Highbury College celebrates half a century of educating students

The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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HIGHBURY College got into the party mood yesterday as staff and students celebrated its 50th birthday.

Principal Stella Mbubaegbu kicked off the celebrations as she reminisced about the past half-century.

LET'S PARTY Jonathan Cox, Dee John, Barbara Green, James Hepburn,Stella Mbubaegbu, Principal and Chief Executive of Highbury College and Deborah See, cutting the 50th birthday cake. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132554-616)

LET'S PARTY Jonathan Cox, Dee John, Barbara Green, James Hepburn,Stella Mbubaegbu, Principal and Chief Executive of Highbury College and Deborah See, cutting the 50th birthday cake. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132554-616)

She spoke of Henry Robert Penfold, the first student to be enrolled at the college, and went into detail about how it had changed in 50 years.

Ms Mbubaegbu, who has led the college for the past 12 years, said: ‘Here at Highbury we love to celebrate.’

She added: ‘Our mission is to succeed and do everything we can to make sure that the students have the best possible learning experience.’

James Hepburn, who is studying Level 3 music technology, was chosen to cut the celebratory cake as he has strong ties to the college.

The 18-year-old’s parents met there in 1975, which was a contributing factor to why he chose to study at the Cosham college. He said: ‘I am honoured to be chosen to cut the cake.

‘Highbury is a special place and I wish it every success for the next 50 years.’

Also cutting the cake was Highbury’s longest serving staff member Barbara Green.

Barbara, who has been a member of staff at Highbury for 43 years, spoke of how she likes to focus on the future instead of the past.

She added: ‘Highbury has always been a college that’s survived and had aspirations because of the staff and their commitment to the students.’

The ceremony ended with the planting of a tree to commemorate the past 50 years.