Aston welcomes Honorary Graduates

17 March 2008 – for immediate release

Aston University will present two Honorary Degrees at its postgraduate degree ceremony on Tuesday, 18th March 2008.

Sir Stuart Rose will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science. He is a non-executive director of Land Securities plc and Chairman of the British Fashion Council. He began his career in retail at Marks & Spencer in 1972 before going on to the Burton Group in 1989, becoming Chief Executive of the Multiples Division in 1994. He left the Group following its demerger in 1997. Sir Stuart was Chief Executive of Argos plc in 1998 and later became Chief Executive of Booker plc. Before re-joining Marks & Spencer as Chief Executive in 2004, he was Chief Executive of Arcadia Group plc from 2000 until 2002.

Richard David Anthony Packham will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters. In 1988 David was appointed University Secretary-Registrar at Aston University. He was responsible for a large part of the University’s support services, and in his early years at Aston, he was heavily involved in the search for new professorial staff. In the 1990s, he worked closely with the City of Birmingham, the FE Sector, and the other two universities in Birmingham on the development of the Eastside Learning Quarter, and was a member of the Eastside Steering Group. David was also instrumental in promoting Aston’s widening participation activities. David was also prominent in the development of Aston’s equal opportunities policies. From 1988 to 2007, he coordinated Aston’s planning exercise, and authored the University’s strategic planning statements.

Throughout his career, David worked closely with students, as a student counsellor with individual students, and in collaboration with the student officers of the Students’ Unions, taking a particular interest in the full range of student support services.

After nineteen years as Aston, David retired in August, 2007, and returned full-time to his home in the village of Barnburgh, South Yorkshire, where he is now a Parish Councillor, is involved with fundraising to improve community facilities in the village, and is Chairman of Barnburgh Hall Management Company Limited, which manages the country estate, formerly the site of Barnburgh Hall, where he now lives. David has retained links with Aston, and is currently a trustee of the Aston Pension Scheme.


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