News Archive

University announces honorary awards recipients

Friday 19 June 2009
Eight honorary awards will be presented by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bolton, Dr George Holmes, at this summer's degree congregation ceremonies in July.

Among those receiving honorary awards will be Radio One DJ, Vernon Kay as well as University alumni Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley, one-time Humanities students at the then Bolton Institute and members of punk band, The Buzzcocks. Manchester Utd and England footballer Gary Neville also receives an award.

They will share in the celebrations of hundreds of graduating students who receive their academic awards during two days of celebrations in the town and on campus.

The Vice Chancellor will confer the honorary awards during the University's four degree congregation ceremonies that take place on Thursday 9 July and Friday 10 July at the Victoria Hall in Bolton.

Said Dr Holmes: 'We are proud to be celebrating the achievements of our graduating students this summer as we welcome our honoured guests to the University's Degree Congregation Ceremonies.

'Those receiving Honorary Doctorates this year are examples of the shining talent within the Bolton family, in fields of particular interest to the University - from those successful in the media, the creative industries of entertainment and music, as well as sport. We are celebrating professional success, the entrepreneurial acheivements of two brothers and their commitment to investing in the town's future. And we are celebrating achievement within our University - in the success of our alumni - both at home and internationally - as well as honouring the work of our former Chair of Governors.'

Degree Congregation 1 – Thursday 9 July
Vernon Kay (Honorary Doctorate)
Entertainer and Radio One DJ Vernon Kay receives his award for his outstanding contribution to the field of entertainment. He began TV presenting on the BBC children's show FBi, a spin-off of Fully Booked. Since then he has presented various shows, most notably T4, Beat the Star and All Star Family Fortunes.

Yakub Patel (Honorary Doctorate)
Yakub and Anwer Patel (Anwer receives his award on Friday) receive Honorary Doctorates for their contribution to the Bolton community. The millionaire brothers behind leading pharmacy chain, Cohens, are to sponsor the town's first academy school. Anwer and Yakub Patel will help fund the £20m transformation of Bolton's Hayward School into an academy.

Degree Congregation 2 – Thursday 9 July
Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley (Honorary Doctorate)Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley receive Honorary Doctorates for their outstanding contribution to music. Co-forming the Buzzcocks with Pete Shelley when students at Bolton Institute, now the University of Bolton, Howard Devoto went on to form the influential band, Magazine, and later, Luxuria. Singer, songwriter and guitarist, Pete Shelley, is best known as lead singer of the Buzzcocks. He has written music for film and collaborated with other artists, included LA band, the Adored, who toured with The Buzzcocks in 2007.

Mathaka Mmapatsi (Alumni Fellowship)
A Bolton alumnus, Mathaka Mmapatsi has a high-level position with the Training Agency in Botswana and still works closely with the University. He is recognised as the leading expert by the Botswana Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs on skills development issues.

Degree Congregation 3 – Friday 10 July
Anwer Patel (Honorary Doctorate)
With his brother, Yakub, (who receives his award on Thursday) Anwer Patel receives an Honorary Doctorate for his contribution to the Bolton community. The millionaire brothers behind leading pharmacy chain, Cohens, are to sponsor the town's first academy school. Anwer and Yakub Patel will help fund the £20m transformation of Bolton's Hayward School into an academy.

Degree Congregation 4 – Friday 10 July
Lorriane Brannan (Honorary Doctorate)
Lorraine Brannan receives an Honorary Doctorate for her outstanding contribution to the University. A former Chair of the University Board of Governors, she served as a governor for six years and as Chair for three. Lorraine Brannan is Managing Director of Stockley Blue Limited, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers & Commerce.

Gary Neville (Honorary Doctorate)
Bury-born footballer, Gary Neville, receives an Honorary Doctorate for his outstanding contribution to sport. He is England's most-capped full back and Manchester United's club captain, where he has played his full career.

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