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Professor Bruno Buchberger
Professor Bruno Buchberger
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
U A Fanthorpe
U A Fanthorpe

Internal News - 21 July 2005

Summer graduation ceremonies end at Bath Abbey today

The University of Bath’s 2005 summer award ceremonies finish today with around 600 students graduating at the city’s Abbey.

Students from the University’s Departments of Economics & International Development, Computer Sciences, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, Natural Sciences, Sport & Exercise Science, Mathematical Sciences and Physics, and from its School for Health, are graduating at three ceremonies during the day.

Honorary doctorates are being awarded to Professor Bruno Buchberger, the mathematician who formulated what is now called Buchberger’s algorithm; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the acclaimed opera star; and U A Fanthorpe, the poet.

By the end of today around 1900 students will have graduated during this year’s three days of ceremonies.

The ceremonies are all preceded by a public procession of some of the University’s senior officers and academics, presided over by its Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat. The processions begin at the Guildhall, go into the High Street, right into Cheap Street, left down Farrs Passage into the Abbey Churchyard. They 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 10-25am, 11-40am (return), 2-10pm, 3-30pm (return), 5-10pm and 6-30pm (return) on all three days.

Fuller details of today’s honorary graduates are:

• Bruno Buchberger. Professor Buchberger formulated what is now called Buchberger’s algorithm which deals with the mathematical theory of polynomial ideals. These have a practical value in engineering, robotics, physics, chemistry, economics and biology. Professor Buchberger, who was educated in Innsbruck, Austria, is also the founder of the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation at the Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria. He will receive the degree of Doctor of Science.

• Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. Dame Kiri was born in 1944 in Gisborne, New Zealand. By the age of 20, she had won several major vocal prizes in New Zealand before coming to London when she was 22. In the early 1970s she became one of the most acclaimed and popular lyric sopranos and appeared with London's Royal Opera, New York's Metropolitan Opera, the Munich Opera, and other major houses worldwide. She moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera, and has become one of the most famous sopranos of recent times. Her warm voice and stage personality have won her many fans, and she is noted for such roles as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982. She will receive the degree of Doctor of Music.

• U A Fanthorpe. Ursula Fanthorpe left her post as Head of English at Cheltenham Ladies’ College to train as a counsellor, and worked as a secretary, receptionist and hospital clerk in Bristol. She drew upon her experiences for her first published volume of poetry Side Effects (1978). Her poetry has dealt with many themes including love and its absence, and the effects of war, as well as historical themes and personal reminiscences, often with humour. In 2001 she was awarded the CBE for services to poetry and in 2003 the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. She was also the first woman to be nominated for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry. Throughout all of this her home has been in Gloucestershire, near Bath. She will receive the degree of Doctor of Letters.

On Tuesday Sir Martin Evans, a pioneer into research in stem cells, an area of work with crucial importance for health, and Professor Ron Johnston, one of the country’s leading geographers, were given honorary doctorates.

Yesterday honorary doctorates were given to Professor Judith Howard, one of the most distinguished academics working in X-ray crystallography; Iain Gilmour Gray, Managing Director of Airbus UK; and Professor Dame Julia Higgins, former President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.