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Abertay announces honorary graduates

16 November 2016

Hon grads winter 2016

Abertay University will honour three honorary graduates at its Winter Graduation Ceremonies next Friday (25 November).

World-renowned tennis coach Judy Murray who earlier this year received an award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to British Sport’ will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Education from Abertay. She will be joined as honorary graduates by best-selling author and journalist Matthew Syed and influential video games composer and musician Rob Hubbard.

They will be awarded their honorary degrees, along with 200 new Abertay graduates at a ceremony in Dundee’s Caird Hall.

Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Abertay University, said ahead of the ceremony, ‘I am delighted that Abertay University is conferring honorary degrees on these inspirational leaders. In doing so, we celebrate their contribution to our national life, and we are proud to hold them as examples to the Abertay graduates with whom they will share the stage.’

In a tennis career spanning two decades, Judy has won 64 women’s titles and, in addition to guiding her sons Andy and Jamie during their early years, Judy was also hugely influential in the career of Leon Smith, whom she mentored from age 20 and who went on to coach Andy, before becoming Britain's most successful Davis Cup captain for almost 80 years.

Judy’s passion for the sport is ongoing. She has created and developed a number of initiatives to grow the game and, in particular, to encourage more girls to play and to inspire the next generation of female coaches.

Her initiatives to develop inclusivity around the sport of tennis include Miss-Hits, a starter tennis programme for girls aged 5-8, and Tennis on the Road, a mobile outreach programme that takes tennis into areas of Scotland where it wouldn’t otherwise be played.

Receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Music for his pioneering work in the development of the video games industry is British musician and composer, Rob Hubbard.

Known for his experimental work writing and programming computer game music in the 1980s, Rob’s ground-breaking work showcased the musical potential of the Commodore 64.

At a time when the games industry was still professionalising, he brought the work ethic of a professional musician, famously working through the night to complete the soundtrack for Elite’s Commando and went on to score the music for over 75 games, including the interactive soundtrack to Sanxion, for which he won Best Soundtrack in 1987.

Rob was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Game Audio Network Guild in 2003, and in 2014 he appeared in and composed the music for the documentary feature From Bedrooms to Billions, a film that tells the story of the British video games industry.
Matthew Syed will receive an Honorary Degree of Liberal Arts. Matthew is the author of two acclaimed books on the science of high performance, a former international table tennis champion and columnist for The Times.

Bounce, published in April 2010, has been described as ‘one of the most intelligent and thought-provoking books about sport ever written’, and Black Box Thinking, published in 2015, is a UK bestseller, and has been translated into multiple languages.

Before becoming a writer, Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade, three-times Commonwealth Champion, and twice competed for Great Britain in the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992 and Sydney in 2000.

Matthew is one of the co-founders of Greenhouse, a charity which ‘empowers youngsters through sport’ and which supports more than 10,000 young people on 31 full-time school programmes.

Abertay University’s Winter Graduation ceremony begins at 11am on Friday 25 November

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