Godalming College was very proud to welcome back alumni Sam Jackson as the guest speaker for their Let’s Celebrate event on Thursday evening where awards were presented to the best students on each course for either their outstanding achievement or for effort and determination, others won memorial prizes or awards for their contribution to the college or wider community.
Sam Jackson was a student at Godalming College from 1999 to 2001. A talented musician, playing the Piano, Clarinet and Saxophone, Sam was very much inspired by his music teacher and went on to gain a first class degree in Music from the University of York and is now the Managing Editor of two national radio stations, Classic FM and Smooth Radio. He has won many awards such as the UK Radio Brand of the year at the Sony Radio Academy Awards and the Best Classical Format at the New York International Radio Festival and has also appeared on the list of The Radio Academy’s Best Young Talent in the Industry list for two years. He is author of the book Diary of a Desperate Dad: one man’s guide to family life from 0-5 and the online blog of the same name. At 34 he has many achievements but was clear in his speech to students that almost everyone is ‘blagging it’ and that they shouldn’t feel anxious or worried but go forward and take the opportunities and challenges when and where they can and make the most of them.
The retiring president of the Student Union at Godalming College gave a passionate speech about how much she had valued her experiences at Godalming and how this has shaped and developed her. ‘Whatever you are doing in the future’ she said to students leaving the College ‘be happy’.
As guests gathered before the ceremony they were treated to drinks and canapé and were entertained by Performing Arts students who performed a Song and Dance routine entitled Another Day of Sun and excellent music from the College Jazz Band.
A clarinet duet by Frankie Gale and Elizebeth Knatt provided an exciting musical interlude during the ceremony with a performance of Validation by Richard Perceval. Sam Jackson was particularly pleased to hear live music and a clarinet duet was all the more poignant because he met his wife by playing a clarinet duet with her at Godalming College.
The evening was the first Let’s Celebrate evening at Godalming College for Principal Emma Young and the last for retiring Chair of the Corporation Brenda Jenner.
Brenda expressed her joy at being part of the College saying that ‘Godalming students never disappoint – their achievements across the spectrum from BTEC to A-Levels and Arts, Biology to Drama & Music, to Economics, English, History and Philosophy are exceptional and something we should all be proud of. I have been delighted to be part of the Godalming College experience and have very much enjoyed working with staff at students, who never fail to disappoint.’
89 students were presented with awards, from these amazingly talented students a few stand out, such as Rashid Talha, a superb mathematician who completed all 18 units of Mathematics that are available and will receive A levels in Maths, Further Maths and Additional Maths alongside his other subjects. Robert Honey, who will be moving on to a Degree Apprenticeship with Rolls Royce, has balanced A level study alongside his role as a young carer and also giving up his free time to tutor students in the Waverley Federation schools in Physics. Gear Pinmuanglek who was praised for supporting others and his excellent focus, came to Godalming College as an Access student taking English as a Second or other Language and has shone in his academic studies of Business, Creative Media and Film Studies. Also to Joseph Hettrick who won The Anstice Fearon Memorial Prize for outstanding contribution to the life of the College, was nominated for his active work with the Students Union getting involved in national campaigns and keeping students informed, his attendance at debating competitions and for his political standpoint which gave a record result when he stood as Labour Candidate in the recent mock general election at College.
Emma Young Principal of the College says “The evening is a key one in the College calendar as it is the opportunity to come together to celebrate the achievements of some of our brilliant students that we are so fortunate to work with here at the College. It is also important to celebrate and recognise the contributions of our highly talented and dedicated staff who work extremely hard to ensure that the students achieve their potential. It was also good to be able to pay a public tribute to the work that Brenda Jenner has done as a Governor and Chair of the Corporation. Her dedication to ensuring that the College provides the best possible experience of students and staff is second to none. ”