HRH The Earl of Wessex to award degrees

HRH The Earl of Wessex will award degrees to hundreds of students at the University of Bath’s annual summer graduation ceremonies, when he presides over his first summer graduation ceremony as Chancellor.

More than 2,500 students are expected to receive their academic awards at the city’s historic Bath Abbey over 11 ceremonies on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (1, 2 and 3 July). The Earl of Wessex will award degrees at four of those ceremonies on the Tuesday and Wednesday.

Students from the Faculty of Engineering & Design, School of Management, Faculty of Humanities & Social Science and Faculty of Science will all be receiving their degrees across the three days.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “Graduation day is always a wonderful occasion for students, their families and academic staff alike. It’s a chance to celebrate hard work and achievement and to look forward to what lies ahead.”

During the three days, 11 people prominent in their field will be receiving honorary degrees from the University. Those receiving the accolade include:

  • Andrew Ritchie MBE, inventor of the Brompton folding bicycle;
  • Chief Executive Officer of the British Olympic Foundation and Chef de Mission of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Jan Paterson MBE;
  • Commissioner of Transport for London, Sir Peter Hendy CBE;
  • musician and artist Jem Finer, who was one of the founding members of The Pogues and has been non-resident artist at the University since 2012.

Each ceremony will be preceded by a public procession of some of the University’s senior officers and academics through the city.

The first ceremony at 10am on Tuesday 1 July will also be attended by the Mayor of Bath, Councillor Cherry Beath. During this ceremony an official, known as a bedel, will carry the University’s ceremonial four-foot long silver mace, which will join the city mace, symbolising the links between town and gown.

On each of the days, the processions will begin at the Guildhall, go into the High Street, turn right into Cheap Street, and 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, 11.00am (return), 12.25pm, 1.30pm (return), 2.55pm and 4.00pm (return) on all three days, while on Wednesday and Thursday extra ceremonies will have processions at 5.25pm and 6.30pm (return) as well.

Bath Abbey will be closed to visitors during the day from Monday 30 June to Thursday 3 July, but will be open in the evening from 5pm to 7.30pm on Monday 30 June and Tuesday 1 July and from 7pm to 8pm on Wednesday 2 July. The Abbey shop will open as usual from 10am to 5.30pm with late night opening until 7.30pm (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). Tower Tours will run on the hour from 10am to 6pm on Monday, at 5pm, 6pm and 7pm on Tuesday and at 7pm only on Wednesday. The Abbey and Tower will be closed to visitors on Thursday but will resume normal visiting hours on Friday 4 July.

The full list of 11 honorary degrees is as follows:

  • Ms Sara Miller McCune - Doctor of Letters
  • Ms Faith Wainwright MBE – Doctor of Engineering
  • Mr Andrew Ritchie MBE – Doctor of Engineering
  • Mr Jem Finer – Doctor of Arts
  • Ms Jan Paterson MBE – Doctor of Laws
  • Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE – Doctor of Laws
  • Sir Peter Hendy CBE  – Doctor of Engineering
  • Professor Jeff Thompson CBE  – Doctor of Education
  • Professor Sir Adam Roberts – Doctor of Letters
  • Baroness Ruth Lister CBE – Doctor of Laws
  • Baroness Sheila Hollins – Doctor of Laws

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