Ulster University

Local Sporting Champion Celebrates Graduate Achievements

Champion international jockey AP McCoy became the first of 14 personalities from the worlds of sport, arts, business and public service to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster this this morning.

The jump jockey legend was at Ulster’s Coleraine Campus to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to sport. the graduates, AP McCoy said: “Receiving this recognition in my home county is a genuine pleasure and privilege. Ulster is a university renowned for its focus on shaping and nurturing talent, particularly in the area of professional and elite sports, so I am proud to accept this honour and be part of what is a special day for all graduates and their families.

“I have been blessed with a successful career in a sport but it has taken hard work, constant training and dedication, attributes that are as relevant to those graduating in engineering, nursing or business, as they are to professional sportspeople like me. I wish all 2014 graduates every success, wherever your knowledge, talent and ambition may take you in the future.”

University of Ulster Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett added:

“AP McCoy is one of the sporting world’s most respected and genuinely talented elite. He has, through over twenty years of championship race wins, become an ambassador for the sport and for Northern Ireland.

“He joins twelve other professionals who, in their own sectors, have become leaders and role models around the world. From AP McCoy and Brendan Rogers to Roma Downey and Lord Brian Kerr, all of our honorary graduates have demonstrated a lifetime of passion and commitment to excellence, which can only be an inspiration to the latest generation of Ulster graduates.

“Graduation is a springboard to a new and exciting future and I would encourage all Ulster graduates to take full advantage of the possibilities that lie ahead, and exploit the knowledge and life skills which make them so highly sought after by major employers year after year.”

Professor Barnett also commended over 100 of this year’s graduates who received an Ulster EDGE Award. From business bootcamps to community outreach and overseas exchanges to R&D activities, these graduates developed additional personal and professional attributes that will further enhance their career prospects.

Thirteen University of Ulster graduation ceremonies will be held from 30 June to 8 July in Belfast, Coleraine and Derry~Londonderry.

Notes to editors:

University of Ulster Honorary Graduates July 2014:

Gary Anderson, the motorsport commentator, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to motorsport.

Tommy Bowe, the Ulster and Irish international rugby player – and Ulster alumnus – will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to sport.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, the screenwriter and novelist, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his outstanding contribution to writing.

Evelyn Collins, Chief Executive of the Equality Commission, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD), for her outstanding contribution to the promotion of equality and good relations.

Roma Downey, the actress and film producer – and an Ulster alumna – will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) for her outstanding contribution to acting and philanthropy.

Nick Hewer, the business analyst and media commentator will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to business development.

Lord Justice Brian Kerr will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession.

Fergal Keane, BBC Foreign Correspondent will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) for his outstanding contribution to journalism.

Nicky Kinnaird, the prominent businesswoman and founder of the Space:NK chain will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for her outstanding contribution to entrepreneurship.

AP McCoy, the champion Jockey will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to sport.

Peter McNaney, Chief Executive, Belfast City Council, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for his outstanding contribution to civic leadership.

Christopher Moran, Chairman of Co-Operation Ireland will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws for his outstanding contribution to civic leadership.

Brendan Rogers, Manager of Liverpool Football Club will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc.) for his outstanding contribution to sport.

Margaret Ward, former Director of the Women’s Resource & Development Agency, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) for her outstanding contribution to advancing women’s equality.

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