University honours leading lights of the business world

SOME of the biggest names in the business world were honoured at the University of Bradford yesterday.

Michael Ziff was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his business achievements as chief executive of local shoe business Stylo and for his "many and varied contributions to the city and district of Bradford".

Also awarded an honorary doctorate was Kate Swann, chief executive of WH Smith, for her contributions in the field of retail marketing.

An alumna of the University of Bradford, she gained her degree in Business Studies in 1986.

She said: "My lasting memory of studying at Bradford was spending many hours in the library in my second year making up for not enough hours spent in the library in the first.

"I remember not putting enough work into an exam in my first year and having to retake it in the summer. That was a good lesson."

Mr Ziff said: "I am deeply honoured and humbled by the confirmation of this honorary degree. I went to university for one year only. I dropped out and my only achievement was to play cricket, badly.

"My philosophy on business has been to encourage my colleagues to take the initiative – it's best if they drive the business rather than our company doing it for them.''

The honorary graduates received their awards from the University's Chancellor, Imran Khan, during degree ceremonies which took place in the University's Great Hall.

Today, Tim Hindley will receive an honorary Doctor of the University for his exceptional contributions as treasurer of the University of Bradford (1998-2006).

And Steve Barnett will be awarded an honorary Doctor of the University for his contributions as chief executive of the Employers Organisation for the National Health Service.

On Wednesday, Professor Alan Roberts received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University for his distinguished contributions in the fields of biomaterials and clinical prosthetics.

Frank Barnaby received an honorary Doctor of Science from the University for his distinguished contributions to the cause of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

And Balbir Singh was awarded an honorary Doctor of the University of Bradford for his distinguished and varied contributions to the local community over many years.