FIRST class students were invited to be part of Bolton University’s historic ceremony.

About 100 students who had achieved a first class degree with honours — the highest undergraduate award conferred the by university — joined the procession to the town hall to install the new chancellor.

Students spoke of their pride at achieving top class honours degrees and being part of the landmark occasion.

Natalie Irving, aged 23, from Astley Bridge, will formally graduate from the university in business management in the coming days.

She said: “I just feel excited to be here. I am proud of my achievements.

“I have worked hard and it has all been worth it.

“When I heard I had got a first I just jumped around the room.

“It was good that I am here with people on my course, we all supported each other.”

Amelia-Beth Vosper, aged 23, from Chorley, who also did the same course, added: “It is nice we have been invited to be part of this. We have all worked hard and it is a privilege to be part of it.”

After a daily commute of four hours each way from Bath, psychology student Lindsay Bates is delighted to be graduating with a first.

The 30-year-old said: “Getting a first came as big surprise, and I am speechless to be part of this day.” Her lecturer Professor Jerome Carson added: “She is an outstanding student.”

Keith Mayoh, aged 37, from Eagley received the top degree in multimedia and website, said: “It is a high honour to be part of the occasions. I was ecstatic when I heard I achieved a first.”