Winter ceremony is icing on cake for Derby University graduates
The city is recovering from two days of pomp and ceremony as almost 3,000 pupils graduated from the University of Derby. Zena Hawley reports.
COLLECTING his late partner's honorary doctorate yesterday was a bittersweet moment for David Horbury.
Dr Emmanuel Cooper, a world renowned potter and writer born in Derbyshire, was due to collect his honorary doctorate in fine art at last year's University of Derby awards ceremonies.
Unfortunately, Dr Cooper was too ill to collect his award and subsequently died on January 21 last year.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
Mr Horbury, who was accompanied by Dr Cooper's sister, Margaret Limb, said: "It's very sad that Emmanuel was not able to collect the degree but I know he was delighted when he heard in late 2011 that he had been selected to receive it.
"Although he had lived in London for some time, his Derbyshire roots were very strong and he still has family living in Pilsley, which he used to visit.
"He very much saw himself as a northern person and so it gave him great pleasure to be honoured in this way. So I am delighted to be here on his behalf to collect the degree."
Mr Horbury also revealed that a retrospective exhibition of Dr Cooper's work will be on tour in 2014, starting in Derby.
Pictures of Mr Horbury accepting the honorary degree, as well as all the other graduates receiving theirs, were beamed around the world via the internet and could be viewed by people brave enough to face the cold conditions in Derby's Market Place.
Most of the celebrating graduates did not mind the snowy conditions and were happy to pose for family photographs outdoors.
Ajay Henry and several of his friends were graduating with degrees in commercial photography but had different ideas of what to do – and where to go – next.
He said: "I am off to London soon and hoping to get into fashion photography but some of the group members are off on a five-month trip around the world."
Fellow graduate Simon Weldon, who won the Format Photography Award, added: "It's a great day for all of us and good to be together before we go our separate ways."
Many graduates joined dignitaries, such as university chancellor the Duke of Devonshire, Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Willie Tucker and High Sheriff Alan Woods, for thanksgiving services at Derby Cathedral.
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern, said: "These services remind us we are concerned with the flourishing of young people through learning and experience."
Also receiving honorary degrees yesterday were Colin Walton, former chairman of Bombardier Transportation UK, and historian and author Maxwell Craven.
Mr Craven donned his gown for the second time in 16 years to convert the masters degree he received in 1997 to a doctorate for his work in preserving the architectural heritage of Derbyshire.
He said: "To be honoured twice has left me very flattered. After all, I have spent my life doing things that I wanted to do and believed in. To be rewarded in this way is a bonus."
John Foxcroft, chairman of Derby-based engineering firm Garrandale Ltd, was also honoured with a doctorate for his contribution to business and manufacture.
He has served on many regional business-related committees and was chairman of the Derbyshire Enterprise Agency Board.
Mr Foxcroft said: "Receiving the doctorate was a very nice surprise and comes 50 years after I arrived in the city and it is especially gratifying that it comes from my home university."