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Sir Julian Horn-Smith
Sir Julian Horn-Smith
James Sherwin
James Sherwin
Stephen Huckvale
Stephen Huckvale
The Chancellor at today's ceremonies
The Chancellor at today's ceremonies

Press Release - 11 December 2007

The University of Bath's winter graduation ceremonies begin today

The University of Bath's winter graduation ceremonies began today, with three ceremonies at the Assembly Rooms in which 350 students will receive their degrees and other awards.

Students from the Departments of Biology & Biochemistry, Chemistry, Pharmacy & Pharmacology, the School of Management, Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences and Physics, and their families, will attend.

Also, students from the University’s partner institutions, the City of Bath College, Salisbury College, Swindon College, Wiltshire College and the Action on Addiction charity will receive their Higher National Diplomas and Certificates.

The ceremonies take place at 10am, 12-30pm and 3pm, and a procession led by the University’s Chancellor, Lord Tugendhat, within the Assembly Rooms takes place before and after each ceremony. The processions at the three ceremonies tomorrow will be led by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell.

In his introduction at the first ceremony, the Chancellor spoke of his pride in the achievements of the graduating students. "The success of the University is measure not just in terms of the examination results or league tables but in the vibrancy of our research culture, our ability to enthuse students, our creativity in solving problems and our ability to generate new ideas."

He said the higher education in the UK was going through momentous change with the introduction of variable tuition fees. He said the University, through its bursaries and scholarships, was committed to allowing good students from all backgrounds to attend.

He said that since 2001 £80 million had been spent on capital projects to develop the campus, with £50 million more to be spent over the next two years. "The University has not reached the limits of its ambitions and the prospect is for a future just as successful as the that of the last 40 years."

One of the founders of the UK’s success in the mobile phone market, Sir Julian Horn-Smith, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws at the 12-30pm ceremony today.

Sir Julian worked for Rediffusion, Philips and Mars before joining Vodafone. He studied part-time at the University of Bath and was awarded an MSc in Management, now known as an MBA, in 1979. He later said: “the MSc provided me with a real stepping stone into professional management.”

Sir Julian then worked for Vodafone from its launch in 1984 to 2006, working his way up from Marketing Executive to Deputy Chief Executive.

The most notable period in his career was his part in helping Vodafone carry out a hostile takeover of the huge German conglomerate, Mannesmann, for $200 billion dollars, the largest corporate transaction ever. This formed the largest telecoms operator in the world.

Sir Julian is also well-known for promoting corporate social responsibility and his philanthropic interests include working as a trustee for the Prince of Wales’ International Business Leaders’ Forum.

In his oration, Professor Andrew Pettigrew, Dean of the University’s School of Management, will say: “Sir Julian Horn-Smith has distinguished himself by helping to create in Vodafone a company of global presence. In doing so has also helped to create a new industry which touches us all.”

The two other honorary graduates are a University graduate, Dr Stephen Huckvale, who is a Vice-President of the engineering firm Moog, and James Sherwin, who was a lawyer in the US and a champion chess player before moving to Bath.

Mr Sherwin, a US citizen, was a winner of the US Open Chess Championship and once beat the legendary US world chess champion, Bobby Fischer. He worked as a corporate lawyer and businessman, eventually running a billion-dollar company, GAF Corporation. He moved to Europe in 1981 as Chief Financial Officer of Hunter Douglas N.V., the Dutch multinational group.

In 1999 he retired from office and settled in Bath. He has numerous connections with the University, including being Chair of the University’s Investment Committee, and sitting on its Remuneration Committee and Finance Committee. He receives the degree of Doctor of Laws at 3pm today.

Dr Stephen Huckvale, who took a BSc and PhD in engineering at the University, has worked for the Moog Inc., a designer and manufacturer of precision control components for aircraft, industrial equipment and medical devices, since 1980. He worked his way up from Engineering Manager to a Vice-President of the corporation and now heads its International Group. He receives the degree of Doctor of Engineering at 10am tomorrow.

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