Graduation Ceremonies

Summer award ceremonies take place at Bath Abbey this week


Graduations at the University of Bath


The University of Bath’s 2010 summer award ceremonies start today, with more than 2,000 students expected to attend at the city’s Abbey over the next three days.

Ten ceremonies will take place on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday (6, 7 & 8 July), and honorary graduates include Paralympian Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, Bath entrepreneur Andrew Brownsword and the University’s former Pro-Vice-Chancellor Ian Jamieson OBE.

The ceremonies, presided over by its Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat, will all be preceded by a public procession of  the University’s senior officers and academics.

The processions will begin at the Guildhall, go into the High Street, right into Cheap Street, left down Farrs Passage into the Abbey Churchyard. They will return after the ceremonies past Rebecca’s Fountain and into the High Street.

These roads will be closed to traffic for about six minutes during the processions, which will occur at approximately 9.55am, 11.15am (return), 12.25pm, 1.45pm (return), 2.55pm and 4.15pm (return) on all three days, and on Wednesday an extra ceremony will have processions at 5.25pm and 6.45pm (return).

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, who receives her Doctor of Laws on Thursday (10am), is one of Britain’s greatest ever paralympic athletes. She holds 11 gold medals, three silver and one bronze won over 16 years and five Paralympic Games. She has been elected to the Laureus World Sports Academy whose aim is to tackle social issues through sport. Since her retirement in 2007 she has developed an equally successful career in sports administration, TV presenting and motivational speaking. 

Mr Brownsword, who receives his honorary Doctor of Arts degree on Wednesday (3pm), is one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. He has built several highly influential manufacturing and retail empires and has a portfolio of hotels and restaurants. He is known for his extensive support of the local community.

Professor Jamieson, who receives his Doctor of Laws on Tuesday (10am), has made an outstanding contribution to education nationally throughout his academic career. He pioneered research into the relationship between education and work, and at Bath he dramatically improved the infrastructure for research, teaching and learning.

Other honorary graduates include:

  • Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG is the founder and chairman of BRAC (formerly, Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee), the largest development Non-Governmental Organisation in the world. For his outstanding contributions to social improvement, he will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Tuesday (12.30pm)
  • Antony Beevor FRSL is an historian and author. He has published several novels, but is best known for his works of military history focusing on key points in the Second World War that have brought him great critical acclaim and popular success. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Tuesday (3pm) 
  • Toby Churchill was a student at Bath in 1965, as part of his degree he spent a two-month work placement in Paris and Clermond Ferrand in 1968.  During the visit he swam in a river and contracted viral encephalitis which resulted in him becoming paraplegic with a speech disability. He completed his degree from home and graduated in 1971. As communication aids at the time were few and far between Tony designed his own, the Lightwriters, a portable text-to-speech communication aid changing the lives of many people with speech loss. His inventions later earned him many awards.  He received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree on 22 June at a private ceremony which was filmed to be shown in the Abbey on Wednesday (12.30pm).
  • Dr Simon Thurley is a leading architectural historian, a regular broadcaster on television and radio and the Chief Executive of English Heritage; the Government’s principal advisor on the historic environment in England. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Thursday (12.30pm).
  • Dr Jean Botti is the Chief Technical Officer of EADS (The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company)and is a member of the EADS Executive Committee. He recently led an Innovation Works project that engineered the world’s first pure biofuel flight. He has fostered strong links with the University throughout his career in the aerospace field. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree on Thursday (3pm).

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