'Worth the sleepless nights' - Graduation week begins in Ipswich
- Credit: University of Suffolk
A visually impaired mum-of-two is among the Suffolk students celebrating graduation on Ipswich Waterfront.
Graduation ceremonies for the class of 2021 have begun, with more than 1,800 students receiving their awards from the University of Suffolk this week.
Giorgia Ryan Vendramin finished her BA (Hons) in Event and Tourism Management with the highest score - and is very proud of her achievements.
She said: "Finishing the course with the highest score, considering I am registered severely visually impaired and my first language is Italian, is a huge achievement for me.
"I have grown in confidence and determination. It has been well worth it, even the sleepless nights in my final year."
Also graduating was Andreea Munteanu, who said: "I was interested in studying at the University of Suffolk because it was a new and young university. I really enjoyed the practical modules where we had to get out there and learn a few things on our own."
The vice-chancellor and CEO of the university, Professor Helen Langton, congratulated the students celebrating this week, saying: "We are delighted to be able to welcome back the Class of 2021 for their graduation ceremonies on the Ipswich Waterfront.
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"It has been a challenging 18 months for everyone especially those finishing their degrees and going into the world of work or further study. We are very proud of our graduates and are looking forward to celebrating their achievements."
Cynthia Capey, former Religious Studies teacher at the university, received an honorary doctorate at the evening ceremony.
Since moving to Suffolk in 1963, Mrs Capey introduced courses in Religious Studies to the then Civic College and has written two books profiling the area's faith communities.
She facilitated the emergence of Suffolk Inter-Faith Resource (SIFRE) and laid the foundations for the Suffolk Refugee Support.
In 2006 she received an international award from the Muslim News for her work with the community and was the first recipient of the Symmachus award for building bridges with Pagan people.
Mrs Capey said she "delighted to receive this invitation to accept an honorary degree from the University of Suffolk", adding: "It recognises the importance of the interfaith work which I have been privileged to nurture, and will, I hope, encourage others to build bridges and promote tolerance and mutual understanding."
The first Ipswich students to graduate were students from the Global Banking School, the London School of Commerce and Suffolk Business School.
Graduation ceremonies have taken place for West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds and for East Coast College in Great Yarmouth.
The celebrations will continue on the Ipswich Waterfront until Saturday, October 23.