THE man behind London’s successful 2012 Olympics bid will be among those honoured by the University of Sunderland.
Sebastian Coe will receive an honorary doctorate for outstanding contribution to the world of athletics, and his leadership in the 2012 London Olympics bid.
Lord Coe will receive his award from university chancellor and fellow former athlete Steve Cram, alongside thousands of students at the graduation ceremonies at the Stadium of Light.
It is hoped that Lord Coe’s visit will help towards ensuring the Olympic torch visits Wearside before next year’s games.
Also being honoured will be leading figures from the worlds of TV, literature and business, including Sunderland-born TV presenter and architect George Clarke, Wire in the Blood author Val McDermid, and entrepreneur and musician Paul Campbell.
The week-long ceremonies, beginning on July 11, are a chance for graduates to celebrate their success.
Lord Coe is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
University vice-chancellor Professor Peter Fidler says: “Our honoraries have all made highly significant contributions within their fields and will inspire our graduates as they celebrate their academic success and embark on their careers. We look forward to welcoming them and are proud to pay tribute to them.”
George Clarke was born in Sunderland and from the age of 12 wanted to be an architect.
After university, George started his own practice, clarke:desai, with business partner Bobby Desai.
After making three series of Build A New Life for Channel Five from 2003 to 2006, George became the face of architecture at Channel 4 with the launch of The Home Show in 2008 and Restoration Man in 2009.
George will receive an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to making innovative and sustainable architectural practice accessible to the wider public.
Crime writer Val McDermid’s books have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
She has won many awards including the CWA Gold Dagger; the LA Times Book of the Year Award; The Stonewall Writer of the Year and the prestigious CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger.
In 2009, she was inducted into the Crime Thriller Hall of Fame.
Val was born in Kirkcaldy, in the heart of the Scottish mining community. She was the first student from a Scottish state school to study at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she graduated in English.
Before the publication of her first novel in 1987, she was an award-winning journalist.
Val McDermid is to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Education in recognition of her outstanding achievements as an author.