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Leaders in business, arts and music among those being honoured by University

Three of Scotland’s foremost business figures are among those being honoured by the University of Aberdeen at its summer graduations next week.

Sir Moir Lockhead OBESir Moir Lockhead OBE, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive of FirstGroup plc; Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management plc; and prominent hotelier Stewart Spence are receiving honorary degrees at ceremonies at Elphinstone Hall on the King's College campus.

Renowned composer Morten Lauridsen - regarded as one of the world's greatest composers of choral music and art song - is also receiving an honorary doctorate in recognition of his work which is featured regularly in concerts by distinguished ensembles throughout the world.

Two of Scotland's leading artists Will Maclean, a former fisherman acclaimed for his visual representation of histories and mythologies of those who live and work by the sea, and Victoria Crowe - described as one of the most vital and original figurative painters currently at work in Scotland - are also being honoured.

Honorary degrees are also being bestowed on notable theologian Professor William Horbury; Reverend (Air Vice-Marshal) Peter Mills, Honorary Chaplain to the Queen and Chaplain-in-Chief to the RAF; and Professor Geoffrey MacCormack, an internationally distinguished legal scholar.

Award-winning broadcaster and journalist Edi Stark – the recipient of seven national Sony Radio Academy awards – is also receiving a Master of the University.

Professor Sir Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen, is looking forward to welcoming this year's honorary graduands. He said: "The University of Aberdeen is delighted to honour these individuals who have achieved acclaim and distinction in their respective fields. They are tremendous role models, who are a real inspiration for our new cohort of Aberdeen graduates. 


Notes to Editors:

The full list of honorary graduands and details of their ceremonies and honorary degrees follow:

Monday July 6 at 3pm

Professor Geoffrey MacCormack LLD - Doctor of Laws.

Geoffrey Dennis MacCormack BA, LLB, MA, DPhil

Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence, University of Aberdeen

Geoffrey MacCormack, a graduate of the Universities of Sydney and Oxford, has made a distinctive and outstanding contribution to legal science through research and established himself as one of the leading scholars in Roman Law in the world.  An inspiring teacher, Professor MacCormack also developed his reputation as a prominent writer in the United Kingdom on legal anthropology.  A distinguished legal scholar, his interests also include Traditional Chinese Law.  His books on this subject include Traditional Chinese Penal Law (1990) and The Spirit of Traditional Chinese Law (1996).  Professor MacCormack taught at the universities of Oxford, Glasgow, and Sydney before coming to Aberdeen as a Senior Lecturer in 1968.  He was appointed to the Chair in Jurisprudence in 1971 and served as Dean of the Faculty of Law for two periods in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Monday July 6 at 6.30pm

Professor William Maclean MBE DLitt – Doctor of Letters

William James Maclean MBE, RSA, DLitt

Artist and Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts, University of Dundee

One of Scotland's leading artists, Will Maclean has a strong family connection with fishing and is the son of the Harbour Master of Inverness. After spending two years in the Merchant Navy from the age of fifteen, he studied at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen, from 1961 to 1967. In 1973 Will Maclean was commissioned by the Scottish International Education Trust to make a detailed study of the declining Scottish ring net fishing industry. This resulted in a collection of some 400 works. He then joined the staff of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee in 1981, retiring as Professor of Fine Art in 2004. He is now Emeritus Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Dundee. Will Maclean's work embraces a wide range of media and reflects his passionate interest in his heritage and the seafaring cultures. Since 1974 he has made assemblages using found objects from the shore, as well as commissioned sculpture and landworks. Inspired by historical, literary and mythological aspects of Scottish seafaring history, his box constructions are visual tales of the sea. Throughout his career Will Maclean has won a host of awards and has exhibited at the most prestigious galleries and galleries in Britain and North America, including the British Museum, Scottish Parliament and Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. He was awarded an MBE in 2006, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of St Andrews. He is a Member of the Royal Scottish Academy and an Honorary Fellow of the UHI Millennium Institute.

