Figures from sport, film, architecture and journalism honoured

Honorary degrees for Craig Reedie, Mark Cousins, Charles Jencks and Melanie Reid

30 May 2014

Figures from the world of sport, film, architecture and journalism are to receive honorary degrees from the University of Stirling.

Sir Craig Reediea former Stirling High School pupil who went on to become a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee – will become a “Doctor of the University” as will film director and former Edinburgh Film Festival boss Mark Cousins.

Also receiving honorary degrees will be Dr Charles Jencks, the landscape architect behind “Northumberlandia”, the award-winning landform in the north of England; and the respected Scottish journalist Melanie Reid.

The four will receive their awards at graduation ceremonies on 25 and 26 June.

The University’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac, said: “We are delighted to be able to honour these four outstanding individuals at our summer graduation ceremonies, joining hundreds of accomplished Stirling students.

“Sir Craig Reedie was born in Stirling and attended the town’s High School. Sir Craig joined the International Olympic Committee in 1994 and served on the London 2012 Organising Committee. As Scotland’s University of Sporting Excellence we are pleased to be able to mark his incredible body of work and make him a Doctor of the University.

“Mark Cousins is an accomplished film-maker and Stirling graduate. He is well known for his work at the Edinburgh International Film Festival. But he has also done great work in the voluntary sector. With the actress Tilda Swinton, he founded the 8½ Foundation  - a not-for-profit organisation aimed at introducing children to the best of world cinema.”

The Principal continued: “Charles Jencks has truly made his mark on the environment, creating stunning landforms that inspire us all. He also worked with his late wife Maggie to set up an amazing charity – now delivering Maggie’s Centres around the country to support people living with cancer.

“Journalist Melanie Reid, who lives in Stirlingshire, will receive her honorary degree in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism, to disability rights and awareness, and for being an inspirational example of human resilience and dignity. Melanie broke her neck and back in a riding incident in 2010. She has gone on to chart her life and recovery in award-winning columns for the Times newspaper.”

The graduation ceremonies will take place in the Gannochy National Tennis Centre at the University’s main Stirling campus on Wednesday 25 June and Thursday 26 June. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. each day. The Chancellor of the University, Dr James Naughtie, DUniv, will preside. 

The University will stream live coverage of the ceremonies on its website – www.stir.ac.uk.

It will also share photographs from the graduations online at www.facebook.com/universityofstirling and www.twitter.com/stiruni

 

DR CHARLES JENCKS

Dr Charles Jencks will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to modern Scottish architecture and sculpture, and for his co-founding of the Maggie’s Centres for cancer sufferers.

An American by birth, Charles Jencks studied at Harvard and the University of London, where he gained his doctorate in Architectural History.  His life’s work occupies a unique niche in “cosmogenic art”, but he is also a prolific author and lecturer, analysing trends in architecture at a global level.

He first came to prominence in Scotland with his “Landform” sculpture at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, but his name is also synonymous with the Maggie’s Centres for cancer care, which he co-founded in memory of his wife.  Designed by notable architects, the Centres offer drop-in therapy for victims of cancer and their families and friends.

Jencks gained great acclaim for “Northumberlandia” - a stunning landform sculpture of a reclining lady (said to be the largest of its type in the world). It is located near the village of Cramlington near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Made of 1.5 million tonnes of rock, clay and soil, the sculpture – also called “The Lady of the North” - is 100 feet high and a quarter of a mile long.

2015 will see the completion of another iconic Scottish Landmark: The Crawick Multiverse located near the historic crossroads of the Southern Upland Way and the River Nith, just north of Sanquhar.  A celebration of stars, galaxies, and the recent theory of the Multiverse, this 55-acre project takes the eye and mind out into stunning Scottish landscape and landmarks that surround it.

  • Charles Jencks will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to modern Scottish architecture and sculpture and for his co-founding of the Maggie’s Centres for cancer sufferers. He will be honoured at the 10 a.m. ceremony at the University of Stirling on Wednesday 25 June.

