University of Durham celebrates student success
(22 June 2004)
The University of Durham confers degrees on nearly 3,000 graduates at Durham Cathedral next week.
The city's most prominent building is the venue for 12 ceremonies over three days. The event forms a colourful climax for years of study, with hundreds of parents, others relatives and friends joining staff of the University in celebrating the hard work and success of students. The graduates and staff in academic hoods and gowns will fill Palace Green with bustle and colour throughout each day.
There will be four ceremonies – called Congregations – each day over 30 June to 2 July, but they will be timetabled around Cathedral services and allow time in between so that visitors can still look round.
The number of graduations has almost doubled over the past 10 years, as degree programmes have expanded both in Durham and on the University’s Queen’s Campus, Stockton.
At some ceremonies the University also confers honorary degrees. This year’s recipients include:- .
DCL Bill Bryson
Friday 2 July 11.15 a.m. ceremony
One of the world’s most beloved and bestselling writers
Born in Iowa in 1951, a backpacking expedition brought him to England in 1973 where he met his wife and decided to settle. He wrote for The Times and The Independent for many years, writing travel articles to supplement his income. The Lost Continent, Bill Bryson's hilarious first travel book, chronicles a trip in his mother's Chevy around small town America. Since then, he has written several bestsellers about the UK and the US. His latest book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, takes his ultimate journey-into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization..
DSc Professor Sir Harry Kroto
Friday 2 July 2 p.m. ceremony
Nobel laureate for Chemistry and an ambassador for science
Internationally acknowledged and honoured for his achievements in chemistry research, Sir Harry Kroto excels also as a champion for the appreciation and understanding of science. He has been based at the University of Sussex since 1967 where he is a Royal Society Research Professor. His pioneering work has uncovered extensive new knowledge about chemical structures. He gained a Nobel Prize in 1996, and was knighted the same year, for his revolutionary and fundamental discoveries in carbon-based materials, notably the C60 molecule Buckminsterfullerene. He is also a tireless broadcaster and communicator of science..
Later in the year the University will arrange ceremonies for:.
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..
For further information contact Jan Cawood:- University Public Relations Officer 0191 334 0018