York St John honours six outstanding figures in business, sport, fundraising and theatre

1 November 2011 By Northern Lights

York St John honours six outstanding figures in business, sport, fundraising and theatre image

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of Marks and Spencer Plc and playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn are among six leading figures to be awarded honorary degrees by York St John University at graduation ceremonies on 16, 17 and 18 November.

Also receiving honorary degrees at ceremonies in York Minister in recognition for achievements in their fields are England Rugby Union player Hendre Fourie, paratriathlete Alan Rayment, fundraiser Mike Tomlinson and international football referee Howard Webb MBE.

Marc Bolland will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration on Wednesday 16 November in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business. Before joining M&S he was chief executive at Morrisons for three years. He began his career at Heineken NV in the Netherlands in 1987 and worked for them in various global marketing and sales management roles before becoming their chief operating officer in 2005.

Sir Alan Ayckbourn and Hendre Fourie will be honoured in separate ceremonies on Thursday 17 November. Sir Alan, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, is renowned for his association and work at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre where he was artistic director for 37 years. The acclaimed playwright, who has written 75 plays, was knighted in 1997 for services to theatre.

Hendre Fourie, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Health Sciences, spent four seasons with Leeds Carnegie before joining Sale Sharks this summer. He previously played for Rotherham Titans. Although born in South Africa, his residency in England qualified him to play for his adopted national team.

Inspirational paratriathlete Alan Rayment, Mike Tomlinson, trustee and chief executive of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, and international football referee Howard Webb will each receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Health Sciences on Friday 18 November.  

Alan Rayment from Scunthorpe is a bilateral amputee who has been in a wheelchair since 1997. The former truck driver has completed numerous triathlons, the London Marathon, Great North Run and hand cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats raising considerable funds for charities.

Mike Tomlinson, from Leeds, is the widower of the late Jane Tomlinson CBE, and has carried on fundraising since her death from cancer in 2007. Mike and his family have raised more than £3 million for charity and established the successful Run for All series of 10k runs in Hull, Leeds and York.

Howard Webb, from Rotherham, is recognised as one of the world’s top football referees.  From refereeing in the local Rotherham league in 1989, Howard Webb progressed to be a FIFA listed referee and has officiated at leading games, including the FIFA World Cup Final, UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup Final.

Honorary Degrees will be presented at the graduation ceremonies in York Minster by Chancellor of York St John University and Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, or by Vice Chancellor Professor David Fleming, in front of an audience of graduands, their families and friends, and staff and guests of the University.

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Written by Northern Lights

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