STUDENTS reaped the rewards of their hard work as they graduated from the University of Derby Buxton on Saturday.
And one student even made the 15-hour trip from disaster-hit Japan to attend the ceremony, which had been postponed in December because of snow.
Buxton’s Dome was filled with 210 students, their families and friends for the ceremony which also saw honorary awards handed out to Buxton-born business guru Professor Mike Wright and Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains.
All the awards were handed out by the Chancellor of the University, the Duke of Devonshire and Vice Chancellor, Professor John Coyne.
Dean of the University of Derby Buxton Dr Peter Dewhurst said: “Graduation is the moment when everything comes together. We wish all of our graduates well in their future careers and hope they enjoyed this special day.”
Professor Mike Wright, who received the Honorary Award of Doctor of the University (Hon DUniv), said: “I am proud and humbled to be receiving the Honorary Award today. I have been particularly taken with the work that has gone into making the Buxton Campus such a wonderful setting. It has enjoyed a fantastic renaissance.”
And speaking of his Honorary Award of Doctor of Professional Practice (HonDPr) Sat Bains added: “I feel blown away to have been honoured in this way. I am not from an academic background but hope this achievement shows others what is possible and gives them a boost.
“I wish all the graduating students well in their futures. They should keep focused and have a vision for what they want to achieve and not give up.”
Some of the graduating students hailed from nearby areas, such as Mathew Armett, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, who graduated with a Joint Honours Degree in Public Relations and Media Applications.
He said: “I studied for my A levels at Harpur Hill and my tutor at the time told me about the opportunities on offer at the University’s Buxton Campus. I’ve really enjoyed studying here.”
The University also attracts students from around the world and many were able to return to Buxton for the ceremony. Haruna Sasaki, 23, travelled from her home in Fukui, Japan, despite the country’s recent natural disaster. Haruna received a 2:1 BA (Hons) degree in Professional Culinary Arts and an award for student achievement from the Institute of Hospitality.
She said: “I am delighted to be graduating today. It took 15 hours to travel from Japan but it was worth it to be here. We live 800km from the main disaster zone in Japan. It was an awful disaster but people are just trying to pull together and help each other.”
Another guest of honour was former student and now High Peak MP Andrew Bingham, who said: “I was delighted to be present at the award ceremony.
“I attended the first prize giving a few years ago, but as an ex-student albeit of High Peak College of Further Education as it was then, I was delighted to return as the High Peak MP and share in what was a happy and proud occasion for students and their families alike.”