Bangor University announces Honorary Fellows for 2012

Bangor University has announced the names of distinguished individuals who will be awarded Honorary Fellowships in 2012. All Fellowships will be conferred during Degree Ceremonies between 14 and 20 July.

 "Bangor University has a strong tradition of recognising the achievements of various men and women in different walks of life. This year is no exception, and we look forward to awarding Honorary Fellowships. Our Fellows will add great distinction and glamour to the ceremonies at which we also recognise the achievements of our students," said University Registrar, Dr David Roberts.

The names of this year’s Honorary Fellows are:

Professor Malcolm David Evans OBEProfessor Malcolm David Evans OBE

Professor Malcolm David Evans OBE  - Professor of International Law, University of Bristol [for services to Law]

Professor Steve Jones  - Professor of Genetics, University College London (UCL), prize-winning author and broadcaster  [for services to Science]

Terence David Hands CBE  - Director of Clwyd Theatr Cymru; who also ran the Royal Shakespeare Company for 20 years [for services to the theatre]

Bleddyn Wynn-Jones – plant collector and cultivator, Crug Farm Nurseries  [for services to Botany and Horticulture] rofessor Tony Jones CBE, FRCA – internationally-known arts administrator; an Anglesey man who is Chancellor of the School of Art Institute of Chicago  [for services to the Arts]

Terence David Hands CBETerence David Hands CBE

John Gibb Marshall  (also known as John Sessions) – actor and writer, and Bangor graduate,who has enjoyed a distinguished acting career – starring most recently as Edward Heath in the film The Iron Lady  [for services to drama]

Professor Catherine McKenna  -  Professor of Celtic Languages & Literatures, Harvard University [for services to the study of Celtic languages & literatures]

The Rt Hon Lord Barry Jones  - former MP for Alyn & Deeside, and government minister, and graduate of Coleg Normal [for services to Welsh public life]

Actor John Sessions said: “I've never forgotten my days at Bangor and am more touched than I can say that Bangor hasn't forgotten me. God bless my alma mater!”

John SessionsJohn SessionsTerry Hands, Director of Theatr Clwyd, said: “I'm delighted to be honoured in this way and look forward to forging even stronger links with this great University.”

Bleddyn Wynn-Jones of Crûg Farm Plants said: “It came as a wonderful surprise to be offered an Honorary Fellowship from Bangor University, a bolt out of the blue, one might say. Like so many of our wild plant discoveries from around the world, it’s a great privilege to be in the right place at the right time. But I’m also humbled by the honour bestowed upon me, by my peers; for indulging myself in a subject that excites and exhilarates my life, while availing me with the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of mankind.

Born in Wales, Malcolm Evans is one of the UK’s most distinguished international lawyers – his best-selling book on international law is now in its 3rd edition. Member of the Foreign Secretary’s Advisory Group on Human Rights; Chair of the UN sub-committee on the prevention of torture; received an OBE in 2004 for services to the prevention of torture and the promotion of religious liberty.

Professor of Genetics since 1992, Steve Jones has been at University College London since 1978. He is a Daily Telegraph columnist since 1992; Winner of the Royal Society Faraday Medal, the Charter Medal of the Institute of Biology and Linnean Society Tercentenary Medal.  He has authored several books, including the Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Human Evolution (1992). His book The Language of the Genes won the Science Book Prize in 1994. He is currently President of the Association for Science Education.

 One of the most distinguished practitioners of the English-speaking theatre, Terry Hands has been with Clwyd Theatr Cymru since 1997. Formerly Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company1986-91, he was also founder and Artistic Director of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre. Has won many awards for his work as a Director – including the London Drama Critics Award – and has directed productions for the Chichester Festival, the Royal Opera, the Royal National Theatre and international organisations.

Bleddyn Wynn Jones began collecting plants on an expedition to Vietnam in 1991, and has continued regularly to visit countries in south east Asia and South America. Regarded internationally as a major plant collector and propagator, plants grown at his Crug Farm Nursery near Bangor are sold world-wide. He was awarded the Sir Brynner Jones Prize by the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 1997, and has won many Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medals and has won the President’s Award for the best exhibit in the Grand Pavilion at the 2011 Chelsea Flower Show.

Professor Tony Jones grew up on Anglesey (Mynydd Bodafon) where he still has family. Has been President of the School of Art, Institute of Chicago 1986-92 and 1996-2008 – but served also as Rector of the Royal College of Art from 1992-96; previously Director of the Glasgow School of Art. He is well-known as a broadcaster and writer as well as arts administrator. Winner of the Glasgow University’s Newbery Medal, and the US National Council of Art Administrator’s Award

John Sessions (John Gibb Marshall) has enjoyed a hugely distinguished acting career on stage and screen, specialising in both serious roles and humorous improvisation.  Performances include Die Fledermaus, Henry V and The Merchant of Venice, as well as Spitting Image, Midsomer Murders,Judge John Deed, Dalziel and Pascoe and Dr Who amongst very many performances. He graduated from Bangor in the 1970s.

Catherine McKenna has taught at Harvard since 2005, and was previously at New York University and the City University of New York. She is a distinguished scholar of narrative prose and bardic poetry of medieval Wales. Has close academic links with Bangor, and her Honorary Fellowship confirms a ‘special relationship’ between her department at Harvard and the School of Welsh at Bangor.

In addition to his political career, during which time he served as PPS to Denis Healey and as a Minister in the Welsh Office in 1974-79, he Rt Hon Lord Barry Jones has been President of Deeside Hospital and President of the Alzheimer’s Society, and a member of the governing bodies of the National Museum of Wales and the National Library of Wales.

Publication date: 8 May 2012