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Newcastle University honours Bryan Ferry CBE


Legendary North East musician Bryan Ferry is to receive an honorary degree from Newcastle University.

The chief songwriter and lead vocalist with the critically acclaimed band Roxy Music will receive an honorary Doctor of Music degree at a ceremony on Friday 11 July.

It will be the second time he will have graduated from the University. Mr Ferry studied Fine Art at Newcastle and completed his studies in 1968. Four years after he left, Roxy Music emerged. They went on to become one of the most influential bands of the 1970s and 1980s, enjoying critical and commercial success and producing eight classic albums including For Your Pleasure and Avalon.

He said: “The four years I spent at Newcastle University’s Fine Art Department were crucial in my development as an artist and musician. While I was there, studying under the great Richard Hamilton, I met many like-minded students who became friends for life. Coming back to the University to receive this award will rekindle so many memories of an exceptional period in my life.”

As a solo artist, he has released a number of critically-acclaimed albums, from These Foolish Things in 1973 to The Jazz Age in 2012. He has also conceived and directed some of the most original, controversial and critically applauded album artwork of the last four decades. 

In 2012 Ferry was awarded the CBE for his services to music, and in the same year the French made him an Officier des Arts et des Lettres.

Recently, he agreed to be Patron of a £3.5 million fundraising campaign to redevelop the University’s Hatton art gallery.

Also receiving honorary degrees in July are:

Renowned bioscientist, Sir Paul Nurse, Director General of the new Crick Institute and President of the Royal Society, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his contribution to advances in cancer research and cell biology.

Professor Elizabeth Molyneux OBE, a paediatric oncologist who has dedicated her life to helping children in sub-Saharan Africa (Honorary Doctor of Science).

Lord Stewart Sutherland, one of the country’s leading academics in the field of ageing (Honorary Doctor of Civil Law).

Warren East CBE, former Chief Executive Officer of ARM Holdings plc, one of the world’s leading designers of processor technology for mobile phones and many of consumer and industrial electronic devices (Honorary Doctor of Civil Law).

Newcastle University’s Registrar, Dr John Hogan, said: “This is an important group of honorary graduates who represent the University’s interests and commitment in a range of disciplines. Their contribution to medicine, science and the arts is outstanding, and we are proud that they have accepted our invitation to receive honorary degrees.

“For the students who will graduate alongside them in July, it would be difficult to find a more exceptional group of people to fuel their imagination and inspire them to go on to achieve great things in their own careers.”

published on: 25 March 2014