Hundreds to graduate from Dundee and Angus College

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Stewart tries on a graduation robe with the help of Alanna Duncan, support worker for Gowrie Student Support.

Hundreds of students are set to take part in Dundee and Angus College’s annual awards ceremony.

The Caird Hall will host around 450 learners from the college who have completed Higher National programmes such as HNC, HND or BA degree, SVQ and PDA awards, along with 1,500 of their family and friends.

One special guest who will be among the platform party on Friday is Gillian Easson, director of Creative Dundee.

The former 3D design student, who was at the heart of the city gaining UNESCO City of Design status, was involved in this year’s Dundee Design Festival and has worked with the National Galleries of Scotland, and V&A Museum of Design, Dundee.

Gillian was delighted to be asked to address this year’s crop of award winners.

She said: “As a former D&A College student it will be nice to briefly speak about my own career path after finishing, and how college prepared me for my current involvement in the city.”

The ceremony starts at 2.30pm and will close with piper, Rich Gordon, playing the students out into City Square.

Another notable attendee will be an award-winning student who is to receive a special award during the ceremony.

Stewart Souter, who uses a wheelchair and endures a range of problems because of impaired muscle co-ordination, was not able to take part in a work placement – essential to completing the HNC social care programme

However, the 32-year-old excelled in all other areas of the course with tutors and classmates alike seeing Stewart as an integral member of the group.

Jane Roscoe, group tutor, petitioned the college executive for a special dispensation to allow Stewart to be included in the college graduation ceremony along with his classmates.

She said: “Stewart has Friedreich’s ataxia, which causes nervous system damage and worsens over time.

“It does not, however, effect cognitive function and Stewart’s exemplary work pays testament to this.”

In a break with tradition it was agreed that Stewart should attend the ceremony and would be honoured with The Principal’s Merit Award – Social Care.

This isn’t the first time the Broughty Ferry resident has been honoured by D&A College, last year he won the Armistead Prize for Personal Achievement.

“I have really enjoyed my time at college,” said Stewart.

“Both the staff and my fellow students have played a vital part in academic progress here at Gardyne Campus.”