Hundreds of teachers and former teachers to be awarded honorary degrees

Published: 20/06/2019

More than 700 teaching alumni will be welcomed back to York St John University next week when it awards honorary degrees to students of Ripon College and York St John who were awarded a Certificate of Education before 1980.

Back of graduates heads

Six ceremonies will be held on the York St John University campus over three days on 25, 26 and 27 June. The Honorary Degree of Bachelor of Education (Bed Hon) will be awarded in celebration of the University’s 178-year heritage as an educational institution and in recognition of the academic rigor demanded by the Certificate of Education of the hundreds of teachers who have gone on to inspire generations of young minds.

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St John University said, “York St John and the colleges that preceded us have trained thousands of teachers over nearly 180 years, teachers who have gone on to inspire countless children and have contributed an invaluable amount to this country. Awarding some of those teachers with an honorary degree is a fitting tribute to all their hard work.”

Amongst the alumni attending are three sisters who studied at Ripon College and graduated in the 1950’s; a selection of former York and Ripon students from countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA; and two of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, the first seven women admitted to study at York St John in 1962 alongside the 450 men.

The wife and sons of Dick Bate, leading FA coach and football educator, will be presented with a posthumous honorary fellowship in recognition of Dick’s outstanding contribution to coach education in football. He dedicated his life to football and sadly passed away in April 2018. Dick was an exemplary member of the 1965-1968 P.E. cohort and a member of the 1960’s cup-final winning university team.

Children from across the city will be taking part, highlighting the significant relationships that York St John University has with local primary schools. Choirs from Knavesmire, Park Grove, Wigginton, Yearsley Grove, Scarcroft and Haxby Road primaries will perform at each ceremony. A number of special guests will also be in attendance across all ceremonies. These include: Gail Brown (Ebor Academy Trust Executive Headteacher, Alumna of York St John); Norma Machell (former Scarcroft School deputy headteacher, Teacher of the Year in a Primary School 1999, Alumna of York St John) and Honorary Fellows of the University, Sylvia Shepherd and Jack Linley.

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