More than 550 students, together with their friends and families, will gather at the Gardner Arts Centre this month for the University of Sussex Winter Graduation Ceremonies. The degrees, diplomas and certificates will be conferred by the University's vice-chancellor Professor Alasdair Smith on Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26.
Among those attending the ceremonies will be husband and wife James Wilson and Sarah D'Arbeloff Wilson, who met while both studying for doctorates in chemistry at Sussex.
Honorary degrees will also be presented to:
- Thursday pm -
- Caroline Brown, founder and artistic director of The Hanover Band, who will receive the degree of Doctor of Music.
- Friday am -
- Con Ainsworth, vice-president of Worthing Archaeological Society, who will receive the degree of Master of Arts.
- Friday pm -
- Professor Sir Tom Blundell, Chairman of the Royal Commission on Pollution, who will receive the degree of Doctor of Science.
- Friday pm -
- Professor Margaret Boden, professor of philosophy and psychology at the University of Sussex and a revered expert in artificial intelligence, who will receive the degree of Doctor of Science.
The Friday graduation ceremonies will be followed in the evening by a Special Awards Ceremony for the presentation of certificates, diplomas and alumni fellowships. Those receiving fellowships this year include Brighton's Lord Bassam.
Notes for editors
You are invited to send a reporter/photographer to the ceremonies, which will be held at 11.15am and 3pm on both Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26 at the Gardner Arts Centre.
Biographies of the honorary graduands are appended (below). All have local Sussex connections.
For interviews and further information, please contact Jacqui Bealing, Alison Field or Peter Simmons in the University of Sussex Press and Communications Office.
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk, A.Field@sussex.ac.uk or P.J.Simmons@sussex.ac.uk.
Con Ainsworth has been a leading light in Sussex archaeology for more than 50 years. His passion for unearthing the secrets of the past has to led to a greater understanding of the commerce and industry of Medieval Sussex, and his enthusiasm in teaching archaeology has inspired hundreds to take their studies further.
An electronics engineer by profession, Mr Ainsworth first became involved with archaeological projects in Sussex after World War Two. He led digs all over Sussex and the finds helped identify the origins of the Medieval pottery industry of the area. When Northbrook College was first under construction in his home town of Goring, he discovered it was on the site of a Roman villa and bathhouse and was involved in the excavation.
For more than 25 years Mr Ainsworth taught archaeology at the University of Sussex's Centre for Continuing Education. He retired last year at the age of 83. He has been a member of the Sussex Archaeological Society since the 1970s and is currently vice-president of Worthing Archaeological Society and The Worthing Society. Although he no longer takes part in digs, he is still involved in organising training days for young enthusiasts.
His own enthusiasm has never waned. "We can't understand the present without looking at the past," he says.
University of Sussex academic Professor Margaret Boden is an internationally respected authority in the field of artificial intelligence. For more than 40 years she has been fascinated by the functioning of the human mind and her published books and research underpin academic study in cognitive psychology.
Her notable works include Artificial Intelligence and Natural Man, which became a set text for the Open University, and The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms, which has been translated into many languages worldwide.
She became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and was its vice-president between 1989 and 1991.She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a member of the Academia Europaea. Other posts she has held include vice-president and chairman of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, 1993-1995, and curator of the University of London's School of Advanced Study, 1995-2000.
She came to Sussex in 1965 as reader in philosophy and psychology, becoming a professor in 1980. She was made dean of the School of Social Sciences in 1985 and was the founding dean when it was reorganised three years later to become the School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences. She lives in Brighton.
Caroline Brown is the founder and artistic director of The Hanover Band. For the past 20 years she has devoted her energy to building the Hove-based period instrument orchestra into one of the finest of its kind in the world.
Ms Brown's music career began when, as a young cellist, she was a founder member of Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra in her home town of Bedford. She went on to win a junior exhibition to the Royal College of Music. It was while studying at the RCM that she first became interested in period music. She learned to play baroque cello, attended master classes in Salzburg and Amsterdam with leading exponents of the musical style and became a member of the Capella Academica Wien in Vienna.
Ms Brown has worked with the Scottish Ballet, English Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Academy of London, City of London Sinfonia and the orchestras of Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet and the English Bach Festival.
In 1998 she gained an MA in Music Education at Trinity College of Music and has recently completed a one-year community project with the members of the Hanover Band's education team in Brighton and Hove, entitled "No Beethoven, No Beat".
In the fields of both science research and science policy, biochemist Professor Sir Tom Blundell is one of the UK's most important figures. He has been a scientific adviser to the Government since the 1980s and his laboratory work, which involves identifying the chemical processes of diseases, has led to the development of drugs to treat Aids, cancer, cataracts and diabetes.
Currently head of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, he is also chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, which, last year, produced the influential report Energy, the Changing Climate. He is also a member of the advisory committee of the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology. Between 1991 and 1994 he was director general of the Agricultural and Food Research Council, and, from 1994 to 1996, chief executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
Among the many honours bestowed upon him are the Alcon Award for Vision Research, the Gold Medal of The Institute of Biotechnology and the European Award for Innovation in Biomedical Sciences. He was knighted in 1997.
Born in Brighton, he was educated at Steyning Grammar School before gaining an open scholarship to the University of Oxford. He lectured in biological sciences at the University of Sussex between 1973 and 1976.