Monday July 6 at 6.30pm

Sir Moir Lockhead OBE DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa

Sir Moir Lockhead OBE

Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive, FirstGroup plc

Sir Moir Lockhead has been the Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of the UK's largest surface public transport operator, FirstGroup plc, since its formation in 1995. Originally a mechanical engineer, he joined Grampian Regional Transport in 1985 as General Manager and went on to lead the successful employee buy-out of GRT Bus Group PLC. Sir Moir holds an honorary Chair in Transport at the University of Aberdeen and is a member of its Court. He also serves on the Board of VisitBritain. In 2007 he was named Scotland plc Chief Executive of the Year and also received the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport's most prestigious award, the Sir Robert Lawrence Award, for his contribution to logistics and transport. In 2008 Sir Moir was awarded a Knighthood for services to transport in the Queen's Birthday Honours List and was named IoD Scotland Director of the Year. In 2009 he was again an award winner at the IoD Scotland Awards, being named Global Director of the Year.

Tuesday  July 7 at 11am

Edi Stark MUniv – Master of the University

Edi Stark MA Hons ALA

Journalist and Broadcaster

An award-winning broadcaster, Edi Stark is one of Scotland's most highly regarded journalists. She studied English Literature at the University of  Aberdeen before qualifying as a librarian at Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology. After working in the Gorbals, Edi established a multimedia resource centre at Deans Community High School in Livingston. Returning to Aberdeen, Edi began her broadcasting career at Northsound Radio. After eight years as community co-ordinator, producer and head of speech programmes, she opted for a freelance career, making programmes for Radio 4 and Radio Scotland. In 1999, she established her own independent radio company, Stark Productions, which produces the weekly conversation series Stark Talk for BBC Radio Scotland. Edi has received seven coveted national Sony Radio Academy awards: two gold awards for best speech programme in the UK and for best news special, and two silvers and three bronzes for best speech broadcaster in the UK. Edi is President of the Scottish Clinical Skills Network and an Honorary Member of Aberdeen Artists.

Wednesday July 8 at 11am

Martin Gilbert LLD – Doctor of Laws

Martin James Gilbert MA, LLB, LLD, CA

Chief Executive Officer, Aberdeen Asset Management plc

Martin Gilbert is a founder shareholder and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management PLC, the holding company of the fund management group established in 1983.  Martin was educated in Aberdeen and holds an MA in Accountancy and an LLB in law from the University of Aberdeen.  He divides his time between Aberdeen, where the business has always been headquartered, and London, as well as overseeing the international operations of the Group. Since the company was founded, Martin has been instrumental in growing it from a business with initially around £100 million assets under management run from a small office in Aberdeen, to one of the largest independent asset managers in Europe. Today, Aberdeen Asset Management manages over £130 billion of assets for both institutions and private investors from its network of offices around the world

Martin is Chairman of Aberdeen-headquartered global transport company, FirstGroup PLC. In the late 1980s, Aberdeen Asset Management provided much of the funding to initiate the management buy out of a local Aberdeen bus company which would become FirstGroup, the world's leading transport operator employing some 136,000 staff throughout the UK and North America and transporting more than 2.5 billion passengers a year.  Martin is also Chairman of Lloyds insurance market firm, Chaucer Holdings PLC. He is a member of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's High Level Group on City Competitiveness and sits on the HM Treasury's Asset Management Industry Working Group.  Martin is also a member of the Scottish Government's Financial Services Advisory Board and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. In December 2008, Martin was named European Personality of the Year at the Funds Europe Awards and more recently was named Ernst & Young Overall Scotland Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009.

Wednesday July 8 at 11am

Stewart Spence LLD – Doctor of Laws

John Stewart Spence

Hotelier and Businessman

Stewart Spence has been a leading hotelier and businessman in Aberdeen for over three decades. During that time he has contributed greatly to local business organisations, tourism, and training for the hospitality industry. His hotels have become a byword for quality and, as such, have achieved international recognition for Aberdeen. Stewart Spence was educated at Robert Gordon's College and entered the hospitality industry at the age of fifteen as a trainee chef in Aberdeen. This was followed by positions at Fouquets in Paris and the Great Northern in London. He subsequently returned to Scotland, becoming the owner and proprietor of a number of the North-east's leading hotels including the Atholl Hotel, the Queens Hotel/New Marcliffe, the Marcliffe Hotel and Invery House. His most recent hotel, The Marcliffe at Pitfodels, was opened in 1993 by former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Aberdeen's only five-star hotel. its rooms and corridors have been graced by many celebrities over the years, including pop and film stars, royalty and world-class golfers.

