Honorary guests join GCU summer graduations

30 June 2017

Honorary guests join GCU summer graduations

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will celebrate the achievements of an award-winning photojournalist, the founders of the world's largest private optician chain, a film visual effects wizard, Microsoft Xbox's ‘father of invention’, the United Nations Global Compact founder, and a global anti-landmine campaigner.

During the University’s summer graduations on July 5 and 6, GCU is awarding six honorary degrees in recognition of achievements and contributions across a range of backgrounds.

The recipients are:

Scottish photojournalist Harry Benson CBE began his career at the Hamilton Advertiser and the Daily Express before travelling to America with the Beatles in 1964. Harry marched with Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, photographed the Los Angeles Watts Riots, was embedded in the Gulf War, was next to Robert Kennedy when he was assassinated, and has photographed countless luminaries including Sir Winston Churchill, President Charles de Gaulle, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, Elizabeth Taylor and Jack Nicholson.

Doug and Dame Mary Perkins DBE are the founders of Specsavers, the world's largest private optician chain, selling more than 19 million pairs of glasses and 400 million contact lenses each year from nearly 2,000 stores in 10 countries. Specsavers has raised more than £5 million, across the world for charities and good causes.

Steve Begg has been in the film industry for nearly 30 years, working on visual effects for television shows, commercials and major feature films, amassing a list of credits including Aliens, Tomb Raider, Batman, Kingsman and Casino Royale, Skyfall and Spectre.

Boyd Multerer is a software developer who played a key role in the foundation of Xbox Live and the development of the operating systems for Microsoft’s globally successful home-gaming consoles, Xbox One and Xbox 360. He has been hailed by Microsoft as Xbox's ‘father of invention’.

Georg Kell is the founder and former Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative with over 12,000 corporate signatories in more than 170 countries.

Jerry White launched the Landmine Survivors Network − later Survivor Corps − with co-founder Ken Rutherford. Working closely with the late Princess Diana, and then King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan to address the humanitarian crisis caused by tens of millions of mines buried in more than 80 countries, he shared in the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace awarded to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.

The honorary guests will join over 2,900 students graduating from Glasgow School for Business and Society, the School of Engineering and Built Environment and the School of Health and Life Sciences, at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate the work and achievements of these individuals, who are outstanding examples of our University’s enduring commitment to work for the Common Good.”

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