Students prepare for winter graduation ceremonies at Assembly Rooms

The University of Bath’s winter graduation ceremonies will see more than 1,000 students receiving their degrees in the Assembly Rooms on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 December.

Seven ceremonies will take place over two days, and honorary graduates include Sir Keith Mills, founder of Air Miles and the Nectar Card and a key figure in the success of the London 2012 Olympic bid; and Clive Stafford Smith, human rights lawyer and legal director of UK charity Reprieve.

Students will graduate from the Faculties of Engineering & Design; Science; Humanities & Social Sciences; the School of Management; and the Division for Lifelong Learning.

The ceremonies will take place at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm on both days, with a final ceremony at 5.30pm on Wednesday 14 December.

The Mayor of Bath, Councillor Bryan Chalker, will attend the first ceremony to highlight the University’s civic links. During this ceremony the Bedel (Macebearer) will carry the University’s ceremonial four-foot long silver mace, which will join the city mace, symbolising the links between town and gown.

In the Assembly Rooms a procession of the University’s senior officers and academics, led by the University Chancellor Lord Tugendhat and the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, will take place before and after each ceremony.

There will be four honorary graduates this winter:

  • Clive Stafford Smith OBE who has worked on behalf of defendants facing the death penalty in the southern United States for the last 25 years. He is Legal Director of Reprieve, a UK-based charity which he set up to protect the human rights of those facing the death penalty. He now focuses his work on achieving due process for the detainees being held by the United States in Guantánamo Bay. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Tuesday 13 December at the 12.30pm ceremony.
  • His Excellency Mr Khalil Al Foulathi who is chairman of the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates and a Board member of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority. He graduated from the University of Bath in 1975. He will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Wednesday 14 December at the 10am ceremony.
  • Robin Grove-White who is Professor Emeritus of Environment & Society at Lancaster University, where he was Director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change, an internationally acclaimed multi-disciplinary research centre with a long-term association with the University of Bath. In the early 60s he was a scriptwriter for BBC’s ‘That Was The Week That Was’ and a performer-scriptwriter at Peter Cook’s ‘The Establishment’ club. He went on to become a leading academic, a major figure in environmental policy-making and a champion of informed participatory democracy. In 1981 he became Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England. He moved into the academic world to help catalyse new collaborative research insights into environmental problems. He was a Board Member and Chairman of Greenpeace UK, a trustee of Greenpeace International and a Forestry Commissioner. He will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on Wednesday 14 December at the 12.30pm ceremony.
  • Sir Keith Mills who was central to the success of bringing the Olympic Games to London. He was CEO and International President of London 2012 and is now Deputy Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games. He has had a highly successful career as an entrepreneur and pioneer of the loyalty industry. He founded Air Miles which he launched in partnership with British Airways in 1988 and rolled out around the world. He then created the Nectar Card which he sold in 2007 for £375m. He is a non-Executive Director of Tottenham Hotspur FC and owns two yacht racing teams. In 1999, he was part of the crew that won the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Following the successful Olympic bid, he was knighted in 2006 in recognition of his services to sport. He will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Wednesday 14 December at the 3pm ceremony.

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