Thursday July 9 at 11am

Professor William Horbury DD – Doctor of Divinity

Professor William Horbury FBA, MA, PhD, DD

Professor of Jewish and Early Christian Studies, University of Cambridge

Professor William Horbury is a distinguished Hebraist and biblical scholar whose work has greatly advanced Jewish and Early Christian Studies. Born in 1942, he was educated at Charterhouse, Oriel College, Oxford, and Clare College, Cambridge. He has been a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge since 1978 and currently holds the Chair of Jewish and Early Christian Studies at Cambridge. Professor Horbury was ordained as a priest in 1970 and is non-stipendiary Priest-in-charge of the ancient Cambridge parish church of St Botolph. He is a past President of the British Association for Jewish Studies. As a Fellow of the British Academy and serving on its committees, he contributes significantly to the advancement of the humanities in the United Kingdom. Professor Horbury is one of the most erudite and original scholars both in New Testament Studies and in Jewish Studies, not only in the United Kingdom, but world-wide.

Thursday July 9 at 11am

Reverend Peter Mills DD –Doctor of Divinity

Peter W Mills QHC, BD, CPS RAF

Chaplain-in-Chief, Royal Air Force

The Reverend (Air Vice-Marshal) Peter Mills was born in 1955 and educated at Arbroath High School. After a year at Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology he joined Aberdeen City Police in 1974 and served as a police constable for 4 years. He subsequently completed an honours degree in Divinity and a post graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies at the University of Aberdeen before serving for a year as an assistant minister in Montrose. In 1984 he joined the Royal Air Force Chaplains' Branch and throughout his distinguished career has served in numerous international postings. In 1989 he completed a 4 month detachment to the Falkland Islands as Force Chaplain for which he received the Commander of the British Forces Certificate for Meritorious Service. Peter Mills was appointed Principal Chaplain (Church of Scotland and Free Churches) in 2001 and was also appointed an Honorary Chaplain to HM The Queen. In 2006 Peter Mills was appointed as the 20th Chaplain-in-Chief of the RAF.

Thursday July 9 at 3pm

Victoria Crowe DHC – Doctor Honoris Causa

Victoria Elizabeth Crowe MA (RCA), RSA, RSW, OBE

Artist, Painter and Printmaker

Born in Kingston-on-Thames, Victoria Crowe has been based in Scotland since she arrived in 1968 to lecture in Drawing & Painting at Edinburgh College of Art. She was invited there by Robin Philipson, who had seen her degree show in London. She trained at Kingston School of Art and the Royal College of Art. In 1982 Victoria Crowe was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and in 1987 an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy. In 2000 she was awarded an OBE for services to art. She has been the recipient of many awards and bursaries and undertaken numerous important portrait commissions. Victoria has had regular solo exhibitions in London and Edinburgh over the last 40 years and a major retrospective at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2000 and The Fleming Collection, London in 2009. Her work is represented in important public and private collection both nationally and internationally. Over the last 35 years Victoria Crowe, one of Scotland's leading painters, has established herself as a painter whose work is instantly recognisable. While the full range of her painting covers landscape, still lifes, portraits, self-portraits and interiors, much of her work defies such precise categorisation. She has been described as 'one of the most vital and original figurative painters currently at work in Scotland'.

Thursday July 9 at 6.30pm

Professor Morten Lauridsen DMus – Doctor of Music

Morten Johannes Lauridsen

Composer and Distinguished Professor of Composition, University of Southern California

Morten Lauridsen is regarded as one of the world's greatest composers of choral music and art song.  His seven vocal cycles and series of sacred a cappella motets are featured regularly in concerts by distinguished ensembles throughout the world and his compositions have been recorded on more than 150 CDs. In 2006, Morten Lauridsen was named an "American Choral Master" by the National Endowment for the Arts, and in November of 2007 he received the United States of  America's highest honour for artistic achievement - the National Medal of Arts - from the President in a White House ceremony "for his composition of radiant choral works combining musical beauty, power, and spiritual depth that have thrilled audiences worldwide." The music of Morten Lauridsen, composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale from 1994-2001 and Distinguished Professor of Composition at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for more than thirty-five years, occupies a permanent place in the standard vocal repertoire of the twenty-first century.

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

Issued on: Thursday 2nd of July 2009

Contact: Jennifer Phillips

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