Over 1,000 students, family, friends and staff packed into Portsmouth Guildhall for Highbury College’s graduation.

Students throwing their mortarboards into the air on Portsmouth Guildhall steps

The annual Celebration of Achievement recognises and rewards its graduates, while highlighting students who made exceptional progress throughout the year.

Circus act Manic Street Production kicked off the ceremony with a fantastic performance, which was enjoyed by everyone, including special guests the deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Ben Dowling and former student Professor Andrew Graves CBE, Director of Studies, University of Bath.

A number of students were recognised for their academic prowess and community spirit with special awards including the Contribution to College/Community Life Award, Academic Performance/Achievement Award, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award and the Prince’s Trust Community Project Award.

This year also marked the second year the College presented The David Griffin Inspirational Award, named in honour of truly inspirational student David Griffin, who sadly passed away in 2013.

David was the oldest survivor of Allgrove Syndrome, a rare and incurable muscle-wasting condition, which forced him into a wheelchair repeatedly throughout his life.

He overcame his disability with sheer determination and raised more than £24,000 for Help for Heroes.

This year the David Griffin Inspiration Award went to Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production student Chloe Lacey.

Chloe joined Highbury as a student who was very unsure of herself, but with the support from family, friends and college staff showed great strength, passion and talent.

Chloe said: "When I first started at Highbury, I never thought that the hardest thing on my course was to leave the course. It has been the best two years of my life, I have never felt more alive. Highbury has given me so many new skills and so much support, which makes me feel confident about going onto the next step. Highbury has certainly taught me that if you put the hard work and effort into your work, you can achieve anything.”

She is set to achieve a triple distinction and has accepted a place on to a prestigious songwriting degree course at the University of Hertfordshire.

Principal of Highbury College Stella Mbubaegbu CBE said: "It was a wonderful ceremony and I’m so proud of every one of our amazing students. They have such talent and it’s a real privilege for Highbury to have shared in their academic journey. I wish them all the very best in their future endeavours."

Article Details

  • Date 10/07/2019