Hundreds honoured on graduation day at Norwich University College of the Arts

Hundreds of proud students, plus their families and friends, packed into St Andrew's Hall today for the climax of years of hard work.

More than 400 people who studied at Norwich University College of the Arts (Nuca) on St George's Street were awarded their degrees at two graduation ceremonies.

There were also honorary doctorates for Sunday Times design editor Gordon Beckett and internationally acclaimed artist Prof Roger Ackling.

Among those getting degrees from the schools of art, media and design were those studying design for publishing, graphic communication, illustration, textiles, fine art, photographic studies, animation, film and moving image production, games art and design and visual studies.

Mr Beckett, a former Nuca student who was raised in Great Yarmouth, has worked for the Sunday Times for 33 years and has held the post of design editor since 1988.

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Mr Beckett has kept up a close relationship with Nuca, returning as a guest lecturer, offering work placements to students and employing former students, who continue to make a substantial contribution to the output of the Sunday Times each week.

Prof Ackling has had over 100 major solo exhibitions worldwide, including showing extensively in Japan during the 1980s.

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His sculptural installations explore spiritual and poetic themes and provide insight into the material world. He has maintained a relationship with Nuca spanning five decades as a visiting lecturer, research fellow and an important member of the university college's governing body.

Prof John Last, principal of Nuca, said: 'We are delighted to award honorary doctorates to Gordon and Roger, both of whom have participated so thoroughly in the academic evolution of Norwich University College of the Arts.

'Through their guest lectures they have served as sources of inspiration to generations of NUCA students and their examples will inspire our latest cohort of graduates as they embark on the next stage of their lives.'

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