University honour for tourism chief who brought home Le Tour

Gary Verity
Gary Verity
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THE MAN who played a leading role in bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire has been honoured by one of the region’s universities.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive Gary Verity is among 16 people being presented with honorary doctorates by York University at its graduation ceremonies next week.

The university has praised Mr Verity’s record in business and described him as “a dynamic and motivational leader” who has raised the national and international profile of Yorkshire.

It says he has a “proven record of inspirational leadership ranges from entrepreneurial start-ups to large-scale transformations within FTSE100 companies.”

Mr Verity has been Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire since 2008 and is chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and Humber Committee. He is one of two men linked to tourism in the region who is being honoured by York University.

It is also giving an honorary doctorate to Peter Murray, the executive director of Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, which he founded in 1977 while working as a lecturer in art education at nearby Bretton Hall College. The park is now one of the world’s leading centres for sculpture, attracting more than 350,000 visitors a year. Earlier this month, it was named UK Museum of the Year, winning the £100,000 Art Fund Prize.

Every year, the university confers honorary degrees on people who it judges have made a significant contribution to society.

Next week it will give doctorates to the distinguished author and poet Mairi MacInnes, Prof Derek Pearsall, an internationally recognised name in medieval English literature, Prof Ahmed Zewail, a Nobel Laureate who has developed the field of 4D electron microscopy. Other recipients include Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi-American humanitarian, author, and filmmaker, Prof Padmanabhan Balaram, a professor of molecular biophysics, and Hugh Masekela, a trumpeter, flugelhornist and political activist.