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Betty Pattison To Receive Honourary Degree

Coventry dance instructor Betty Pattison and BMW Chairman Herr Bernd Pischetsrieder (Hon DSc) will be just two of the five people to receive honorary degrees from the University of Warwick at its two winter degree ceremonies to be held in the University's Butterworth Hall on 15 January 1999. Further details on photographic arrangements for the ceremonies will be announced nearer the time, but brief biographies of the five honorary graduands now follow:-

The Honourable Mrs Justice Arden MA, LLM (Hon LLD)
A Judge of the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division and Chairman of the Law Commission. Born in 1947 and educated at Girton College, Cambridge and Harvard Law School, Mrs Justice Arden was called to the Bar in 1971, admitted to Lincoln's Inn in 1973 and became a QC in 1986. She has been a member of the Law Society's Standing Committee on Company Law since 1976 and has been the legal editor for several leading publications about the Companies Acts, focusing in particular on the accounting provisions and problems of the Acts. In October 1997 she came to Warwick to speak at the retirement celebration of her former Cambridge tutor, Professor Geoffrey Wilson, of the School of Law.

Mr John Hearth CBE, MA (Hon LLD)
Barrister at law and member of the University Council since 1985 and Treasurer from 1989 to 1998. Born in 1929 and educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, Mr Hearth began his career in the Overseas Civil Service in the Solomon Islands from 1953 to 1960. He subsequently worked as editor of the Fairplay Shipping Journal for five years and became corporate planning director of Cunard Steamship Company from 1966-71. His career then moved from the sea to land, when from 1972 until 1989 he took up the post of Chief Executive, of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, (and again in 1991-92) and was also Governor of the Royal Agricultural College from 1978 1992. His other agricultural posts include President of the British Pig Association (1990-92) and Chairman of the Board of Management for the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs. His has also worked on many bodies associated with housing and villages, and is currently Deputy Chairman of the Rural Housing Trust and the English Villages Housing Association and chaired the BBC Rural and Agricultural Affairs Advisory Committee for six years. During Mr Hearth's nine years' service as Treasurer, the University strengthened its position financially, despite increasing constraints on the public funding of higher education.

Betty Pattison (Mrs Betty Cramp) ARAD, LRAM (speech and drama), FIDTA, FISTD (Hon MA)
Principal of Pattison's Dance Academy and College. Born in Coventry in 1919, and educated at the Royal Academy of Dancing and the Royal Academy of Music, Betty Pattison has taught dance and drama in the Coventry region since 1938. In 1947 her family established Pattison's Dance Academy and College, which offers theatre training for children in conjunction with a high level of general education. Ms Pattison has spent her life promoting dance, speech and drama in schools at all levels and in addition to teaching she has also worked as a producer, choreographer, examiner and adjudicator. She continues to direct dance performances in the region and is a member and adjudicator of the British Federation of Musical Festivals and a member of the Society of Teachers of Speech and Drama.

Herr Bernd Pischetsrieder (Hon DSc)
Chairman, Executive Board of BMW AG since 1993. Born in 1948 and having studied mechanical engineering at Munich Technical University, Herr Pischetsrieder started his career at BMW in 1973, as a Production Planning Engineer, progressing to become Head of the Operations Control Department at the Munich factory. From 1978-1981 he moved to the Dingolfing factory, where he was Head of the Work Preparation Division, followed by three years as Director of Production, Development Purchasing and Logistics for BMW South Africa. He further broadened his experience within the company as Head of Quality Assurance for two years and Head of Technical Planning from 1987-1990. In 1991 he became a Member of the Executive Board (Production). In 1993, he simultaneously became Chairman of the Executive Board of BMW AG and Vice-President of the German Motor Industry Association. In March 1994, he became Chairman of the Rover Group, when they were taken over by BMW and also became a Member of the British-German Association.

Sir Rex Richards MA, DPhil, DSc, FRS, FRSC (Hon DSc)
Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford and former Director of the Leverhulme Trust. After graduating from Oxford, Sir Rex stayed at the University as a Fellow in Chemistry first at Lincoln College from 1947-64, then at Exeter College, later becoming Warden of Merton College. He also held the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1977-81 and was Director of IBM-UK Ltd from 1978-83 and of the Leverhulme Trust from 1984-93. He was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry for two years and the Royal Society awarded him the Davy Medal in 1976 and the Royal Medal in 1986. Sir Rex has chaired numerous committees concerned with higher education, including most recently an independent enquiry to investigate factors which might deter young doctors and dentists from choosing clinical academic careers. He was also Chancellor of Exeter University, from 1982 to October 1998.

Peter Dunn, University Press Officer  01203 523708


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