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Gloucestershire Business News

Hartpury celebrates graduation

Hartpury University awarded three honorary degrees and recognised the achievements of nearly 500 students at its graduation ceremonies.

At the ceremonies, held on November 3 and 4, the university celebrated 491 students who graduated from a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees across its specialist subject areas of animal, agriculture, equine, sport and veterinary nursing.

Teaching and support staff joined students, their families and friends for two days of celebration at Gloucester Cathedral.

Nick Gazzard was awarded an honorary degree for his remarkable community work and the creation of the Hollie Gazzard Trust, a charity he founded after the murder of his daughter by her former partner.

The trust aims to prevent similar tragedies, by increasing awareness of domestic abuse and stalking. Recent projects have included helping launch the Black Country Stalking Support Service and delivering Working Without Fear, a dedicated programme supporting businesses and organisations.

At Hartpury's annual WellFest - an event dedicated to student wellbeing - Nick Gazzard helped to deliver important training workshops to raise awareness around healthy relationships, sexual harassment and safeguarding.

Alfred Morris was awarded an honorary degree for his contribution to education and the vital role he played in Hartpury's journey towards university status. In his former role as vice-chancellor of the University of West of England (UWE), he worked to develop a strong partnership with Hartpury College, as it was established as an Associate Faculty of UWE.

He was an early proponent of the decision to start the journey towards university status, achieved in 2018. Alfred has served on the Council for National Academic Awards, the Higher Education Quality Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Further Education Funding Council for England.

Graham van der Lely was the third honorary degree recipient. As a former governor and chair, he was a driving influence in Hartpury's journey from an agricultural college with just 50 students to a thriving university and college with over 4,500 students. His background in both agriculture and equine has helped to ensure Hartpury remains true to its roots as it continues to grow.

Graham has given many hours of his time in supporting Hartpury principals and vice-chancellors, fellow governors and senior staff, helping them to navigate the journey to one of the largest land-based colleges and, more recently, a university. His voice as a member of the Association of Colleges' Council helped to ensure issues facing land-based colleges and the wider land-based industries were heard.

Professor Andy Collop, vice-chancellor, CEO and principal at Hartpury, said: "Graduation ceremonies are the perfect way to come together to recognise and celebrate hard work, dedication, and achievement, and it was a real pleasure to lead the celebrations at my first Hartpury graduation ceremony.

"All three of our honorary degree recipients are examples of individuals who've gone above and beyond to help improve the lives of others, and it was a privilege to recognise their individual stories at the most prestigious event in our calendar.

"I also want to pay tribute to the students who graduated last week, many of whom faced the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic during their studies. They showed resilience and determination that will serve them well as they move into the next chapter of their lives. We can't wait to follow their journeys."

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