UCA honorary degree awards 2012
Hollywood director Gareth Edwards, the founder of Glastonbury Festival Michael Eavis and graphic design pioneer Adrian Shaughnessy all received honorary degrees from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) this week.
Monsters director Gareth Edwards, who is currently working on the remake of the biggest celluloid monster of them all, Godzilla, was presented with his honorary Master of Arts degree during the graduation ceremony for UCA Epsom and UCA Farnham students at Guildford Cathedral on 4 July 2012.
The writer/director graduated from UCA Farnham, formerly West Surrey College of Art & Design, in 1996 where he produced one of the first ever student films to combine live action with digital effects.
Gareth set up his own visual effects company and worked on award-winning television shows, such as Atilla the Hun where he made all 250 of the special effects, and Hiroshima which earned him a BAFTA.
He went on to win a short film competition that he shot in two days with no crew and one actor, which led to the hit feature film Monsters in 2010.
Gareth Edwards said: "I thought I'd had all of the good luck in my career recently so this is the icing on the cake for all that has happened to me over the past few years.
"I feel privileged and honoured to receive this award from an institution that has played such an influential role in my career, and where I also spent three of the most formative and inspiring years of my life.
"I hope my story can inspire the students because for a long time it felt as though I'd missed my chance to be a filmmaker but I want to let them know that things don't always happen the way you think they should but if they keep working away you can still achieve your dreams."
Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice-Chancellor at UCA, said: "We are delighted to award Gareth Edwards with an honorary degree. Gareth began pushing the boundaries of digital filmmaking while at UCA and his original way of working, and talent, has taken him on an exciting journey to Hollywood.
"As a graduate of UCA, he will instantly have a special connection with our students and I am certain that his story will inspire."
Michael Eavis CBE, founder of the Glastonbury Festival, was awarded with an honorary Master of Arts degree on 4 July 2012 at Guildford Cathedral for his services to the creative arts.
The first Glastonbury Festival in 1970 was attended by 1,500 people and provided free milk at the farm. Today, it is the largest green field music and performing arts festival in the world with 200,000 music fans and raises millions for good causes.
UCA became the first academic institution to have a presence at the Festival in 2009 and has returned every year since to offer festival-goers free creative arts workshops including pottery, life drawing, sculpture, photography, TV and much more.
Michael Eavis said: "It's fabulous to receive this honour from such a formidable institution such as UCA.
"I'm just a dairy farmer so it's fantastic to receive an academic award like this from a creative university that plays a part at Glastonbury Festival. It still amazes me that 200,000 people still want to go to my festival without knowing who is playing or what the weather is going to be like."
Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr said: "The Glastonbury Festival is a national treasure and continues to promote the creative arts to a wide and varied audience.
"Michael has done a tremendous job of organising this culturally-important event for more than 40 years while also staying true to his core values and raising millions of pounds for charity."
Graphic designer and writer Adrian Shaughnessy received his honorary degree alongside designers from UCA Epsom and UCA Farnham at Guildford Cathedral on 3 July 2012.
Adrian's award-winning design studio Intro was an early adopter of digital technology and a pioneer of motion graphics within graphic design. Since 2004, he has written, designed and art directed numerous books on design and founded his own publishing company which is actively engaged in forging new ways of publishing and distributing books in the digital era.
Adrian said: It's a great honour and a privilege to receive this award from UCA. I'm someone who's got through life without any academic qualifications so it's really nice to receive recognition in this way for the work I've done in the field of graphic design.
"I've lectured at UCA in the past and always been impressed with the students and the work that is being produced because the courses are so forward thinking."
The University for the Creative Arts has 7,000 students, studying at campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester.
Honorary degrees will be awarded to chief executive of the Design Council David Kester, media entrepreneur Geoff Miles, and Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic, at UCA's graduation ceremonies in Kent.
For more information contact:
David Reilly, Press Officer, UCA
T: 01252 892939