Legendary musician Bryan Ferry has graduated from Newcastle University for the second time, after returning to him alma mater to pick up an honorary degree.
The singer and songwriter with band Roxy Music, who grew up in Washington, was made honorary Doctor of Music at a ceremony in the University’s King’s Hall today.
The award was the second time he has graduated from the university as he studied fine art at Newcastle, completing his studies in 1968.
Three years after he left the university, he formed Roxy Music with fellow North Easterner Paul Thompson, guitarist Phil Manzanera and producer Brian Eno.
Mr Ferry said: “I feel honoured to have been awarded this doctorate from my former university. I enjoyed my time at Newcastle, and was fortunate to study with some great teachers and fellow students. It was an inspiring time to be an art student in Newcastle, and the city also had an exciting music scene.
“Music and art have guided my life, and it all started at Newcastle University.”
Roxy Music released eight studio albums and had nine Top 10 singles, while Mr Ferry also released a string of highly regarded solo albums, the most recent being 2012’s The Jazz Age. He received a CBE in 2012 for services to music, and in the same year the French made him an Officier des Arts et des Lettres.
Recently, he agreed to be patron of a £3.5m fundraising campaign to redevelop the university’s Hatton art gallery. At the time he highlighted the debt he felt to pop artist Richard Hamilton, under whom he studied at Newcastle.
Newcastle University registrar, Dr John Hogan, said: “We are delighted to welcome back and honour one of our graduates who has achieved so much in his field. Newcastle University has an excellent reputation for education in art and music and Mr Ferry is a great example and inspiration to our students graduating in those disciplines this summer.”
Mr Ferry is the second rock legend to return home for an honorary degree this week. AC/DC singer Brian Johnson, originally from Gateshead, was honoured by Northumbria University on Wednesday.
A number of other eminent figures will also be honoured by Newcastle at degree ceremonies in July, including scientists Sir Paul Nurse, Professor Elizabeth Molyneux and Lord Stewart Sutherland, plus designer Warren East.