Midge Ure to collect ‘extremely special’ award from University

Eighties music icon Midge Ure OBE will receive an honorary degree from the University of Bath on Tuesday 14 December (3pm) at the University’s winter award ceremonies.

Midge is one of over 800 graduates receiving their degrees next week at Bath’s historic Assembly Rooms.

Midge is best known for his success with 80s new-romantic band, Ultravox, and for his role in the creation of Band Aid and Live Aid, raising an estimated £150 million for famine relief in Africa.

Speaking about the award he said: “Any recognition for any achievements made in life from anyone is a wonderful thing but to receive an honorary degree having left school at the age of 15 is something extremely special.

“I have been living in the Bath area for 17 years now and feel very much part of the community. Receiving the award here emphasises that feeling of belonging.”

Midge will address the audience of graduates and invited family and friends at the ceremony. Asked about his advice for the graduates starting out in their careers, he said: “Follow your heart, do something in life you are passionate about, don't do something just for the financial reward.”

Professor David Bird, Dean of the Faculty of Science, will give an oration in praise of Midge at the ceremony, saying: 

“It is most appropriate that today, in our winter award ceremony and with the festive season approaching, we honour the achievements of a Bath resident who inspired us to think of those less fortunate than ourselves with the song Do They Know It’s Christmas? Through his exceptional artistic and charity work over the past 30 years, James “Midge” Ure has contributed to saving and enriching countless lives around the world.

“The University’s criteria for the award of an honorary degree include: figures who serve as a role model for young people, figures who serve to make a statement about the University’s position on moral or ethical issues, and people with a local connection who have achieved a national or international reputation. It would be difficult to think of a person more appropriate for an award than Midge Ure.”

From his studio in Bath Midge writes and produces with a variety of artists, with his own band, with the reformed Ultravox and in solo acoustic shows. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a new album.

Midge remains a Band Aid Trustee and his work with charities has included the musical directorship of projects for the Prince’s Trust and Breakthrough. He is also an ambassador for Save the Children.

Seven ceremonies will take place on 14 and 15 December. Students will graduate from the Faculties of Engineering & Design; Science; Humanities & Social Sciences; the School of Management; and the Division for Lifelong Learning.

The five honorary graduates this winter include: human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith OBE; critically acclaimed author Philip Pullman CBE; Roger Porkess, Project Leader for Mathematics in Education & Industry; and Marcus du Sautoy OBE the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford.

The ceremonies will take place at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm on both days, with a final ceremony at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15 December.

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