Special Occasion “Made My Life” as University of Lincoln Awards Honorary Degrees to 1970s Endsleigh College Hull Graduates

30 April 2024

Written by: vsimons

Nine Endsleigh College Hull alumni, a predecessor institution to the University of Lincoln, were awarded Honorary Bachelor of Education degrees by the University at graduation ceremonies earlier this month.

Nine Endsleigh College Hull alumni, a predecessor institution to the University of Lincoln, were awarded Honorary Bachelor of Education degrees by the University at graduation ceremonies earlier this month.

The awards recognise the hard work and dedication of the group when achieving their Certificates of Education and the subsequent impact they made on the teaching profession and the field of education.

Since the 1970s many have led careers in education and relished the opportunity to reconnect with each other and receive such a special award from the University.

Among those being awarded honorary degrees were Tessa Moore, Rosaleen Holdsworth, Jean Kairis, and Andrew Wilson. Andrew expressed the meaning the graduation celebration held for him: “I said to one of the ladies after leaving the stage that, not only did the occasion make my day, it made my life!”

Tessa Moore said: “The ceremony was such a special occasion, meeting up with friends old and new. University of Lincoln Alumni Department need to be especially praised for making us feel so special in receiving the B. Ed. ‘Honoris Causa’.

“All nine of us past students were also invited for VIP treatment before the event, and the Head of the School of Education gave a speech to the congregation on the history of Endsleigh College at the ceremony.”

Endsleigh College, a Roman Catholic teacher-training college, dates back to the early 1900s. The College, situated in Hull, survived both world wars and by 1960 was extended to accommodate over 650 students, training thousands of students over seven decades. In the 1970s it merged with several other colleges to create the Hull Institute of Higher Education. After becoming one of a number of UK institutions to become universities post 1992, the University of Lincoln gained its present name and status in 2001.

The Endsleigh College alumni expressed gratitude for the VIP treatment they received, after being greeted by the Chancellor and the Vice Chancellor at the University and shared their joy at being able to celebrate their achievements with family and friends from years gone by.

Rosaleen Holdsworth said: “We all had a wonderful experience. The evening was perfect. We have certainly made memories that I never thought I would have.

“Perhaps because this degree was given 51 years after leaving Endsleigh college in Hull it means more to me. My children came with me and they said how proud they were and how well looked after we were by the staff. They were very impressed. A truly amazing experience.”

The Endsleigh College cohort graduated alongside over 120 from the School of Education who were receiving PhD, Postgraduate or Undergraduate awards in anticipation of the beginning of their careers.

After experiencing major health issues, Jean Kairis urged others eligible for an honorary degree to also attend a graduation, commenting: “Wow, what can I say – magical, exciting and awesome to be at the graduation. If you can manage it, do go! 18 months ago no one thought I would be on this earth for longer than two weeks, but here I am now 18 months later after eight months 24/7 care. It’s a real miracle.”

It was clear how important the friendships they had made at the college still were for the Endsleigh College alumni. Two of those graduating explained that they first became friends at secondary school in 1964 aged 11, completed their teacher training course together at Endsleigh College in 1974 aged 21, and were delighted to now graduate together from the University of Lincoln in 2024 aged 71. Their friendship spanned over 60 years.

Tessa Moore described how special it was for her college friend to be honoured in the ceremony and said: “Sadly, our lovely college friend Mary Jordan was missing as she died just a few years ago. I had contacted the University of Lincoln to ask if she could be remembered during the roll call and the absolute highlight of the evening was the tribute paid posthumously to Mary and to one other student on stage in front of hundreds of graduates.”

To enquire about an honorary degree, please contact the University of Lincoln alumni team at alumni@lincoln.ac.uk or call on 01522 835888.