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Honorary Graduates

Our honorary graduates are valued members of the Bath Spa community, and an inspiration to students and staff alike. Awards are given in recognition of outstanding achievement, or excellence in their respective field.

'I am passionate about supporting emerging entrepreneurs and inspiring a new generation to work hard, live responsibly and look for golden opportunities to build fresh and exciting businesses. I hope that my story will provide inspiration to many students at Bath Spa University and make them believe anything is possible if you work hard.'

Deborah Meaden, honorary award recipient in 2014

2015 Honorary Graduates

Iwan and Manuela Wirth

Iwan and Manuela Wirth are Presidents and co-Founders of Hauser & Wirth, a leading international gallery of contemporary art and modern masters. Now a global enterprise with galleries in Zurich, London, New York and Somerset, and a new gallery planned in downtown Los Angeles, Hauser & Wirth have built an unparalleled reputation for its dedication to artists, artist estates and for supporting the realisation of ambitious artistic projects. The Wirths are strongly committed to an extensive range of charities supporting the arts, the environment, community and education.

Sir Don McCullin, CBE, Hon FRPS

Renowned British photojournalist, Sir Don McCullin, CBE, FRPS, is recognised as one of history’s greatest war photographers. His first reportage on a youth gang in his childhood neighbourhood was published in The Observer in 1959. In 1961, he visited Berlin at the time of the construction by East Germany of the wall to separate it from the capitalist West. He produced his first war assignment for The Observer in 1964, covering the civil war in Cyprus and 1966 began an 18 year collaboration with The Sunday Times Magazine, witnessing numerous conflicts and battlefields in the Congo, Biafra (Nigeria), Israel, Vietnam, Cambodia, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Kurdistan. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his highly-acclaimed autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour.

Professor Xiao Xiao Cao (Sha)

Renowned Chinese violinist who made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2003 and has performed extensively in the USA, Asia and Europe. She has won top honours at the Chinese National Violin Competition and her string quartet won the Chinese National Quartet Competition and the Menuhin prize in the UK. She was also the featured soloist at the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra’s 40th anniversary concert celebrating Gang and Zhanhou’s ‘Butterfly Lovers’ Violin Concerto.

David Malouf

Internationally acclaimed Australian author of seven collections of poetry, four opera librettos, two plays, eleven works of fiction (including three collections of short stories), and a memoir, 12 Edmondstone Street. His work has been widely translated and has received several international awards. In 2000 he was the sixteenth Neustadt Laureat.

Juli Beattie

Juli Beattie is the Founder Director of The Art Room, a national arts and education charity established in 2002. The Art Room offers art as therapy to children and young people aged five through to 16 who are experiencing challenges and emotional difficulties in their lives. Through The Art Room students can raise their self-esteem, self-confidence and independence enabling them to engage with their learning and development. Juli has taught for over 35 years, working in mainstream and specialist schools, as well as hospitals, and in collaboration with Bath Spa she developed a Postgraduate Certificate in Art Room Practice.

2014 Honorary Graduates

Takeshi Yasuda

A Japanese potter, Mr Yasuda trained at the Daisei-Gama Pottery in Mashiko from 1963 to 1966 and established his first studio there. His early work consisted of ash-glazed stoneware, after which he explored Sancai and Creamware. Mr Yasuda settled in Britain in 1973 where he taught at various art schools and universities across the UK.

Sir Michael Craig-Martin CBE RA

Having studied in the United States, Michael returned to Britain in 1965 to take up a teaching post at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court where he was tutor to some notable alumni. He is now an Emeritus Professor of Fine Art at Goldsmiths College and a trustee of the Tate Gallery; he was awarded a CBE in 2001, elected a Royal Academician in 2006, and knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2016.

Alfred ‘Pee Wee’ Ellis

An American saxophonist, composer and arranger who was a member of James Brown’s band from 1965 to 1969. He was responsible for many of Brown’s most notable recordings including the iconic song Say It Loud I’m Black and I’m Proud. He is widely acknowledged as one of the architects of funk music.

