Ulster University announces inspirational honorary graduates

Ulster University will recognise the outstanding contributions of distinguished educators, journalists, playwrights, leaders, and humanitarians both locally and globally by bestowing honorary degrees on ten individuals.

At a ceremony to officially install Dr Colin Davidson as the sixth Chancellor of Ulster University, the internationally renowned artist will be honoured for his outstanding commitment to remembrance, healing and excellence in the field of art.

Professor Rafael Bengoa, who led who led a review into the Northern Ireland health service, and award-winning playwright and creator of ‘Derry Girls’ Lisa McGee will join those being conferred as honorary graduates in recognition of their exceptional contribution within their specific field, across the areas of construction, media, arts, education, community regeneration and business.

For outstanding contribution to journalism, education & charitable projects in Northern Ireland, Sky News’ David Blevins will be recognised alongside golf and hospitality consultant Wilma Erskine OBE, for her outstanding services to golf tourism, economic regeneration and securing Royal Portrush as the 2019 venue for the British Open.

Rt Reverend Ken Good and Dr Alastair Hamilton CBE are being recognised for their outstanding leadership while the commitment of Patrick Doherty OBE to economic and cultural development will also be honoured.

For services to education, inspirational Principal of Hazelwood Integrated College Máire Thompson will be recognised as will Keltbray Executive Chairman & Owner Brendan Kerr for his support of apprenticeships, training and entrepreneurship.

Commenting on the recipients, Ulster University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Bartholomew said:

“Each year, we welcome thousands of students to Ulster University, and during their studies we strive to equip them with the skills, knowledge and experience required to make a positive contribution to society. We firmly believe it is important that our students have positive role models to whom they can look up to for inspiration; role models who are making a real difference in the world around them, whether locally or globally.

As a society and as individuals we have faced many challenges over the past two years.  It is therefore timely and uplifting that we are now in a position to be able to honour these outstanding role models. Each of these individuals demonstrate leadership, resilience, integrity, progressive thinking, determination, talent and creativity, and they are a source of inspiration to us all.”

Dr Colin Davidson’s new role as Ulster University Chancellor combines ceremonial and ambassadorial duties, including the conferring of degrees at the upcoming graduation ceremonies to be held in March to celebrate the achievements of the Class of 2020 and 2021.

Chancellor Colin Davidson succeeds Dr James Nesbitt who served as Chancellor of Ulster University since 2010.

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