Rock drummer Roger Taylor, cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd-Webber, and choreographer and dancer Wayne Sleep will be taking to the stage along with thousands of graduating students during Plymouth University’s graduation week this month.
The trio, who have performed to millions of people during their careers, will receive honorary doctorates from the University, along with a host of other leading names in the arts, sciences, business and health, including chef and author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.
Football’s first million-pound man Trevor Francis, and European diving champion Sarah Barrow will join them as recipients of sporting colours from the University.
Around 5,000 students will graduate in the marquees atop Plymouth Hoe during the week, which attracts more than 22,000 visitors to the city, and contributes £700,000 to the local economy.
Professor David Coslett, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said:
“This is the seventh year we have hosted the graduation ceremony overlooking Plymouth Sound, and it has come to be recognised as one of, if not the, most spectacular event of its kind in the country. It is a truly fitting location for our students who are coming to the end of one journey and embarking upon their next, just as so many people have launched exciting voyages from Plymouth through the ages.”
Queen drummer Roger Taylor, and cellist Julian Lloyd-Webber will both receive Honorary Doctorates of Music on Friday 26 September, the same day that Wayne Sleep and Simon Stokes, Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth, will be presented with Honorary Doctorates of Arts.
Firmly back on dry land, English sailor Robin Knox-Johnston is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science on Wednesday 24 September, the same day as River Cottage entrepreneur and ethical food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall receives an Honorary Doctorate of Business.
Ann James, Chief Executive of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Health on Saturday 27 September, while Olga Polizzi Shawcross CBE,Deputy Chairman and Director of Design for Rocco Forte Hotels, will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business on Monday 22 September.
The University will also be awarding a number of sporting colours to those who have either graced the highest levels or given up their time to inspiring and helping others to partake in sport. Trevor Francis, arguably the finest footballer produced by the city, will receive his colours on Tuesday 23 September, while Sarah Barrow will emulate Tom Daley and Tonia Couch when she receives hers on Thursday 25 September.
Professor Coslett added:
“Plymouth and the South West has produced many remarkable people, who have gone on to grace national and international stages, whether in the arts, business, science and technology, health and medicine, or sport. We look forward to welcoming our latest cohort of honorary doctors and sporting colours into our community, and joining with them in celebrating their achievements, and those of our graduating students.”