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City of Culture expert Andrew Dixon awarded honorary doctorate

Published: by Becky Adamson

Andrew Dixon with his wife and two children receiving his honorary doctorate

Cultural expert Andrew Dixon has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Bradford for his work in unlocking the potential of cities across the UK, with his efforts contributing to successful City of Culture bids for Hull, Coventry and now Bradford, which will be the UK City of Culture 2025.

Andrew, whose wife and grown-up children came to watch the ceremony with pride, knows how massive it is for Bradford to be in the spotlight: “It was fantastic to be in the degree ceremony, it’s special to be here now Bradford will be UK City of Culture and to have played a small part in that.”

Andrew also had a big role to play in the cultural development of the north east as Chief Executive of both Northern Arts and the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, where he helped bring the Angel of the North, Baltic and Sage Gateshead to life. In 2006, as Programme Director for the World Summit on Arts and Culture, he attracted 80 countries to Gateshead. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Northumbria, recognising his tireless work in repositioning the city for culture and tourism. 

His second honorary award comes more than 40 years after he studied at the University of Bradford, and coming back to receive his honorary doctorate feels very special: “I felt quite emotional receiving my award, I missed my first graduation ceremony back in 1981 as I was travelling around Greece with friends. I always regretted that I didn't make it back to the ceremony, particularly for my parents to have the opportunity to see me graduate, though my friends and I held a makeshift ceremony on the beach, with sleeping bags around our shoulders instead of graduation robes!”

The summer 2022 graduations mark the first in-person ceremonies at the University of Bradford since lockdown, with graduates from 2020, 2021 as well as 2022 receiving their awards. Honorary graduates from the last two years have also been invited to attend a ceremony for their award to be conferred in person.


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