Graduation Ceremonies

Honorary Graduates

Our honorary graduates come from all walks of life and have made significant contributions in their field.

Is there anyone you feel should get an honorary degree at a future ceremony? You can nominate them for one.

Professor Ian Jamieson OBE

Ian JamiesonProfessor Jamieson joined the University in 1985 and retired in 2009 as its Pro-Vice Chancellor (Learning & Teaching). He was responsible for all aspects of the student experience, working very closely with the Students’ Union. His leadership in this area was commended in the University’s outstanding assessment from the Quality Assurance Agency.

He has an established reputation in the field of vocational education and founded the Journal of Education & Work, with over 80 publications and five books to his name. He has had a marked effect on the development of work-related education in UK schools.

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Tuesday at 10am.


Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG

Sir Fazle
Hasan Abed KCMGIn 1972 Sir Fazle Hasan Abed founded the Bangladesh Rehabilitation Assistance Committee (BRAC) in the aftermath of a devastating cyclone and the trauma of liberation from Pakistan. BRAC evolved from relief to longer term development and is now known for building resources across communities. It is the largest development Non-Governmental Organisation in the world, working in countries including Afghanistan, Africa, Sri Lanka and Haiti.

In Bangladesh alone, millions of people have benefitted from its network of health centres and primary schools, and access to finance and practical support in agriculture, horticulture and livestock.

In 2007 Sir Fazle Hasan Abed received the inaugural Clinton Global Citizenship Award with the accolade from Clinton that Abed was proof that ‘one person can change the world’.

He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Tuesday at 12.30pm.


Antony Beevor FRSL

Antony BeevorAntony Beevor 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. Stalingrad and Berlin have been translated into twenty-five languages and have sold more than two and a quarter million copies between them.

His books have won many prizes: he was awarded the Runciman Prize for Crete: The Battle and the Resistance; Stalingrad won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature; and Berlin received the first Longman-History Today Trustees’ Award.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France.

He received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Tuesday at 3pm.


Toby Churchill

Toby ChurchillToby 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 a Doctor of Engineering degree on 22 June at a private ceremony which was filmed to be shown in the Abbey on 7 July.


Andrew Brownsword

Andrew BrownswordAndrew Brownsword has built several highly influential manufacturing and retail empires and is best known internationally as the man behind the ‘Forever Friends’ greetings card range. His business was bought by Hallmark Cards, with Andrew taking over as Chief Executive of Hallmark in Europe for five years. He now runs eight hotels across the country through his Abode Hotel Group, including the two Michelin star restaurant Gidleigh Park in Devon.

He lives in Bath with his family and combines his success as an entrepreneur with commitment to the local community. He supports a large number of causes including the Holburne Museum, the Bath Abbey Restoration Appeal, the Royal United Hospital, Dorothy House and the Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly.

He owned Bath Rugby Club until recently and has been involved with the University through the Sports Training Village and the arts complex. He was an active member of Council in the early 1990s.

He received his honorary Doctor of Arts degree on Wednesday at 3pm.


Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE

Tanni Grey-ThompsonDame Tanni Grey-Thompson is one of Britain’s greatest ever Paralympians. She holds 11 gold medals, three silver and one bronze won in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 metres over 16 years and five Paralympic Games. Alongside this sprint and middle distance event success, Tanni won the London Wheelchair Marathons on six occasions.

Dame Tanni has been elected to the Laureus World Sports Academy, whose aim is to tackle social issues through sport. Since her retirement from top class sport in 2007 she has developed an equally successful career in sports administration, television presenting and motivational speaking.

She is a patron of the British Paralympic Association and is currently promoting a new initiative to boost the green credentials of Paralympics GB, the UK Paralympics Team for 2012, which has its training base at the University.

She received her honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Thursday at 10am


Dr Simon Thurley

Simon ThurleyDr Simon Thurly is a leading architectural historian. He specialises in royal palaces and is a regular broadcaster on television and radio.

Since 1995 he has presented his own television programmes on history, archaeology and architecture. These include Channel 4’s six part series Lost Buildings of Britain, for which he wrote the accompanying book, and Channel Five’s eight part documentary The Buildings that shaped Britain. He has been Curator of Historic Royal Palaces, Director of the Museum of London and is now the Chief Executive of English Heritage; the Government’s principal advisor on the historic environment in England.

He believes passionately that our past informs and shapes our future, and that to make a great future for everyone we need to understand and care for our past.

He received his honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Thursday at 12.30pm.


Dr Jean Botti

Jean BottiDr 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 began his career in 1978 as a Product Engineer for Renault. In 1989 he joined Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems as a staff project engineer, and moved to Saginaw in the United States, rising through the ranks to become Director of the Customer Solution Center and Director of European engineering for Delphi Energy & Chassis Systems in 1997.

Through his support, Bath has had a long-standing collaboration with Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems, providing in-house technical courses, consultancy and research projects. Since his move to EADS Dr Botti has continued to be a ‘champion’ for Bath in the aerospace field.

He is passionate about encouraging children to take an interest in science, and is chairman of the EADS Foundation which supports higher learning in science, from children to postgraduate students.

He received his honorary Doctor of Engineering degree on Thursday at 3pm.