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News article

Honorary Fellowships awarded to three inspirational individuals

Published: 20 May 2016

  •   Awards
  •    Community
  •    Vice Chancellor

Cherie Federico, Greg Hoyland and John Finnigan received their Honorary Fellowships from Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Stanton during the 175 Celebration Stakeholder Dinner at the University on 19 May which was attended by over 170 guests.

A graduate of York St John, Cherie is the founder of the arts and culture magazine Aesthetica and its offshoot, the Aesthetica Film Festival. An ordained Anglican priest, Greg joined the University as chaplain in 1987 before moving into full-time lecturing in the Theology department in 2000; and John, a retired solicitor, has been a long-serving member and former Deputy Chairman of York St John’s Governing Body.

Professor Stanton said: “I am delighted that Cherie, Greg and John are now Honorary Fellows of York St John.  In their own individual ways, they each have had an enormous impact on the governance, values, teaching and cultural development of the University. I am incredibly proud that York St John has such talented, skilled and committed supporters. As Honorary Fellows they will remain part of our community and our relationship will continue to grow and strengthen, greatly benefiting the University, its students and staff.”  

York St John University is celebrating the 175th anniversary of its founding, and its 10th anniversary as a University, with a series of public and private events during 2016. The University’s founding college, the York Diocesan Training School, opened on 17 May, 1841, in Monkgate as a teacher training centre before moving to its current site on Lord Mayor’s Walk in 1846. Over nearly two centuries, the college evolved to offer a more general curriculum and was awarded University status in 2006.


Honorary Fellows – Brief biographies

Cherie Federico

Cherie Federico graduated from York St John in 2003 with a Masters Degree in English Literature. Prior to graduating and while still doing research for her MA, Cherie set up the arts and culture magazine Aesthetica. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary and with more than 50 editions, Aesthetica has an audience of over 140,000 across 20 countries, is distributed at the world’s most prominent art fairs and events, and in galleries, cultural venues and museums worldwide as well as being stocked in WH Smith stores across the UK. As an offshoot of the magazine, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival, of which York St John University is one of the sponsors, was launched in 2011 and utilises the University and 15 other venues, across the city to screen 220 films over a four-day period.


Greg Hoyland

Greg Hoyland began his career as a teacher and then went on to study Theology at Oxford to prepare for ordination into the Anglican Church. He worked in parishes in Bradford for nearly 10 years and in training church youth and children’s workers before coming to York St John as Chaplain in 1987. In 1994, Greg started lecturing part-time in the Theology department alongside his chaplaincy work and moved into full-time lecturing in 2000. Still active in the church, providing cover for clergy during absences and holidays, Greg also runs a number of courses, retreats and conferences for churches around the country.


John Finnigan

John Finnigan served for three years as a co-opted member of the Strategy, Planning and Resources Committee at York St John, before being invited to become a Trustee and Governor in September 2005 and take on the chairmanship of the Audit Committee. Having recently retired from practice as a solicitor, John brought with him specialisms in corporate finance, corporate insolvency and recovery and funding work. His work involved him in many Public/Private Partnership projects and he had a close association with the education sector through the funding of a number of schools and university developments.  John went on to take up the role of Deputy Chairman of the Governing Body and, after completing the maximum of three terms of three years each, he retired from the Governing Body in 2014.

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