University honours excellence

The ‘Godfather of Pop Art’ Sir Peter Blake and leading singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae are among those being honoured by the University of Leeds.

On 12 March an honorary degree will be conferred on Sir Peter Blake.

On 14 July, honorary degrees will be conferred upon NHS Director General of Research and Development, Dame Sally Davies; Corinne Bailey Rae; biologist Professor David Stuart; and the chairman of iconic Yorkshire business Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, Jonathan Wild.

All of the recipients excel within their specialist fields and are distinguished by outstanding achievements.

Sir Peter Blake is a celebrated artist, painter and printmaker best known for his involvement in the 1960s Pop Art movement. Nicknamed the 'Godfather of Pop Art', Sir Peter has designed some of the most iconic and enduring album covers of all time, including for the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. He has also worked with artists including The Who, Oasis, Eric Clapton and Paul Weller. His work continues to influence new generations of collectors and artists alike, including Damien Hirst, Gavin Turk and Tracey Emin. Sir Peter Blake will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Music.

Professor Dame Sally Davies is the Director General of Research and Development for the NHS and has been instrumental in the development of government strategy for health and social care research. She is currently the (interim) Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Health. In 2009 Davies was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for outstanding services to medicine. Professor Dame Sally Davies will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine.

Corinne Bailey Rae was born in the Hyde Park area of Leeds and grew up in the city, going on to graduate with a degree in English from the University of Leeds in 2000. She has since enjoyed widespread popular and critical acclaim for her music, with a collection of Grammy, Brit and MOBO awards to her name and praise from musical legends including Stevie Wonder. Her latest album, 'The Sea', was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. Corinne Bailey Rae will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Music.

Professor David Stuart is one of the UK's leading structural biologists and has been named amongst the top 50 most promising scientists in the world. His work on the structure of viruses has focused on 'bluetongue', foot and mouth and most recently HIV, which has led to further understanding of how this devastating disease assembles and replicates inside cells. Professor David Stuart will receive an Honorary Doctorate in Science.

Jonathan Wild is chairman of Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate. The company regularly features in the Sunday Times 'best 100 employers' list and in 2005, gained the accolade 'best company to work for' in Yorkshire. Wild is also a passionate conservationist, having won numerous awards for ethical trading and sustainability. He has facilitated the planting of 3 million trees worldwide in conjunction with the 'Trees for Life' scheme. Jonathan Wild will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

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