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Sir Peter Hall
Sir Peter Hall

Press Release - 12 April 2006

Sir Peter Hall to receive honorary doctorate from University of Bath

Theatre director Sir Peter Hall and the founder of Vodaphone, Sir Christopher Gent, are to receive honorary doctorates from the University of Bath.

Sir Peter will be made a Doctor of Letters and Sir Christopher a Doctor of Laws at ceremonies on 5 and 4 July in Bath Abbey.

There will be ten ceremonies from 4 – 6 July, the most ever held by the University, at which 2200 undergraduate and post graduate students will be given their degrees.

Other honorary graduates are: Sir John Chisholm, Executive Chairman, QinetiQ Group plc; the poet, U A Fanthorpe; Dame Stephanie Shirley, the entrepreneur and charity-founder; Sir David Varney, chairman of HM Revenue and Customs; Sir Terence Matthews, Chairman of March Networks Corporation; and Professor Raymond Schinazi, discoverer of drugs to combat HIV and Hepatitis B.

Sir Peter Hall will receive his award at a ceremony at 10-30am on 5 July. Sir Peter is well known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, which he founded in 1960, at the age of 29. He served as its artistic director from that time until 1968. He was director of the National Theatre from 1973 to 1988 and after leaving it he founded his own company. He was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1963 and in 1977 was knighted for his services to the theatre.

Sir Christopher Gent, who receives his award at a ceremony on 4 July at 5pm, was managing director of Vodaphone when it launched in 1985. He is now Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK).

Ceremonies take place at 10-30am, 2-15pm and 5pm on 4 and 6 July and at 10-30am, 1-30pm, 4-30pm and 7-30pm on 5 July. A procession of honorary graduates and senior academics at the University will take place shortly before and after each ceremony, from the Guildhall to the Abbey and back, and the High Street will be closed to traffic for a few minutes during each procession.

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