Wearside university set to honour some of the country's leading lights
The University of Sunderland will be honouring some of the leading lights in the arts, health, culture and industry at graduation ceremonies this year.
A legendary TV producer, England’s leading nurse, an artist renowned for his fantastical inventions, a knighted headteacher, Hong Kong’s chief engineer and a former newspaper editor will be among those being honoured by the city's university.
The honoraries will be joined by almost 3,000 graduates receiving awards from university Chancellor Steve Cram, during a week of ceremonies at the Stadium of Light.
Among those honoured, with a Doctorate of Arts, will be Sir Peter Bazalgette, the current chairman of ITV and chairman of Arts Council England, who popularised Big Brother, created Deal or No Deal, Ready Steady Cook, Changing Rooms and Ground Force.
Another recipient of the Doctorate of Arts will be inventor Dominic Wilcox, a Sunderland Art and Design graduate, who works between the worlds of art, design, craft and technology to create innovative and thought provoking objects, with commissions by big names such as Paul Smith, Selfridges, The V&A museum, BMW Mini and Jaffa Cakes.
Lisa Bayliss-Pratt has been a community care worker, nurse, ward manager, academic, teacher and researcher, and is an influential figure in initiatives to improve patient care and advance the quality of the nursing profession. She will be made an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
Receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Technology will be Leo Kwok Kee Leung, who has worked on transport systems, bridges, tunnels, dams and other structures which have brought huge benefits in Europe.
Also being honoured with a Doctorate of Technology is Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s Vice President for UK Manufacturing Operations. As one of the original 22 supervisors hired to launch production at Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd in Sunderland, Kevin's Nissan career has seen him rise through the company in line with the plant's growth in scale and importance.
Sir Ken Gibson, Headteacher of Harton Technology College in South Shields, will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his services to education.
And, recieving honourary fellowships will be the longest-serving editor in the history of the Northern Echo, Peter Barron, who stepped down earlier this year after 17 years at the helm and Daniel Thompson, head coach with City of Sunderland Amateur Swimming Club, who has been selected by British Swimming as one of its group of coaches preparing for the Paralympic Games in Rio.
University Vice-Chancellor Shirley Atkinson commented: "We are proud to pay tribute to our honoraries at this year’s graduation ceremonies. They have all made a significant impact in their chosen careers and will be a tremendous inspiration to our graduates who are celebrating their academic success before beginning their own career.”