History was made when the first ever Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance degrees were awarded at a graduation ceremony in The Rose Theatre, Sidcup on Friday 14 September 2018.

The College, whose alumni include Gary Oldman, David Ajao and Hayley Squires, can award their own degrees following the granting of Taught Degree Awarding Powers by Her Majesty’s Privy Council in January 2017.

Addressing graduating students and guests, including the Rt. Hon. James Brokenshire, MP and the Mayor of Bexley, Cllr. Brian Bishop, Rose Bruford College Principal Clarie Middleton said:

“I would like to offer my congratulations to all our graduating students on this historic occasion. It marks the first steps of a strategic development plan, which will enhance our position as a leader in the theatre, event and performance higher education and training sector. Part of this planning is for the College to achieve full university status within the next few years.”

The honour of receiving the first degree was bestowed upon BA (Hons) Costume Production student Rebekah Greenwood, who designed the College’s jacquard motif following consultation with students, staff and alumni.

The design, which includes references to the College’s founder Rose Bruford, and the College’s association with Lamorbey House since 1950, was embroidered into the hood of the jacquard.

The academic dress colours of green and violet reflect the colours of the suffragette movement, which had strong links to Sidcup, particularly through Dame Ethel Smyth.

Clarie Middleton added:

“As the first female Principal of the College since Rose Bruford, it is particularly poignant to me that we are acknowledging the work of the suffragette movement in the centenary year of the Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote.”

The degree certificate, awarded to over 150 graduating students, includes the wording; ‘Adventure, and be Bold’ which was the last line of a dedicatory verse by poet laureate and associate of the College, John Masefield, published in the College’s first ever prospectus.

The ceremony also included the conferral of Lin Coghlan, Bernandine Evaristo, MBE, and Roger Simonsz as Fellows of the College and Bernie Davis, Jonathan Petherbridge and Tim Webb, MBE as Honorary Fellows.