Deborah Meaden

A successful entrepreneur perhaps best known for her appearances on the BBC2 series ‘Dragons’ Den’, Deborah has invested in more than thirty businesses, ranging from market research to online antiques valuations and life-saving equipment for hospitals.

Stella Pirie OBE

Honorary Fellow

Stella served as Deputy Chair (1997-98) and Chair (1998-2013) of the Bath Spa University Board of Governors and guided it through turbulent and transformational times with skill and diplomacy. She has played an enormously influential part in the development of the University.

Mary Toman

Honorary Fellow

Mary has been an active and important member of the Board of Governors since her appointment in 1988, making her the longest-serving Governor in the history of Bath Spa University. Initially chosen by the Secretary of State for Education, Mary served on the original board to form a corporation for the institution.

2013 Honorary Graduates

Dame Hilary Mantel DBE FRSL

The Booker prize-winning author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies. Mantel is now working on the final book in her trilogy about Thomas Cromwell.

Peter Randall-Page RA

A UK artist who has exhibited work around the world. Randall-Page studied sculpture at Bath Academy of Art, which is now part of Bath Spa University, from 1973-1977.

Anne Bull OBE

Headteacher of Weston All Saints Church of England Primary School in the city of Bath for over 25 years. Bull’s link with Bath Spa University spans over 30 years, and she has fulfilled a number of roles at the university, including teacher tutor, and part-time lecturer in Creative, Arts and Dance.

Professor Sir Harrison Birtwistle

A composer whose music has been regularly commissioned and performed by major orchestras and opera houses worldwide. His works are currently being featured at the Salzburg Festival where his opera Gawain will receive a new production under Ingo Metzmacher.

2012 Honorary Graduates

Sir Howard Hodgkin CH CBE

1932 - 2017

One of Britain’s most influential and respected artists, Howard Hodgkin’s work has been shown in galleries around the world and in 1985 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale and won the Turner Prize. In 1992 he was knighted for his services to the arts. Howard was first a pupil and then later a tutor at the Bath Academy of Art. While a pupil he was taught by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis who ran the Academy, as well as William Scott and Peter Lanyon. As a tutor he worked alongside fellow painters Michael Craig-Martin, Robyn Denny, John Ernest and Adrian Heath between 1950 and 1954. Howard passed away on Thursday, 9 March 2017 at the age of 84.

Mary Berry CBE

One of the UK's best-known and respected cookery writers and TV cook. At the age of 18 she trained at the Bath College of Home Economics, followed by a Paris Cordon Bleu course and she is a qualified teacher. She has written more than 70 cookery books since her first was published in 1970 and has sold more than five million. She has hosted several television series for the BBC, including judge on the BBC show "The Great British Bake Off".

Manolo Blahnik CBE

Manolo Blahnik's shoe designs have been worn by women all over the world for almost 40 years. Blahnik began his career in 1973 on the advice of a US Vogue Editor Diana Vreeland. The brand is known for elaborate and classic designs and prides itself on the highest level of quality and comfort. It is currently present in 23 countries world-wide. In 2007 he was awarded the CBE for services to the British fashion industry.

Professor Ian Hargreaves CBE

Professor Ian Hargreaves started his journalistic career on local newspapers in Yorkshire and spent 15 years on the Financial Times before becoming Deputy Editor in the early 1990s. He was Director of BBC News and Current Affairs in the late 1980s, Editor of the Independent in the mid-1990s and Editor of the New Statesman in the late 1990s, before taking up the position of Director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University. In 2010 he took up a new chair in Digital Economy at Cardiff University.

Grenville Jones

A choir leader and musician who lives in Bath. His driving passion is to get people of all ages singing, to enable them to make friends, enjoy themselves and have fun through music. He has appeared on TV and radio across the world through his leadership of Bath Male Choir, the Golden-Oldies charity, which he founded in 2008, and his many other musical projects and concerts.

Professor Miller Puckette

The author of 'Max' and 'Pure Data', two seminal and widely-used software environments for live computer music. After studying mathematics at MIT and Harvard University and conducting research at IRCAM in Paris, he joined the music department at the University of California where he is now professor and chair of the department. He has also written extensively on techniques for analysing and synthesizing sound with a computer, and on real-time human/computer interactions in musical performance.

