Mr Phillips was appointed as the Macrobert’s first director in 1970 – before the centre was built – and was pivotal in making the arts central to the lives of staff, students and the community.
He received the award of Doctor of the University for his role in the creation of the centre, and for his major contribution to classical music administration and scholarship, through his editing and translation of the literary legacy of leading Soviet-era composers.
Reflecting on becoming an honorary graduate, Mr Phillips said: “It was a mixture of incredulity, delight, pleasure and pride in almost equal proportions. It was the first time in my life that I had this particular cocktail of emotions all wrapped up in one thing.”
Mr Phillips had some advice for the 800 students graduating from Stirling’s winter ceremonies, saying: “In the university environment you have the opportunity to think for yourself, not just to collect facts and information.
“It is more and more important than it ever was to keep your own judgement and make your own mind up – and I think that’s the greatest value that a university can provide.”
Dr Robertson added: “If I were giving advice to today’s graduates, I think I would say you have to focus on what you want to do – not necessarily in your career – but what you want to get out of life, but also what you want to put into life.
“I feel the more generous you are in your outlook towards the world, the more the world will be generous to you.”