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Durham First

Honorary Degree Ceremony

Chancellor Bill Bryson with George Alagiah

On Saturday 23rd June, the University held a special day of celebrations including a Service of Thanksgiving, a special Degree Congregation and the Chancellors Dinner.

The Service of Thanksgiving was organised jointly with the Cathedral to recognise the historical links between our two institutions and to give thanks for the Foundation of the University. The Service, organised by Father Jonathan Lawson, Chaplain at the College of St Hild and St Bede, included readings and prayers given by a variety of staff and students and reflected their area of work and religion.

Students also performed a history of the University in 7 minutes taking the audience on a whirlwind tour from Foundation to the present day.

The Honorary Degree Ceremony took place later the same afternoon. This saw the University Community gather again in the Cathedral and commenced with the usual academic procession and triumphant fanfare given by the Fishburn and District Brass Band. The Ceremony then went on to illustrate the history and development of the University through the Honorary Graduands chosen to receive their degrees that day.

The Honorary Graduands and highlighted themes on June 23rd included -

  • Right Reverend Dr Tom Wright, (Foundation: A Partnership of Church and Parliament)
  • Mr George Alagiah, (Sharing the Planet: A Global View of Human Life & the Environment)
  • Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE, FRS, FRAS, (Science and Enterprise)
  • Dr James MacMillan CBE, (Literary & Cultural Heritage: Ideas, Values and Performances)
  • Sir Michael John Tomlinson CBE, (Education and Widening Opportunities)

The day came to a climax with the Chancellor's Dinner held in the Great Hall at Castle. As usual, this was a glittering affair involving our major donors, stakeholders, senior staff and students and our Honorary Graduates from this special 175 year and previous ceremonies across the years. The dinner was held in recognition of the culmination and success of the 175 Fundraising Campaign.

Join the 175 celebrations

A full listing of Anniversary Events can be found on the 175th Anniversary website.