Ken Loach

Film director Ken Loach was honoured in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the film industry. Loach has won multiple awards for his work including the Palme D’Or in 2006 for his film ‘The Wind That Shakes The Barley’. He is also well-known for his films ‘Kes’ and ‘Looking for Eric’. His film ‘The Angels’ Share’, which won the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, was screened at Bath Spa University to raise funds for Community Arts Therapies. Loach, who is Patron of the Community Arts Therapies, was in attendance and answered questions from the audience.

2011 Honorary Graduates

Joanna MacGregor OBE

Joanna MacGregor is regarded as one of the world’s most wide-ranging and innovative musicians, and was Artistic Director of the Bath International Music Festival from 2006 - 2012. As a pianist she had enjoyed performing at the MusicFest many times before playing music ranging from jazz and world to classical.  Her programming reflects her interest in all genres of music, and often inspires brand new collaborations: bringing musicians together with contemporary art and multimedia, poetry, storytelling and film, and reaching out to as wide an audience as possible.

Tom McCaw LOV

Tom McCaw served as Land Steward for the Duchy of Cornwall from 1988 to 1998, with responsibility for the Duchy’s rural properties in the Bath area, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Mr McCaw is a trustee of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and of Community First (Wiltshire’s Rural Development Council). Highlights of his career include the purchase of Highgrove House and its conversion into a home suitable for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and working closely with the University to promote and develop the Newton Park campus.

2010 Honorary Graduates

Tristram Shapeero

A British television director whose directing credits include television comedies Brass Eye, Smack the Pony, Green Wing, Absolutely Fabulous and the American series Community, Parks and Recreation, Happy Endings and Workaholics. He is also a Bathonian, something we are very proud of.

Sir William Stubbs

He is an English educator who was Rector of the University of the Arts, London. Stubbs served for six years as Chief Executive of the Inner London Education Authority. Following that, he was Chief Executive of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council. From 1992 to 1996 as chief executive of the Further Education Funding Council for England.

Professor Sir Graeme Davies FRSNZ

Sir Graeme was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London until 2010. He was Principal of the University of Glasgow from 1995 to 2003. He was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England from 1991 until 1995 having been Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 1986 to 1991. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is now the Chair of the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Professor David Timms

Professor Timms has a long association with Bath Spa University, having first trained here as a student teacher in the 1970s. After a distinguished academic career at the universities of of Leicester and Manchester ( where he established himself as a notable literary critic, first of the works of Philip Larkin and then as a specialist in American literature). Professor Timms rejoined the University in the early 1990s as a lecturer in the English Department  and then took on a series of managerial positions which led to him becoming Deputy Vice Chancellor ( Academic). He is an acknowledged national expert on academic quality assurance, and continues to work for other universities and for the Quality Assurance Agency in that capacity.

Simon Relph CBE

1940 - 2016

Simon Relph was a leading British film producer. After graduating from King’s College Cambridge, he became an Assistant Director until he was appointed Technical Administrator of the National Theatre. For four years he supervised the move from the Old Vic into the new National Theatre, ending his time there as Production Administrator. He was Chairman of the British Academy of Film & Television Arts between 2000 and 2002, before becoming Chairman of the David Lean BAFTA Foundation. He served on the British Screen Advisory Council, the Executive Council of Pact, the Council of Royal College of Art, the boards of South West Screen and the Bristol Old Vic, and as a Governor of the British Film Institute. He was the author of The Relph Report on low budget film production. Simon also held positions as non executive director of Arts Alliance Media, The Brixton Ritzy Cinema, and the Exeter Picturehouse. Simon sadly passed away in October 2016.

2009 Honorary Graduates

Anthony Dewberry

Tony Dewberry (1950 - 2010)

Former deputy vice-chancellor at Bath Spa University, who was responsible for tailoring our historic campuses to the needs of a modern university. He trained as an architect, then began his career at Gerald Shenstone and Partners in Bloomsbury in 1974, before moving to Wandsworth Borough Council in 1976. This was followed by a major switch of track when he joined what is now Bath Spa University (then Bath College of Higher Education) as corporation secretary and clerk to the board of governors in 1989. He was appointed assistant director in 1995 and deputy vice-chancellor in 2005.

