Graduates from across Warwickshire celebrate academic achievements

WCG CEO Angela Joyce and Nick Stott.
WCG CEO Angela Joyce and Nick Stott.

More than 230 students celebrated their academic achievements at three graduation ceremonies at St Mary’s Church and Old Shire Hall in Warwick last week.

The graduates have been studying a variety of higher education courses at six of the WCG group of colleges across Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Nikita, Lorie and Mirie Shanks.

Nikita, Lorie and Mirie Shanks.

Among the students graduating were Lorie Shanks, 23, from Kenilworth, who graduated with a FdA in Performing Arts at Rugby College alongside her twin sister Mirie and younger sibling Nikita, age 21.

She said: “Studying for a foundation degree with my sisters has been absolutely amazing as we’re all best friends but it has also had its challenges, particularly when working on the acting tasks together as we know each other inside out.”

Lorie is currently working as a film and TV extra and hopes to pursue a full-time professional career in acting. She added: “The course has been brilliant and really helped me with the skills I need to pursue my dream of pursuing an acting career.”

Nick Stott from Northamptonshire was celebrating at getting an HNC in manufacturing engineering, with distinction, at Rugby College.

The 21-year-old currently works as an engineering technician. Incredibly, while working full-time and studying part-time Nick also manages to put in six hours of training each day to make it as an elite sportsman. He is the current British kickboxing champion.

He said: “I am working towards becoming a full-time project engineer, moving on from my current position as an engineering and development technician. In the not-too-distant future I would like to begin my path towards project management and have aspirations of joining senior management before eventually starting my own firm.

“I’ve really enjoyed my studies at Rugby and found the course content to have practical applications to real world problems.

“There is a general feeling of having freedom to learn in the way that best suits you. Tutors and other staff members are willing to accommodate students using facilities at almost all the hours that the college is open to give them the opportunity to carry out the extra work.”

Guests of honour and keynote speakers at the ceremonies were Sir Peter Rigby DL, chief executive of the Rigby Group PLC, Timothy Cox, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, and David Holmes, CEO British Eventing.

At Friday’s ceremony WCG’s President Chris White and CEO Angela Joyce presented a fellowship of WCG to Steve Wood who served as a governor of WCG for 11 years and latterly as chairman for the final three years of his tenure.