Pyke’s ‘Social Sites’ and ‘Chronic Sunshine’, impressively accompanying himself playing the acoustic guitar. There were also group performances from Shanae Doyley, Tionne Etienne-OConnor and Benjamin-Kamal Ward who were accompanied by a valued member of college staff for their performance of India Arie’s ‘Get it Together’. The trio also performed ‘Say Yes’ by Michelle Williams and brought house down, with graduates and guests alike dancing in the aisles!

Several awards were presented across the different cohorts including Most Inspirational Business Student of the Year, which was received by Laura Cassaretto and the Fashion Design and Production Award for Notable Achievement, awarded to Claire Tyler.

As well as giving the Graduate Speech of Thanks for the Early Childhood Studies and Public Health and Social Care cohorts, Ifeoma Unaka collected both The Skilled Practitioner Award for Early Childhood Studies and The Chair of Governors’ Award!

UCC also presented BA Public Health & Social Care graduate, Joseph Turay with the 2017 Principal’s Award.

After the ceremonies, the graduates proceeded through the college and were met by cheers and gasps by current FE and HE students. They then gathered to take the somewhat obligatory ‘hat-throw’ photo. Some of the graduates had their photo opportunity captured by a drone, which hovered gently above them, a memorable experience for all who witnessed it.

The receptions were joyous affairs with a delicious and extensive buffet prepared and served by Croydon College Hospitality students.  The graduates and their guests celebrated with selfies using the personalised UCC Snapchat filter and in a fun photo booth!  Current Croydon College Creative Art students Zi Jie Wang and Hanna Fuertes-Fernandez took to the keyboard and kept all entertained as he played a medley of classical and popular music hits.

Principal and CEO Frances Wadsworth, who is extremely proud of the new graduates and excited for Croydon’s future added, “Graduation is an important day not just for the graduates- but also for Croydon, as it marks success for our whole community.  The Local Authority, the college and all of our strategic partners are committed to the economic development and regeneration of Croydon and we all recognise that the knowledge, skills and expertise associated with a well- educated and highly trained workforce is fundamental if that commitment is to be delivered. The new skills and qualifications add to the talent pool available in Croydon”.

Congratulations to our Class of 2017!

If you would like more information about our Higher Education courses run at UCC, please visit

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