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HONORARY PROFESSOR MARK COUSINS

Mark Cousins will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Scottish cinematic culture and the reception of global cinemas across Scotland.

A graduate of the University of Stirling, Mark Cousins is a leading contemporary film-maker, prolific author on film and film-making, and former programmer and director of the Edinburgh Film Festival.  His award-winning movie “The Story of Film: An Odyssey” recounts the history of global cinema through cinematic innovation and was screened widely including at MoMA in New York, on American TV and at the Berlin film festival.  Other films include “What is this film called Love”, “Here be Dragons” and “A Story of Children and Film”, which was included in the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival and received global five star reviews.

While his film projects are international in scope, Mark Cousins still maintains clear links with Scotland and with Scottish film-making and cinema.  He founded the charity “Scottish Kids are Making Movies” which helps young film-makers, and has helped to support the “Africa in Motion” film festival. 

With the actress Tilda Swinton, he brought the Screen Machine mobile cinema around the Scottish Highlands and organised the iconic “Ballerina Ballroom Cinema of Dreams” in Nairn, bringing global cinema to local audiences.  Most ambitiously, they launched the “8½ Foundation”, a Scottish not-for-profit organisation which created a new movie birthday for children in Scotland and was dedicated to introducing world cinema to children. 

Cousins became an Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow in 2013.

  • Mark Cousins will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Scottish cinematic culture and the reception of global cinemas across Scotland. He will take part in the 2.30 p.m. graduation ceremony on Wednesday 25 June.

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SIR CRAIG REEDIE

Sir Craig Reedie will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport and the Olympics. 

A local man, Craig Reedie was educated at Stirling High School before graduating as a Master of Arts and later Bachelor of Laws from the University of Glasgow.  He went on to become a financial advisor, but then turned his attention to sport. 

As a sportsman, Sir Craig gained success playing badminton from 1962 to 1970, culminating in becoming a doubles champion.  Later, his influence would allow badminton to be recognised as an Olympic sport, with the first medals being awarded at the 1992 Summer Olympics.

After his success as a player, Craig Reedie turned his efforts towards sports administration, and from 1981 to 1984 was President of the International Badminton Federation.  In 1992, he was elected Chairman of the British Olympic Association and, in recognition of his achievements, was knighted on retiring in 2005.

Sir Craig joined the International Olympic Committee in 1994 and served on the London 2012 Organising Committee, the body which prepared for the hugely successful 2012 Summer Olympics.  In 2009 he was elected to the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board – the first Briton to have a seat on the board since 1961.  In 2012 he was elected as vice-president of the International Olympic Committee and from 2014, has been President of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

  • Sir Craig Reedie will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to sport and the Olympics. He will receive his award at the 10 a.m. ceremony on Thursday 26 June.

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MS MELANIE REID

Ms Melanie Reid will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism, to disability rights and awareness, and for her inspirational example of human resilience and dignity.

A columnist for The Times, in 2010 Melanie Reid suffered a devastating horse-riding accident which transformed her from an active journalist, wife and mother, to paralysis and confinement to bed and hospital.  Since then, she has recorded the slow process of rehabilitation and partial recovery in weekly columns in the Saturday Times.  Headed “Spinal Column”, these pieces are remarkable examples of contemporary journalism and this was recognised in March 2011 when Ms Reid was named Columnist of the Year at the British Press Awards.

The columns convey, with great literary skill, the experiences of a tetraplegic in our community, offering able-bodied and disabled readers an invaluable perspective on life.  Melanie Reid’s demonstration of how even the well-intentioned can misconstrue the needs of the disabled is revelatory and entirely to the benefit of the causes of disabled accessibility, support and inclusivity.

In advance of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Melanie Reid was invited to create text for a musical piece commissioned by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.  The work, entitled “Spinal Chords”, was performed in Southampton and at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London in 2012.

  • Melanie Reid will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism, to disability rights and awareness and for her inspirational example of human resilience and dignity. She will take part in a ceremony starting at 2.30 p.m. on Thursday 26 June.

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