Asha Sarabhai

Asha Sarabhai is highly respected a textile designer. Her passion for her finding contemporary and relevant ways to continue age old traditions of textile design and production led to unique, modern representations of Indian dress. A collaboration with the celebrated Issey Miyake Design Studio in 1984 led to her designs coming to the attention of the fashion world and following the opening of a retail outlet in London in the 1990s, becoming more widely available to commercial markets. Born in New Delhi in 1949, she travelled throughout her childhood and studied at the University of Cambridge. The impact of her work in textile design continues to inspire fashion today.

Dr Paul Phillips OBE

Paul Phillips is Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College situated in North Somerset.  This award winning College has developed from the small £9m College that Paul took over in 2001 to a £30m plus College with campuses across the region.  It regularly features at the top of the league tables for Further Education.  Dr Phillips was formerly Vice Principal of the largest College in Wales.  His career has included work and consultations for the NHS, MOD and leisure industry.  In addition, he has published research papers related to the cost benefit analysis of education.  Despite running Weston College, Paul is very active in his local community as well as representing the Further Education sector regionally and nationally.  His most recent involvements include Chair of South Ward Regeneration in Weston-super-Mare, Secretary of the Western Principals’ Group and regional representative of the Principals’ Professional Council.

Professor Brian L Gomes da Costa JP

Professor Brian L Gomes da Costa, JP was Director of Bath College of Higher Education (later Bath Spa University) from September 1985 until March 1997. On retiring from Bath College of Higher Education he increased his longstanding involvement in the magistracy, and began to engage with the NHS; he was appointed chairman of a Mental Health NHS Trust and of a standing committee of a local authority; he was a Member of the UK’s Asylum and Immigration Tribunal for almost a decade to 2008. He remains a presiding panellist on Fitness to Practise Panels at the GMC and also chairs NHS disciplinary appeal panels. Having a strong interest in “regulation”, he also currently serves on the Standards Committee of the Bar Standards Board.

Honorary Awards 1986-2008

Recipients of honorary awards made prior to 2009

Title Forename Surname Honours Year Award
Mr Gavin Bryars   2008 HF
Mr Alan Carter   2007 HF
Mr Jonathan Dimbleby   2006 HF
Mr Jason Gardener   2006 HF
Mr John Conway   2001 HMA
Mr Leslie Southwell   2001 HF
Mr Roger Carus   2000 HF
Sir Donald Maitland GCMG, OBE  2000 HF
Sir James Dyson OM, CBE,
FRS, FREng 
1999 HF
Professor  Fay  Weldon  CBE, FRSL  1999  HF
Mr  James  Arnold-Baker    1998  HF
Mr  Lynn  Chadwick CBE, RA  1998 HF
Professor  Michael Pye   1997 HF
Ms Louise O'Connor   1996 HMA
Professor Anne P. Stennett   1995 HF 
The Rt Hon. Don Foster PC  1994 HF
Mr  Arnold Goldman   1994 HF
Dame Anita Roddick DBE  1994 HF
Ms Jean Rossiter   1994 HF
Sir  Toby Weaver   1994 HF
Professor Tyrell Burgess   1993 HF
Dr John V. Delany   1993 HF
Sir Karl Popper CH, FBA, FRS  1993 HF
Professor Peter Scott   1993 HF
Mr John Chambers   1992 HF
Sir Michael Tippett OM, CH, CBE  1992 HF
Mr Bill Martin Alderman 1988 HF
Mrs Nancy Riddick   1988 HF
Mr Raymond Rosewarn   1988 HF
Mr John Rudderham   1988 HF
Professor Tom Keightley Ewer   1987 HF
Mr Roy Hiscocks Alderman 1987 MoE
Mr Norman Payne   1986 HF

Key

  • HF = Honorary Fellow
  • HMA = Honorary Master of Arts
  • MoE = Master of Education (Honoris Causa)

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