Last Thursday, Hereford College of Arts celebrated the successes and triumphs of another year of graduating degree students during a ceremony at Hereford Cathedral.

Almost 100 students graduated this year from a range of BA (Hons) degrees and MA programme, including for the first time, their new BA (Hons) courses in Short Film Making and Popular Music. Of the 89 honours degrees awarded, 75% were 1st class or an upper second (2.1) classification, including 29% first class degrees.

Students, together with their friends, families and tutors, gathered to mark the students’ achievements during their time at HCA. Graduates in Artist Blacksmithing, Contemporary Design Crafts, Textile Design, Graphic and Media Design, Illustration, Photography and Fine Art had recently exhibited at major Graduate Shows held in London organised by New Designers and Free Range. These national exhibitions celebrate emerging artists and creatives from across the UK. HCA students’ work generated a lot of interest. At New Designers, Cheryl Hewitt, graduating from the college’s Contemporary Design Crafts degree won the MAKE International award.

Two influential and distinguished guests were honoured in the ceremony and awarded Fellowships at Hereford College of Arts. Artist and illustrator Jackie Morris and Seetal Solanki, Textile Designer and founder of ‘Ma-tt-er, both shared their experience and advice with graduates. In these inspiring speeches from the new Fellows, Jackie Morris advised graduates that “It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it. If you spend your time doing something creative, then you’ll be spending it well.”

The celebrations moved from the cathedral to The Left Bank, where a drinks reception provided the opportunity for everyone to relax and enjoy the celebratory occasion.

Principal, Abigail Appleton, speaking to graduates during the ceremony, said:

“I have to say graduands, congratulations. I hope you that you will carry many things with you from your time in college. Lifelong friendships as well as your qualifications, happy memories, but most of all I hope you’ll carry stretching arms; a confidence to know you can have a tough day and get through it, that you can make a difference when you reach out with curiosity and creativity, and that you call always stretch beyond the limits of what you know now and what you think you can do and learn something new.”