Scottish football coach Sir Alex Ferguson is to be made a Doctor of the University of Stirling in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport.
The graduation ceremony at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence will bring Sir Alex back to his footballing roots, as he played for four years (1969-1973) at Falkirk FC, who have their football academy on the campus. He also started his managerial career nearby, at East Stirlingshire in 1974.
Dr James Naughtie, Chancellor of the University, will present Sir Alex with his Doctorate, in one of four graduation ceremonies to be held on 29 and 30 June. Honorary doctorates will also be awarded to Professor Karl Butzer of the University of Texas, Professor Ian Aitken OBE and Lord McFall of Alcluith.
Each of the graduation ceremonies will be webcast live by the University, so that families around the world can see their relatives graduating and football fans can watch Sir Alex’s acceptance speech in full.
Details of the four graduation ceremonies:
Ceremony 1: 10.00am on Wednesday 29 June 2011 Academic areas: School of Natural Sciences and the School of Applied Social Science
Professor Karl Butzer will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to geomorphology, archaeology and environmental history.
Professor Butzer is a distinguished scholar in the field of geoarchaeology and environmental history, whose research has assessed the relationships between the environment and people. In his early career, he focused on modelling the paleoecology of early humans and on the first appearance of anatomically-modern people. Since 2000, his work has re-examined past understandings of the lives of people in ancient Egypt and in Mexico and he has developed methods to examine the impact of long-term climate change in such regions.
Ceremony 2: 2.30pm on Wednesday 29 June 2011 Academic areas: School of Education, School of Sport and the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health
Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson Kt, CBE, OBE will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his great distinction in the field of sport and the general public arena.
Sir Alex played for six Scottish clubs from 1957 to 1974 before he embarked on a highly successful managerial career with East Stirlingshire, St Mirren, Aberdeen and Manchester United. He also led the Scottish national side at the 1986 World Cup Finals. Since November 1986, Sir Alex has managed Manchester United, winning the UEFA Champions League twice, the English Premier League on ten occasions and the FA Cup five times.
Ceremony 3: 10.00am on Thursday 30 June 2011 Academic area: School of Arts and Humanities
Professor Ian Aitken OBE will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding service to the University as a lay member of University Court.
Professor Aitken was an animal health and welfare scientist as head of the Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh from 1985 to 1997. Under his stewardship, the Institute developed into a multi-million pound leader with an international reputation. After his retirement, he was an outstanding lay member of the University Court from 2001 to 2009, with the University benefitting from Professor Aitken’s professional expertise and his keen sense of the importance of ethical robustness as a means of ensuring public confidence in the work of academics.
Ceremony 4: 2.30pm on Thursday 30 June 2011 Academic area: Stirling Management School
The Rt Hon Lord McFall of Alcluith will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the UK Parliament.
Born and educated in Dumbarton, John McFall was first elected MP for Dumbarton in 1987. In government, he served as a Government Whip and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Northern Ireland Office. He was Chair of the Treasury Select Committee from 2001 to 2010, playing a key role in the recent banking crisis, searching for mechanisms that would help prevent future crises. The Committee also had an important role in promoting financial inclusion - enabling everyone to have access to financial services such as bank accounts and savings.