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Honorary grads 2023 – Bath Spa University
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Bath Spa University awards honorary degrees to seven outstanding individuals

Thursday, 27 July, 2023

The current Turner Prize winner and esteemed Sculptor Veronica Ryan OBE was among seven Honorary Doctorates awarded by Bath Spa University at Summer Graduation ceremonies this week.
Veronica was awarded alongside over 1500 undergraduates who received their degree certificates at ceremonies held over three days at The Forum in Bath City Centre.

Veronica Ryan with her honorary doctorateVeronica won arguably the most prestigious art accolade in the UK in December 2022. Prior to this she studied for a BA in Fine Art at the Corsham Court campus-based Bath Academy of Art (now Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Art, Film and Media, at Locksbrook campus) from 1975-1978 and went on to establish an internationally revered exhibition profile, winning numerous awards across the globe.

Dan Allen, Head of Bath Spa University’s Bath School of Art, Film and Media, said:

“As an alumni of Bath School of Art, Film & Media (formally Bath Academy of Art), Veronica Ryan is a beacon for our talented artists, as they embark on professional careers with a mission to make positive change in the world through art.”

Accepting her Honorary Doctorate of Arts, Veronica Ryan OBE, said:

“Play is terribly important. Early access to possibility, kind teachers and tutors, using what you have - these all enable continuity. People remind me that as artists, periods of drought are part of the journey. My own journey has been to keep doing what feels most important, for self care. I would like to thank the University for the recognition shown to me with the honour of this reward, of this degree.”

Also receiving honorary doctorates were:

Carl Anka, Honorary Doctor of Arts

Carl Anka with his honorary doctorateA Bath Spa University graduate, journalist, broadcaster and author based in Manchester, Carl has spent his postgraduate years writing for the BBC, the Guardian, VICE, NME, GQ and BuzzFeed and The Athletic. He co-authored Marcus Rashford’s book You Are a Champion (Macmillan), The book was WHSmith’s Book of the Year, and won Best Overall Book of the Year at the 2022 The British Book Awards.

 

Accepting his award, Carl said:

“I stand before you today humbled and deeply honoured to accept this honorary doctorate. I want to express my deepest appreciation to my mentors, my teachers, my friends, my family; everyone who has stood by me and believed in me during my time at Bath Spa University and the many years I’ve spent since graduating."

“My fellow graduates, I leave you today with a challenge: to remain curious. You are sitting here celebrating the current pinnacle of your academic learning. I ask you to keep learning. I want you to keep pushing in your quest for knowledge no matter what field you take or what walks of life you lead. University is a place of academic study, yes, but perhaps more importantly university is where you learn how to learn. You spent years at Bath Spa University chasing academic and personal pursuits, while also learning parts of your personality as they unfolded in front of you.

“Take courage from this moment. Deadlines may get brought forward, jobs may come and go, but when you remain curious, you remain capable of fantastic things. You sit here now equipped with the tools to have a positive impact on your life, the lives of people around you and the world around you as well. Use your education to try and address the pressing challenges of our time. Let’s all strive to be positive forces for change and ambassadors for compassion as well. Thank you for letting me share this day with you. As we accept these accolades today, may we do so with the commitment to making a meaningful difference in the world. Remain curious, my friends.”

Christopher Crowther - Honorary Doctor of Science

Christopher Crowther with his honorary doctorateWith more than 25 years’ experience in the information assurance and security domain, Chris Crowther works at C-Suite level leading several cyber, information protection and resilience challenges.

Chris has led the delivery of some of the most demanding national security programmes in the UK, the US and EMEA, operating at the very highest levels of government. Where possible, he shares his knowledge and experience with Bath Spa University, the US National Defence University and UK Defence.

Kathy Hinde - Honorary Doctor of Music

Kathy Hinde receives an honorary doctorateKathy Hinde is a Bath Spa University graduate and audiovisual artist whose practice embraces open methods and evolving processes. Through installations, performances and site specific experiences, she aims to nurture a deeper and more embodied connection to other species and the earth’s systems. Kathy has toured work across the globe and has received awards including an Ivor Novello, an Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica, a British Composer Award in Sonic Art an ORAM award and a Scottish Award for New Music. Kathy is also a member of Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (BEEF), and a resident at the Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol. Following her studies at Bath Spa, Kathy has maintained a connection with the University through interdisciplinary research projects across music, art, education and environmental science.

Kate Morton - Honorary Doctor of Science

Kate Morton with her honorary doctorateKate Morton is the CEO of mental health charity, Bath Mind. Kate has worked as a senior leader in housing, health, and social care, and has overseen the creation of supportive safe spaces for some of the most disadvantaged in our society. Diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2008, she made the decision to volunteer for a local mental health charity as part of her recovery. She joined Bath Mind’s Board of Trustees in 2011 and became CEO in 2015. The organisation has grown fourfold under her leadership, expanding its reach, and focusing on university students and young adults across both Bath. Kate is currently Chair of Bath’s 3SG, and leads on local innovative community projects.

Andrew Grant - Honorary Doctor of Letters

Andrew Grant receives his honorary doctorateAndrew is a landscape architect whose work explores the reconnection between people and nature. He started his company, Grant Associates, in 1997 and it is now an international design studio with offices in Bath and Singapore. He uses creative ecological design to find solutions to climate change, biodiversity loss and improving human quality of life, health and wellbeing. He has previously been awarded the title of RSA Royal Designer for Industry in recognition of his pioneering global work. He is an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA, Chair of the Bathscape Landscape Partnership and a member of the Bath World Heritage Site Advisory Board. He is also co-founder of the Bath pop-up festival, Forest of Imagination.

Adam Rutherford - Honorary Doctor of Science

Adam Rutherford with his honorary doctorateAdam Rutherford is a geneticist, author and broadcaster. He did his first degree at UCL in genetics, his PhD at the Institute of Child Health at Great Ormond St Hospital, which is part of UCL, and is now a lecturer of Biology and Society at UCL. Adam is a regular on BBC Radio 4, presenting many documentaries, as well as Start the Week, and the Curious Cases of Rutherford and Fry. He has written several books, including most recently Control: the Dark History and Troubling Present of Eugenics, and the international bestsellers How to Argue With a Racist, and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived.

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