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They’ve Done It! Stamford College Air and Defence Students Graduate at Fitting Awards Ceremony

Hats off to Stamford College Air and Defence students, who have graduated at an awards ceremony held at the poignant International Bomber Command Centre in Lincoln.

After a somewhat challenging academic year, the remarkable achievements of the Air and Defence students from Stamford College, College of West Anglia and Lincoln College, were celebrated at the first in-person graduation ceremony since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Every student was awarded a certificate of completion, presented to them by Air Commodore Suraya Marshall, Comdt RAFC, who also opened the ceremony. Addressing the graduates, Air Commodore Suraya Marshall said, “This Graduation is a very welcome opportunity for us to come together to celebrate the achievements of the students of the Air and Defence College, the next generation of the Royal Air Force and future employees in the defence industry.”

“Meeting the challenges and threats of a rapidly changing world is something that the Royal Air Force has done throughout its history. And the Air and Defence College has done the same over this past year.”

“As the Air and Defence College moves forward and adjusts to the ‘new normal’, I am genuinely excited for the future. The opportunities that have emerged from the increased use of virtual learning can now be combined with the more traditional, face to face, hands on approach that should provide a vital stimulus and motivate future students to take up an exciting career in the Royal Air Force or pursue a career in the defence sector.”

Throughout the graduation ceremony, other awards were presented from the individual colleges themselves.

Sara Gibson, Air and Defence Coordinator at Stamford College, presented the following awards to students for exceptional commitment and excellence throughout the programme:

  • Best Male was awarded to Billy McCormack (Award sponsor: Raytheon)
  • Best Female was awarded to Libby Taylor (Award sponsor: Leonardo)
  • Students’ Student was awarded to Louie Carters (Award sponsor: MASS)
  • For the Pursuit of Excellence was awarded to Daniel Roly, who will enjoy a flight with the award sponsor, the Royal Air Force.

Billy McCormack, awarded Best Male, commented:

“Without the Air and Defence College, I would not have the insight and fitness levels that I have, and understand what is expected from me to begin a career with the Royal Air Force and other services. The course has given me the opportunity to prepare for my next career step.”

Libby Taylor, awarded Best Female, added:

“I have been presented with opportunities and experiences that have given me such an advantaged start into my career with the Royal Air Force.”

“To any new applicants that are thinking of joining this course, 100% do it, it presents you with numerous different opportunities and events. This will help you so much with your career and will prepare you for the future, especially if you are hoping to join the RAF.”

Since Air and Defence College launched five years ago, over 500 students have graduated from the three host colleges and have benefitted from the unique career development opportunities made available by the unique ‘employer-led’ approached programme. This has resulted in students taking places on RAF Basic Recruit Training, progression into apprenticeships, employment and further study for a career in the aerospace industry.

Virtual Tour


If you feel inspired by the achievements of the Air and Defence College graduates you can find out more information about the courses below.

Success Stories


The Air & Defence College helped finalise my career goals and allowed me to talk to RAF personnel which solidified my decision to join the RAF.


The Air and Defence Course opened my eyes to loads of amazing opportunities, it helped me gain the skills and confidence for my apprenticeship with BAE Systems.

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