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World’s greatest chef’ among Aberdeen’s honorary graduates

One of the world’s greatest chefs is among leading figures from the fields of business, sport, the arts and academia that will be honoured by the University of Aberdeen this summer.

Spanish chef Ferran Adrià will receive an honorary Doctor Honoris Causa (DHC) at the University's summer graduation ceremonies.

Gourmet magazine has described Adrià as 'the Salvador Dali of the kitchen' while El Bulli, his famous Catalonian restaurant, has regularly been voted the best eatery in the world, despite only being open from April to September.

He will receive his degree on Tuesday, July 1 at 11am.

Others due to receive honorary doctorates include world famous naturalist Sir David Attenborough, Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish and Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive (Culture and Sport) Glasgow.

The ceremonies will take place from Monday, June 30 to Friday, July 4, 2008.

Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University said he was looking forward to welcoming this year's distinguished honorary graduands.

"The University of Aberdeen is proud to recognise the achievements of such distinguished and talented individuals. We welcome them all warmly to the University family as Honorary Graduates."

The full list of graduands is as follows:

Monday, June 30 at 3pm

Allan Campbell (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

Chief Executive of Bòrd na Gàidhlig until 2007, Allan Campbell has been involved in a wide range of community and Gaelic development initiatives over the past twenty-five years. 

Monday, June 30 at 6.30pm

Theodore Malloch (LLD – Doctor of Laws)

Dr Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is immediate Past President of the University of Aberdeen Development Trust USA. He is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Roosevelt Group.

Monday, June 30 at 6.30pm

William Dalrymple (DLIitt – Doctor of Letters)

William Dalrymple, the novelist, travel writer and broadcaster was born and brought up in Scotland. In 2006, he published The Last Mughal: the Fall of a Dynasty, Delhi, 1857 to huge acclaim, topping the best seller lists in both the UK and India. 

Tuesday, July 1 at 11am

Ferrán Adrià (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

Ferran Adrià has been referred to as the world's greatest chef. His innovative approach led to El Bulli, his Catalonian restaurant, being recognised as best in the world by the prestigious Restaurant magazine on four occasions. 

Tuesday, July 1 at 3pm

Kenny Hunter (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

Kenny Hunter is one of Scotland's leading sculptors.  Originally from Musselburgh, he graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1987. His work is featured in major collections such as the Gallery of Modern Art and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Tuesday, July 1 at 6.30pm

Sir David Attenborough (DSc – Doctor of Science)

Sir David Attenborough is one of the world's best known broadcasters and naturalists. Widely considered one of the pioneers of the nature documentary, his career as the respected face and voice of British natural history programmes has spanned more than 50 years.

Tuesday, July 1 at 6.30pm

Medbh McGuckian (DLitt – Doctor of Letters)

Northern Irish poet Medbh McGuckian's won the National Poetry competition in 1979 with 'The Flitting' – the first of many accolades for her work. In 1986, she took up the post of Writer-in-Residence in the English Department of Queen's University, Belfast

Wednesday, July 2 at 11am

Professor Semir Zeki (DSc – Doctor of Science)

Semir Zeki is Professor of Neurobiology at University College London. His revolutionary work exploring how the brain is compartmentalised has earned him world-wide recognition. 

Wednesday, July 2 at 3pm

John Sievwright (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

An Aberdeen graduate, John Sievwright is a former Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Global Markets & Investment Banking of Merill Lynch & Co Inc.

Thursday, July 3 at 11am

Professor Ian Russell (DSc – Doctor of Science)

Ian Russell has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the field of public health. He is currently Professor of Public Health and Director of the Institute of Medical and Social Care Research at the University of Wales Bangor. 

Thursday, July 3 at 11am

Professor John Pickett CBE (DSc – Doctor of Science)

Professor John Pickett is head of Biological Chemistry at Rothamsted Research, the United Kingdom's largest agricultural research institute.  He has pioneered new approaches to identifying pheromones and other chemical signals involved in plant and animal interactions. 

Thursday, July 3 at 3pm

James Smith (DSc – Doctor of Science)

James Smith is Chairman of Shell UK.  He has been with Shell since 1983 and has worked in all the Group's major businesses.  He is a physics graduate of the University of Aberdeen.

Thursday, July 3 at 3pm

Bridget McConnell (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

Bridget McConnell is Chief Executive of Culture and Sport Glasgow, the charitable company established in 2007 to deliver culture and sport services to the City of Glasgow.  She was formerly Executive Director (Culture and Sport), Glasgow City Council.

Thursday, July 3 at 3pm

Alex McLeish (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish achieved legendary status playing with Aberdeen Football Club during its glory years in the 1980s.  He made nearly 500 League appearances for the club, and won 77 caps for Scotland. 

Thursday, July 3 at 6.30pm

Professor The Lord Sewel (LLD - Doctor of Laws)

A former Senior Vice Principal at the University of Aberdeen, John Sewel has juxtaposed careers in politics and academe throughout his life. He is most well-known for piloting the devolution bill through Parliament and helping draft the plans for the new Scottish Parliament.  He remains an active member of the House of Lords.

Thursday, July 3 at 6.30pm

Matthew MacIver (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

In 2006, Matthew MacIver became the first chairman of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the body tasked with helping to safeguard the future of Gaelic.  He has served Scottish education, both as a member of the teaching profession and as a regulator, for over three decades. 

Friday, July 4 at 11am

Dr Ernest (Mac) Armstrong CB (LLD – Doctor of Laws)

Mac Armstrong has enjoyed a distinguished career in medicine and the health services.  Chief Medical Officer for Scotland from 2001 to 2005, he was responsible for all aspects of public health and played a pivotal role in the introduction of the smoking ban in public places.

Friday, July 4 at 11am

James Milne (DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa)

James Milne is Chairman of the Friends of Anchor, a fundraising body which supports cancer care and research at Grampian University Hospitals NHS Trust. A highly successful entrepreneur, Mr Milne is also Chairman and Managing Director of Balmoral Group, a privately owned manufacturing company based in Aberdeen. 



Notes to Editors:

The University of Aberdeen Graduation Ceremonies will take place at Marischal College, Broad Street, from Monday, June 30 – Friday, July 4. There will be a total of 11 ceremonies over this week at times of 11am, 3pm and 6.30pm.

A full bio of each Honorary Graduand will be sent on the day of the ceremony and also made available to the media at Marischal College.

Members of the media wishing to attend any of the ceremonies will require a ticket. Please contact Patrick McFall, Communications Office, on 01224 272013 to arrange.


Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Monday 9th of June 2008