Couple got more than just degree at graduation
A couple who met on the same course got more than just a qualification from their time at university. As well as gaining a first rate education, the duo unexpectedly found their life-long partner.
Sarah O’Donnell (24) and husband Patrick (35) both studied BA (Hons) Primary Education with SEND and QTS at the University of Cumbria at Lancaster (UoC), specialising in children with special educational needs. The challenging four-year course tested the educational mettle of the couple.
“We couldn’t have got through the course without each other. We spent many all-nighters in the library completing assignments and pushed each other through the challenges of placements. Our time at university was THE BEST!” said Sarah.
Originally from Fulwood, Preston, and Patrick, Blackpool, they chose UoC because the cosy campus was easily commutable and tutors made them feel at home.
“In the early days, we spent time together drinking coffee and eating cakes in the campus’ cafe. We started spending time together at weekends and met each other’s families. We fell into each other’s lives so easily, the rest is history.
“Despite the placements, assignments and long lectures, we laughed and laughed. We both look back now and say we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our degrees,” said Sarah.
Before long Patrick proposed. They graduated summer 2016, married August 2017 and two years later, the couple welcomed their first child, Felicity.
Since graduating, Patrick landed a role as pupil achievement support officer for Blackpool Council, overseeing the ‘Virtual School’ for looked after children across the county. Sarah worked in a nursery but is now focused on caring for her month-old daughter.
And next week will see the next generation of graduands gearing up to graduate.
Over 1000 students will attend the ceremonies at Carlisle Cathedral that will see students from diverse courses as fine art to zoology and biomedical science to wildlife media, graduate in front of their families and friends.
The university’s Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable, Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, will confer the degrees in what will be his penultimate ceremony before retiring in June 2020.