Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Taioseach Bertie Ahern are to be honoured by Queen's University. The two political leaders, who played a major role in the Northern Ireland peace process, are to receive honorary degrees in the University's Centenary year.
Tony Blair, the youngest British Prime Minister of the 20th century when he was elected in 1997, stood down in 2007. He is now Quartet Representative, working in the Middle East on behalf of the US, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union helping the Palestinians to prepare for statehood as part of the international community's effort to secure peace. Bertie Ahern, currently in his third term as Taoiseach, was the youngest prime minister in modern Irish history when he was first elected in 1997. Both will be awarded Doctorates of Laws for distinction in public service.
This year's honorary graduate list also includes Northern Ireland peace campaigners Rev Harold Good, who recently won the 2007 World Methodist Peace award, and Father Alec Reid, along with Japanese peace ambassador Daisaku Ikeda.
Also to be honoured areMan Booker prize winning novelist Anne Enright and former Queen's Pro-Chancellors Lady McLaughlin and Dr Chris Gibson.
'Absolutely Fabulous' star Joanna Lumley and Northern Ireland born actor James Ellis are among those who will receive degrees at this year's summer and winter graduation ceremonies.
Also to receive honorary doctorates are Nobel prize winning chemist Professor Gerhard Ertl, distinguished historian Professor Donald Akenson, solar physicist Dame Carole Jordan and electronic composer Professor John Chowning. Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge Professor Alison Richard; journalist and broadcaster Professor Laurie Taylor and eminent haematologist Dr Chitra Bharucha, Vice-Chairperson of the BBC Trust will also be honoured.
Several business leaders feature on the roll of honour. Honorary degrees will be awarded to philanthropist and former Chairman of investment firm Man Group Plc Harvey McGrath; Ray O'Rourke, Chairman of construction company Laing O'Rourke; computer game entrepreneur David Perry; Director General of the Science Foundation, Ireland, Dr Frank Gannon and founder of Queen's spin-out company Kainos and Executive Director of spin-out company Meridio Ltd, Frank Graham.
Among those to be honoured at the Centenary ceremonies will be Queen's graduate, former Chairman of the Conservative Party, the Rt Hon Brian Mawhinney, and Dr John J DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, Washington DC, with which Queen's has significant academic links. Dr Indira Samarasekera, President of the University of Alberta, Canada, and leading Irish academics Dr Hugh Brady, President of University College Dublin, and Dr John Hegarty, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, will also receive honorary doctorates.
The degrees will be awarded as follows:
LLD, Bertie Ahern TD, for distinction in public service
DLit, Professor Donald H Akenson, for distinction in History
DMedSc, Dr Chitra Bharucha, for services to medicine and for public service
LLD, Tony Blair, for distinction in public service
LLD, Dr Hugh Brady, for services to higher education
DMus, Professor John Chowning, for distinction as a composer and contributions to research in audio technology
LLD, Dr John J DeGioia, for services to higher education
DUniv, James Ellis, for services to the performing arts
DLit, Anne Enright, for distinction in literature
DSc, Professor Gerhard Ertl, for distinction in chemistry
DMedSc, Dr Frank Gannon, for distinction in medical science
LLD, Dr Chris Gibson, for services to the University and to business and commerce
DSc, (Econ) Frank Graham, for services to business and commerce
DUniv, Reverend G Harold Good, for services to the community
LLD, Dr John Hegarty, for services to higher education
DUniv, Daisaku Ikeda, for services to education and for public Service
DSc, Dame Carole Jordan, for distinction as a solar physicist and for services to astronomy
DUniv, Joanna Lumley, for services to the performing arts
DSc, (Econ) Harvey McGrath, for services to business and commerce
LLD, Lady McLaughlin, for services to the University and to the community
LLD, Rt Hon Brian Mawhinney, for distinction in public service
DSc, (Eng) Ray O'Rourke, for services to engineering and business and commerce
DSc, (Eng) David Perry, for distinction in computer game development and design
DUniv, Father Alec Reid, for services to the community
DSSc, Professor Alison Richard, for distinction in social sciences and for services to higher education
DSc, (Eng) Dr Indira Samarasekera, for services to higher education and for distinction in mechanical engineering
DUniv, Professor Laurie Taylor, for contributions to the social sciences and for services to broadcasting