One of the most feared forwards in Rugby League; a pioneer of fashion retailing; a man who fine tuned the world fastest racing cars and a musician who changed the language of electric guitar playing… a diverse group of people with just one thing in common – their contributions to sport, art, education and industry have earned them honorary awards from the University of Huddersfield.
For the rampaging Huddersfield Giants pack star Eorl Crabtree, the award of an Honorary Fellowship of the University comes in his testimonial year, granted by the Rugby Football League for ten years’ loyal service to his home town club.
Eorl, the biggest player in the UK game and instantly recognisable for his flowing locks, has made well over 220 appearances for the Giants and has also become a regular member of the England squad.
During his ten years as a Huddersfield Giant, Eorl has played a key role in the club’s transition from Super League stragglers to one of the most formidable sides in the game, regularly challenging for top honours.
His testimonial year is being marked by a series of special events and Eorl is a prominent ambassador for his club and home town. Now the University of Huddersfield – main partner for the Giants – has added a Fellowship of the University to the big man’s portfolio of honours.
Another figure from the world of sport who will receive an award – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv) - is Steve Hallam, who began his career in automotive engineering – a speciality of the University of Huddersfield – helping to develop some legendary Aston Martin cars. In 1982 he moved into Formula One as race engineer for Team Lotus, working on cars for the likes of Nigel Mansell, Ayrton Senna and Nelson Piquet. In 1990 he joined McLaren and contributed to world championships, including that of Lewis Hamilton in 2008. Last year Steve moved to the US competition NASCAR and is currently executive vice president and director of competition for Michael Waltrip Racing.
World-renowned musician Fred Frith, born and raised in Yorkshire, also receives an HonDUniv. A songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist who helped to redefine electric guitar technique, Fred was a member of cult band Henry Cow in the 1970s before embarking on an extraordinarily varied career in the USA and Europe, working with composers and musicians as varied as Gavin Bryars, Brian Eno, Ivor Cutler and Evelyn Glennie. A prolific composer, his works have been performed by the likes of Robert Wyatt, the Arditti Quartet and the University of Huddersfield own New Music Ensemble.
In 1967, Rita Britton, who will receive the HonDUniv, founded the dress boutique Pollyanna in her native Barnsley, where the University of Huddersfield has a campus. Now, 43 years later, Pollyanna is Britain’s oldest independent fashion retailer and described by the Victoria and Albert Museum as one of the leading shops in the world. Rita has developed her business so that it includes an online shop with a worldwide distribution, selling creations by some of the world’s most important designers. Rita has also become a fashion lecturer, a college governor, a broadcaster and works for bodies such s the DfEE Skills Task Force. She is a former Yorkshire Woman of the Year.
Terry Hodgkinson, Skipton-born, has more than 30 years’ experience in fields such as property development, the conservation of historical buildings and the re-development of brownfield sites. He has brought his expertise to bear in a number of important posts and is currently chairs the regeneration agency Yorkshire Forward, which works to boost the region’s economy. During his seven years at the helm, Terry has seen massive rises in Yorkshire’s GDP and many important projects coming to fruition. He also champions the important link between industry and universities. Now he is honoured by Huddersfield, with the HonDUniv.
Huddersfield-born Kathryn Hinchliff began her career as a nurse in 1972 and by the age of 24 was sister for the coronary care unit at the town’s Royal Infirmary. She also continued her studies and eventually moved into key nurse management roles. The late 1990 saw her move into nurse education and among her many achievements was the establishment of the Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, during her time as Director of Education Commissioning for the NHS in West Yorkshire. She has also served on many national bodies and since her retirement in late 2009 she has worked with Voluntary Service Overseas on its health programme. Now she is honoured by an HonDUniv from the university where she carried out her early studies.
Also a recipient of the HonDUniv in the July awards is the innovative architect Peter Clegg, who practises and teaches on a global scale. In 1978 he was a founder of Feilden Clegg Bradley Architects, which has a major reputation for sustainable design and innovation, with a strong track record in education and community buildings. The practice is at the forefront of innovative housing design, from inner city social housing to new suburban neighbourhoods and private developments, and is working on a series of substantial urban regeneration projects throughout the UK. Peter has taught on both sides of the Atlantic and was in charge of the design of the visitor centres and galleries for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
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