More than 150 proud Plymouth College of Art students attended their graduation ceremony at the Plymouth Guildhall.
This year the graduation ceremony was moved to an autumn schedule attracting a record number of graduating students. In all 700 people attended the celebration.
Dr Dena Attar from the Open University conferred the degrees and Plymouth College of Art Principal Andrew Brewerton addressed this year’s graduates saying after the ceremony: “It was a brilliant reunion of high-achieving creative graduates who received their awards in delightful company. With the British Art Show in town, it was quite a party.”
Devon-born children’s book illustrator David McKee was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate from the Open University. David began selling one-off cartoons while he was a student at Plymouth College of Art in the 1950s. He then went on to originate many well-known and much-loved characters, developing book series including Mr Benn and King Rollo, which later became a series of films.
Among the graduates receiving their degrees was 49-year-old BA Applied Arts student Jeanette Ward from Sidmouth. Being awarded first class honours was a particularly poignant moment for Jeanette who was diagnosed with breast cancer during her second year.
She said: “When I was first diagnosed the college offered me the chance to take a break but I didn’t want to sit at home worrying, I wanted to carry on. So the college worked hard to make that possible for me and to support me and I am so very glad and proud of myself.”
Jeanette, who specialises in making high-end enamel jewellery, is now heading for a bright future. She caused a stir recently as one of the stand-out exhibitors at New Designers, attracting the national media spotlight. She is also preparing for a series of high profile exhibitions over the coming months.
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