Durham honours key players
(7 June 2004)
Newcastle Falcons and England Rugby World Cup player Jonny Wilkinson, the founding Chairman of One NorthEast Dr John Bridge, the Director of Research and Development at the Department of Health, Sir John Pattison and a key player in the musical life of the North East, David Crookes are due to join the distinguished ranks of honorary graduates of Durham University.
The University will celebrate the achievements of the four men who each have a special connection with the North-East at Durham Congregation ceremonies later in the year.
Jonny Wilkinson, International Rugby Player of the Year in 2003 will receive an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) and champion of cultural activities David Crookes, who has dedicated more than 40 years to supporting the musical life of the region will receive an Honorary Master of Music (MMus) at dates to be confirmed.
Leading local economist Dr Bridge will receive an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) and Sir John Pattison who began his education at Barnard Castle School an Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) alongside graduates at the winter Congregation ceremonies at Durham Cathedral in January 2005.
It will be a second Durham graduation for Dr Bridge, who gained a BA in Geography (Hatfield College) and for David Crookes who gained a Certificate of Education (Hild Bede) in the 1960's.
Sir Kenneth Calman, Vice-Chancellor said:"The University is proud to recognise the achievements of these exceptional individuals who each have a special connection with the North-East. We look forward to celebrating their expertise and accomplishments at our future Congregation ceremonies."
Jan Cawood, Public Relations Officer tel: 0191-334-0018
Notes to Editors
The University has already announced honorary degrees will be conferred on best-selling author Bill Bryson and Nobel laureate for Chemistry Professor Sir Harry Kroto during the annual three-day period of summer Congregation at Durham Cathedral when about 3,000 newly-graduating students receive their degrees.
Bill Bryson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) at the 11.15 a.m. ceremony on Friday 2 July and Professor Sir Harry Kroto will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) at the 2 p.m. ceremony on Friday 2 July. More details will be issued in a media operations note nearer the day.
The conferment of an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (DCL) for Harlequins and England Rugby Player Will Greenwood, originally scheduled to take place at the summer Congregation ceremonies has been deferred owing to Will's other commitments.
Biographical summaries follow
DCL Mr Jonny Wilkinson
Newcastle Falcons and England rugby player
In 1998, at the young age of 18 he signed for the Newcastle Falcons, which was the year that they won the premiership title. Also that year he made his debut for England, winning his first cap for England. In 2001 he was selected for the Lions tour and played in all three Tests. In 2002 he played a leading role in beating Australia, New Zealand and Australia in the same month. That year he was named as the International Players' Player and also won Planet Rugby's Player of the Year for the second straight year. His achievements were recognised with an MBE in the New Year Honours 2002/2003. In 2003, he was part of the England team who beat Australia in the World Cup in 2003, scoring the final drop goal and leading to him being named International Rugby Player of the year 2003. He has earned 52 caps for England and is the highest point scorer in English rugby.
MMus Mr David Crookes
A leading player in the musical life of the North East
For more than 40 years, David Crookes has dedicated a huge amount of his spare time and energy helping to organise music in the region, particularly in Durham. He has been Secretary of the Durham Choral Society since 1963, and additionally over different periods, a singer with Durham County Opera Group, North Yorkshire Chorus and St Ignatius Singers, Sunderland and singer and administrator to the Palatine Opera Group. He has facilitated further support for amateur and semi-professional performers, including University activities, through the North-Eastern Committee of the National Federation of Music Societies of which he has been both secretary and, since 2002, chairman.
DCL Dr John Bridge
Leading local economist
Dr John Bridge is an economist who has worked in the public, private and academic sectors for over the last 35 years. He holds degrees from Durham University and Indiana University. He is Chairman of Endeavour SCH PLC, a private sector consortium managing one of the largest health PFI projects in England. He is Chairman of the Land Restoration Trust, Chairman of NES General Partner Ltd and Chairman of Northern Sights Ltd. He sits on the Boards of the Tanfield Group, (Kenmore (UK) Ltd and is a non-Executive Director of Watson Burton LLP. He is a consultant of PricewaterhouseCooper LLP. He is a vesting Professor at Durham Business School and Newcastle Business School. He was until December 2003, the founding Chairman of One NorthEast (the RDA for the North East of England) and also sat on the Boards of English Partnerships and UK Trade and Investment. He has also worked recently on Government advisory groups dealing with aviation policy and urban regeneration and was a member of the Treasury's Advisory Council for Partnerships (UK). He is Chairman of Durham Cathedral Council, and a Lay Canon of the Cathedral. He is Chairman of the Alnwick Garden Trust, regional Chairman of the National Trust for the North East and Yorkshire, Chairman of the Calvert Trust Kielder and Chairman of the Spirit of Enterprise.
DSc Sir John Pattison
Senior figure in Health
Sir John Pattison is one of the best known personalities in the field of Medicine who began his academic training at Barnard Castle School in County Durham before he qualified in Medicine at the University of Oxford in 1968. During his distinguished career he has held the posts of Professor of Medical Microbiology at University College London, Dean of UCL Medical School until 1998 and Vice Provost of UCL in 1994. He was Chairman of the Physiological Medicine and Infection Board at the Medical Research Council from 1992 to 1995 and has held a number of honorary appointments including the current positions of Honorary Consultant at the Public Health Laboratory Service and University College Hospitals NHS Trust . From 1995 to 1999 he was chairman of the Government's advisory committee on BSE and CJD and in 1996 broke the news about the first human cases of variant CJD. He is currently the Director of Research and Development at the Department of Health in England but at times in his 5 years there he has also been responsible for IT and Genetics. He was knighted in 1998 for his services to Medicine.