STUDENTS decked in caps and gowns packed Chester Cathedral today along with their proud parents to receive their degree certificates.

They were joined by four eminent figures who received honorary degrees from the University of Chester.

Vicki Bulgin received a Master’s of Music, for her outstanding contribution to music in her role as Musical Director at the university.

Lord David Willetts was the recipient of a Doctor of Letters, for his outstanding contribution to higher education in his role as former Minister of State for Universities and Science.

The Right Reverend Michael Baughen was awarded a Doctor of Divinity, for his outstanding contribution to Ministry in the country, in particular recognition of his role as Bishop of Chester and Chair of the Governing Body.

And The Very Reverend Gordon McPhate received a Doctor of Divinity, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the Diocese of Chester during his time as Dean of Chester and to the university while serving on the governing body.

In total, more than 3,000 students are due to graduate in 11 ceremonies spanning four days, ending on Friday. All will be congratulated by Chancellor Gyles Brandreth, the Presiding Officer.

Professor Tim Wheeler, vice-chancellor, said: “Each graduation ceremony represents all the hard work and dedication and all that our graduates have achieved. We congratulate them and wish them all good luck in their careers as they go forward into their futures.”