The Reporter
Issue 495, 26 January 2004
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Leeds marks centenary with ceremonial honours

A centenary opening ceremony in the Parkinson Court on April 22 heralds a week of events marking the University's 100 years, culminating in a centenary celebration ceremony on April 29 in the Great Hall. Tickets for both ceremonies are available. Click on the links for details. The centenary photo competition winners and runners up can be seen here and full listing of centenary events can be found here.

Zygmunt BaumanThree emeritus professors will receive honorary degrees at the opening ceremony: Zygmunt Bauman, who worked at the University from 1972 until his retirement in 1990, is one of the most notable social theorists of the 20th century and the world's foremost sociologist of post-modernity. A refugee from persecution in his native Poland, Professor Bauman was Leeds' first professor of sociology. He has published 25 books in English, 12 after his retirement.

Maurice BeresfordEconomic historian Maurice Beresford has transformed medieval archaeology and stimulated the study of landscape history. Professor Beresford joined the University of Leeds in 1948, and is most noted for his forty-season excavation of the depopulated medieval village of Wharram Percy in North Yorkshire. A fellow of the British Academy, Professor Beresford has published books ranging from medieval to 20th-century history.

Duncan DowsonDuncan Dowson gained his first degree and doctorate at the University's school of mechanical engineering, going on to become an outstanding researcher and servant of the University. He pioneered the study of tribology – the branch of engineering dealing with the relation of surfaces in motion and their lubrication – and his work has appeared in nearly 500 publications. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor, head of department and dean of international relations.

The following will receive honorary degrees at the centenary celebration ceremony.

Jack CharltonJack Charlton's football career commanded respect as both player and manager. In 21 years at Leeds United, he made 772 appearances and achieved legendary status as an uncompromising defender. He won 35 caps for England and was in England's 1966 world cup squad. He found success off the pitch managing Middlesbrough, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and the Republic of Ireland.

Tony HarrisonBorn in Leeds, poet Tony Harrison graduated from the University with a BA in classics (with linguistics). One of his most renowned works is a 1970 collection of poems drawing on the cultural identity of the people of Leeds, The Loiners. Harrison is known all over the world and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dame Julia HigginsProfessor Dame Julia Higgins is Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society and chairs the advisory board of the Athena Project, dedicated to the advancement of women in science, engineering and technology. She also chairs the Advisory Board of the Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Polymer Science and Technology in which Leeds University is a leading collaborator.

Sir Ian McKellenSir Ian McKellen is one of the biggest names in cinema and the greatest stage actor of his generation. Recently nominated for an Oscar for his role as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sir Ian has performed on numerous occasions at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds; his performance in The Seagull winning him the 1999 Barclay's Theatre Award for best supporting performance.

Sir Kenneth MorrisonYorkshire-born Sir Kenneth Morrison has created a supermarket empire from the humble beginnings of a Bradford market stall. With the impending takeover of Safeway his business will comprise around 450 stores stretching from the Shetlands to Penzance. He is the longest-serving chairman of any FTSE 100 company.

Baroness Usha Prashar of RunnymedeLeeds political studies graduate Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede was appointed First Civil Service Commissioner in 2000. She is also chairman of the National Literary Trust, chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society and has undertaken voluntary projects including directorships of the National Council of Voluntary Organizations and the Runnymede Trust. She was awarded a CBE in 1995 for public service and community relations.

Professor David RhodesAcademic and entrepreneur Professor David Rhodes studied for both his BSc and PhD at Leeds. In 1977 he founded the highly successful electronic components company Filtronic, becoming an industrial professor four years later. The Shipley company was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1994. Professor Rhodes has received an OBE and CBE and the Prince Philip Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Ngugi wa Thiong'oNgugi wa Thiong'o was born in Kenya, studied at Leeds in the 1960s and is one of the most prominent African writers today. His most notable works include 'Weep Not Child', which he began writing in Leeds, telling the story of a boy growing up during anti-colonial conflict in 1950s Kenya. His awards include the Unesco prize. He has taught at Yale, New York and California universities.

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