Jeff Banks was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the University in recognition of his contribution to the fashion industry and the UK and global retail sector.
"Education is at the forefront of creating a global peaceful society. It is only through a worldwide education throughout nations that we will resolve conflicts and create a sustainable planetary environment.
I can never place anything higher in mankind’s quest for peace than availing every human being than the right to an education, regardless of sexuality, creed or religious belief.
At the pinnacle of this search for knowledge is a university education. The high point is achieving a level of knowledge and enlightenment through assiduous study and practise; a route to self-improvement to be used for the benefit of oneself and mankind. It is a means through that unique quality of imagination of exploring fields of learning in the arts, sciences and medicine that may improve the quality of life of everyone who occupies this small corner of the universe.
To embrace a university education is a rare and special opportunity through seats of learning that stretch back nearly a thousand years.
This is an opportunity not to be squandered or treated lightly. This is an opportunity gifted to a single individual, often through the sacrifice of friends and family, to make a difference.
The awarding of degrees recognises the level each student has made to achieving his or her own level of objectives. This personal and exclusive document and ceremony should be cherished throughout an individual’s lifetime."