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Influential figures honoured by University for graduation

AN internationally-acclaimed composer, the founder of an inspirational charity, and a leading educationalist are all to be recognised for their unique contributions with honorary degrees from the University of Chichester.

The work of Carl Davis, Tony Bernard, and Barbara Smith has been chosen as an inspiration to students graduating from the University. The awards will be made alongside nearly 2,000 graduates at the Chichester Festival Theatre on Sunday 23 and Monday 24 October.

Carl Davis CBE is internationally celebrated as a composer for screen and theatre who will receive the award of Doctor of Music. Many will remember Carl’s haunting theme music for the ground-breaking Channel 4 series The World at War. His film scores have included the French Lieutenant’s Woman, for which he won a BAFTA, and Ethel and Ernest released this month.

Carl Davis CBE

Mr Davis appeared last January conducting the University’s Chamber Orchestra in Chichester Cathedral in a community version of his work Last Train to Tomorrow – which commemorates the life of Sir Nicholas Winton who rescued hundreds of Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Germany. Carl gave his services pro-bono for an evening which raised £5,000 for Save the Children.

Tony Bernard will receive an Honorary Master of Arts. Following the tragic death in 2005 of his son Stephen, Tony established a charity dedicated to keeping his memory alive by benefitting others. Stephen was a trainee PE teacher at the University of Chichester and now the Stephen Bernard Foundation raises money to provide sporting opportunities for others – because Stephen always wanted to help others to enjoy sport.

To date the charity has raised nearly £300,000 for more than 200 projects mainly across West and East Sussex, Hampshire, and Dorset. Tony has become a legendary figure for sports students at the University and his reception at the ceremony is likely to be both noisy and joyful.

Tony Bernard with Prof Clive Behagg

In addition an educationalist and one of the driving forces behind the West Sussex Institute of Higher Education - now the University of Chichester - will also receive an honorary doctorate at the graduation ceremony.

Barbara SmithBarbara Smith was deputy director of the Institute from 1977 having previously held the role of Acting Principal of the preceding Bognor Regis College of Education and then Head of Bognor Regis College.

The University has previously named a Hall of Residence and a Graduation Prize for ‘Outstanding student of the year’ after Miss Smith. Now it honours her with the award of Doctor of Education.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Clive Behagg said: "The point of awarding Honorary Degrees is to select people who can inspire our graduates as they set out on the journey of their lives. In their different ways, these three awards fit the bill exactly. I know our graduating students will love them."

To find out more visit www.chi.ac.uk/graduation or email graduation@chi.ac.uk.