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16 Sep 2015

York St John to honour inspirational figures in business, education, sport, broadcasting, film and television

York St John University students will be celebrating their graduation alongside an array of leading figures in business, education, sport, broadcasting, film and television at ceremonies held in York Minster on 17, 18 and 19 November 2015.

Tuesday 17 November:

  • Professor David Fleming – former Vice Chancellor of York St John University
  • Mark Addy – actor (Game of Thrones, The Full Monty)

Wednesday 18 November

  • Andrew Marr – journalist and broadcaster (BBC Political Editor 2000-2005)
  • Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea – founder of Cobra beer, President of UK-India Business Council
  • Christian Prudhomme – Director of the Tour de France
  • Sir Gary Verity – Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire

Thursday 19 November

  • Una Stubbs – actress (Sherlock, Till Death Do Us Part)
  • Alastair Fothergill – natural history documentary producer (Life in the Freezer, Planet Earth)
  • David Bradley – actor (Harry Potter, Broadchurch, Game of Thrones)
  • Keith Massey – cameraman (York Press, Blue Peter, Emmerdale)

David Fleming
Professor David Fleming was Vice Chancellor of York St John University from 2010-2015. He will receive an honorary degree in recognition of the enormous contribution he made to the University and the higher education sector. Following a successful international career in property, Professor Fleming moved into higher education and held roles at Nottingham Trent, Northumbria and Sunderland Universities before becoming Vice Chancellor of York St John University in 2010.

Mark Addy
York-born actor Mark Addy will receive an honorary degree in recognition of his successful career in film and television. He began his career on stage, performing at the York Theatre Royal and Hull Truck Theatre. Mark established his name in Hollywood in films such as The Full Monty, The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, Jack Frost, Down to Earth and A Knight’s Tale. On TV he found fame as Detective Constable Gary Boyle in the sitcom The Thin Blue Line. More recently he played King Robert Baratheon in the award-winning series Game of Thrones.

Andrew Marr
Andrew Marr will receive an honorary degree in recognition of his successful career in journalism and broadcasting. He began his career as a trainee business reporter at The Scotsman in 1981. Following this he was political editor at The Economist, editor of The Independent and a columnist for The Express and The Observer. He was political editor at the BBC from 2000-2005. He has written several books about politics and journalism and presented a number of historical series on the BBC. He also presents his own current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show, on BBC1 on Sunday mornings.

Karan Bilimoria
Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea is an Indian-born businessman who is being awarded in recognition of his outstanding business achievements and his work in promoting UK-India relations. Although he started his career as an accountant, in 1989 he founded Cobra beer, which by 2007 was sold in 45 countries. His many positions include Founding Chairman, and now President, of the UK India Business Council and a Member of the Advisory Board of Judge Business School, Cambridge. In 2006 he became a cross-bench life peer.

Christian Prudhomme
Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France, is being recognised for his contribution to cycling worldwide and for the growth in UK cycling following the hugely successful Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire in 2014. He began his career in journalism as a sports reporter and then held senior roles at French radio and TV channels. He commentated for France Télévisions at the Tour de France in 2000, and became Director of the Tour de France in 2007.

Gary Verity
Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, is the other person responsible for bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire in 2014. After a career in the City of London working in the financial, property and retail sectors, he returned to Yorkshire becoming Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire in 2008. He will receive an honorary degree in recognition of his contribution in promoting the county of Yorkshire in a successful promotional, lobbying and fundraising campaign for the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014 and for co-organising the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire in 2015.

Una Stubbs
Una Stubbs is being recognised for her successful career in the performing arts, as well as family links to the city of York. Her father, a confectioner, was born in York and her family has connections with the site of the University’s The Grange accommodation, which featured on the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? in 2013. Her early professional life was as a dancer, but her big break came in 1963 when she appeared in the film Summer Holiday. She has since developed a long list of stage, film and TV credits, most recently in Sherlock and in the BBC’s The Big Painting Challenge.

Alastair Fothergill
Award-winning director, Alastair Fothergill, is receiving an honorary degree in recognition of his outstanding career in natural history documentary production. A Zoology graduate, he joined the BBC Natural History unit in 1983, working on The Really Wild Show, Wildlife on One and with Sir David Attenborough on The Trials of Life. He went on to produce Life in the Freezer, and aged 32 was made Head of the BBC Natural History Unit in 1999. He was series Producer for the landmark series Planet Earth and Executive Producer for the acclaimed Frozen Planet series. In 2012 he left the BBC to set up Silverback Films.

David Bradley
David Bradley is another York-born actor being awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his successful career on stage, and in film and television. He trained as an actor at the Royal Academy for Dramatic Art (RADA) and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 1971. On stage he played Christ in the York Mystery Plays, and has many credits at the National Theatre and for the RSC. His TV roles include Our Friends in The North, Our Mutual Friend, Vanity Fair, Game of Thrones, Dr Who and Broadchurch, for which he won a BAFTA for best supporting actor. He has also appeared in a number of films, including Hot Fuzz and Captain America, and as Argus Filch in the Harry Potter films.

Keith Massey
Keith Massey is a highly experienced and well-respected TV cameraman, based in York. He is being awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his longstanding career. His first job was as a photographer with the Yorkshire Evening Press (now York Press) and in 1966 he began filming using a hand-wound clockwork 16mm silent-film camera. He went on to film news, documentary and drama, with credits including coverage of the first Gulf War, Blue Peter and Emmerdale. He has received a number of Royal Television Society awards and in 2012 became Chairman of the Guild of Television Cameramen.

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, said: “We are delighted to be awarding these honorary degrees as part of our graduation celebrations. Graduation is a rewarding time for our students, the culmination of years of hard work, and the honorary graduands add to the occasion with their inspirational stories and successes in their respective fields.”

Honorary Degrees will be presented at the graduation ceremonies in York Minster by Chancellor of York St John University and Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu in front of an audience of graduands, their families and friends, and staff and guests of the University.

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