Head of British Army returns to Durham for Honorary Degree
(16 January 2009)
General Sir Richard Dannatt, the professional head of the British Army, is awarded an honorary degree from Durham University.
General Dannatt, a former Durham University Students’ Union President and Durham History graduate, has served as Chief of General Staff of the British Army since August 2006 when he replaced General Sir Mike Jackson.
Former triple jumper Jonathan Edwards and author David Constantine, also receive honorary degrees celebrating their significant achievements.
Dannatt and Edwards receive the honorary title of Doctor of Civil Law while Constantine gains the honorary title of Doctor of Letters.
The accolades, conferred by Chancellor Bill Bryson, are awarded as part of student graduation ceremonies taking place on 15 and 16 January in Durham Cathedral.
Prof Chris Higgins, Vice-Chancellor and Warden of Durham University, said: “General Sir Richard Dannatt, Jonathan Edwards and David Constantine are remarkable individuals whose international successes reflect, in different ways, the achievements and influence of Durham University’s alumni and staff.
“It is a real pleasure and privilege to be able to recognise and honour such excellence and success with the award of honorary degrees.”
General Dannatt said: “It is a tremendous honour to have been granted this Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law by Durham University. Not only am I enormously flattered due to Durham’s status as one of our finest seats of learning, but it also brings back very happy memories of three marvellous years spent here in the early 1970s.
“Thanks to the Army, I had the opportunity to study for my first degree while already serving, though considerable time spent engaged in sport, debating and other student pursuits, means that my undergraduate degree is very much overshadowed by today’s ceremony!
“It’s also fair to say that Durham changed my life, as I had the great fortune to meet my wife in the course of my studies. I am delighted that my association with Durham has also continued with my middle son, Bertie, graduating in 2003 from Hatfield College, and my daughter, Richenda, currently being an undergraduate at Hatfield now.”