THERE were gowns, mortar boards and plenty of smiles as more than 600 Blackburn College students enjoyed their graduation ceremonies, flanked by trumpeters.

The traditional procession left the Feilden Street campus and headed to the town’s King George’s Hall. Students graduated at three ceremonies throughout Thursday, at 11am, 2pm and 5pm, where they received their degrees, diplomas and postgraduate awards.

The ceremonies were attended by representatives of the college’s university partners from Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire and the University of South Wales.

The college’s leadership team and governors were also in attendance along with Blackburn Mayor Faryad Hussain and Mayoress Parveen Hussain, who attended the 5pm ceremony. Guests were treated to a special performance by the Children’s University Choir.

Principal and chief executive Thomas Moore said: “This was a very special day for not only the students, but also their partners, family and friends.

“I would like to pass on my congratulations to all our students who graduated, and also praise the staff at University Centre at Blackburn College for their dedication, commitment and professionalism in helping our students realise their full potential.”

Sir Bill Taylor, chairman of the college’s corporation board, gave a speech, telling the students: “Take your successes and use them to enrich your future, but not just your future, that of your family, your friends, your community.”