Sir Gary graduates with honorary degree

Sir Gary Verity, right, and Christian Prudhomme. Picture Mark Woodward Photography
Sir Gary Verity, right, and Christian Prudhomme. Picture Mark Woodward Photography
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He never went to university, but yesterday the man who brought the Tour de France to Yorkshire, Sir Gary Verity, became a graduate as he received an honorary degree today from York St John University.

Alongside Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, Sir Gary was given the degree for co-ordinating the successful Grand Depart campaign, and for organising the first Tour de Yorkshire which took place last summer.

Mr Prudhomme was honoured for his contribution to cycling worldwide, and to the growth in UK cycling since the Grand Depart in 2014.

It is estimated that the Grand Depart brought 1.5 million visitors to Yorkshire.

Sir Gary, who already holds doctorates from the universities of York and Sheffield, was knighted in June.

Also honoured yesterday were Cobra beer founder Lord Bilimoria and veteren BBC journalist Andrew Marr, for their services to business and broadcasting respectively.

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice Chancellor of York St John University, said: “We are delighted to be awarding these honorary degrees as part of our graduation celebrations. Graduation is a rewarding time for our students, the culmination of years of hard work, and the honorary graduands add to the occasion with their inspirational stories and successes in their respective fields.”

The degrees were presented at the graduation ceremonies in York Minster by Chancellor of York St John University and Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu in front of an audience of students, their families and friends, and staff and guests of the University.

Actors David Bradley and Una Stubbs are among those who will be honoured in ceremonies tomorrow.

Luke Stevens

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