Bangor University shares honours during Graduation Week

It’s going to be a rock and roll themed affair at Bangor University’s Graduation Ceremonies this year, as the University awards musician Gruff Rhys and Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens.

They are among the individuals who will be receiving Honorary Fellowships during the University’s annual graduation ceremonies (11-17 July 2015).

Having recently completed a UK tour with the successful band, the Super Furry Animals, who achieved mainstream success in the 1990s, Gruff Rhys has also worked on a number of solo projects including most recently, writing the film score for Set fire to the Stars, a film about the last days of Dylan Thomas, and American Interior a tour, film, mobile app and book in which Gruff Rhys goes on a personal journey to follow the footsteps of Welshman John Evans, who explored and mapped the Missouri river while searching of a mythical tribe of Welsh-speaking Indians.  American Interior was recently shortlisted for the English non-fiction Welsh Book of the year Awards, while his solo album Hotel Shampoo won the 2011 Welsh Music Prize.  His electro-pop collaboration, Neon Neon were nominated for a Nationwide Mercury Prize for the Stainless Style album in 2008.

Also being honoured for his contribution to contemporary music is Huw Stephens, BBC Radio 1’s youngest ever DJ who also co-hosted BBC Radio Cymru's music strand, C2.  Huw Stephens also broadcasts and writes about music as well as curating and introducing the performances at several music festivals. In 2007 he established a new musical festival in Cardiff Sŵn. 

Myrddin ap Dafydd, founder of Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, a press and publishing house in Llanrwst is being honoured for his services to Welsh Literature and to the publishing industry in Wales. Joining him is Meirion Prys Jones, chair of the Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity. He is a former chief executive of the Welsh Language Board and is well-known and respected across Europe by people involved in linguistic rights and language planning. It is for work in this area that he receives the Fellowship.

Other individuals receiving the same honour during the week include Nicholas Snowman. He is the fourth generation member of the Wartski family to lead the London-based jewellers, Wartski of Llandudno, one of the world’s most respected and eminent jewellers. Founded in Bangor by Morris Wartski in 1865, a refugee from the Tsarist Russia, Wartski’s is now a firm of art and antique dealers specializing in fine jewellery, gold boxes, silver and works of art by Carl Fabergé. Mr Snowman receives the fellowship for his services to business.

A number of those being honoured have links to Bangor University. These include:

Recently retired former Bangor University, former Registrar and Secretary, Dr David Roberts. A member of staff for 35 years, 11 of which were as Academic Registrar prior to becoming the University Registrar, a post he held for 15 years. Dr Roberts recently authored the latest history of the University, Bangor University 1884-2009. Dr Roberts, who lives locally, is to be honoured for his services to the University.

Bangor Graduate Shireen Chambers is currently the Executive and Technical Director of Institute of Chartered Foresters. Shireen is to receive her Honorary Fellowship for her services to Forestry. Another Bangor graduate is to be honoured for her services to Marine Science. Lowri Evans is Director General of the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for the European Commission.  A Welsh speaking native of north Wales, many at the University retain close working links with Ms Evans.

A graduate of the College of Health & Behavioural Sciences at Bangor University, Jeremy Howell is a professor at the University of San Francisco, a small, exclusive Jesuit university. He is to receive an Honorary Fellowship for his services to Sports Science.

Bernard Taylor CBE currently Chairman of Cambridge Laboratories Ltd has a degree in Zoology from Bangor University and began his pharmaceutical career in marketing with SmithKline & French. He was with Glaxo from 1963 - 1990, mainly in Australasia, becoming Chief Executive of Glaxo Worldwide. He subsequently co-founded and became Executive Chairman of Medeva plc, before moving to his current position.  He is to be rewarded for his services to pharmaceutical science.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John G Hughes commented: “Bangor University has achieved great results in several areas this last academic year: the University has been ranked in the top 100 Universities in the world for its international outlook, and rated in the top 20 in the UK for student experience in addition to having achieved excellent results in the Research Exercise Framework. As we celebrate the success of our students and of the University, it’s also an honour to also highlight and reward others connected with Wales or the University who are excelling in their own chosen fields, and making a valued contribution.”

Publication date: 15 May 2015