War veteran granted surprise honorary degree on his 100th birthday
York St John University has awarded a surprise honorary degree to a former student – on his 100th birthday.
Norman Gregory now has an honorary degree of bachelor of education.
The RAF veteran received the degree certificate along with a birthday card from the vice chancellor Professor Karen Bryan on behalf of the university.
Prof Bryan said: “It is a pleasure to award Norman with an honorary degree on behalf of York St John University.
“The award recognises the countless young minds that teachers from this era have inspired during their careers, as well as the invaluable contributions Norman has made to his community and country.”
Norman, who now lives in Suffolk, began his studies at what was then St John’s College in September 1940.
At the time it was a teacher training college which did not have the power to confer degrees, so students worked towards a Certificate of Education. The college eventually merged with its counterpart in Ripon in 1974 to form the “College of Ripon and York St John.”
It achieved university status in 2006.
In celebration of the university’s long heritage as an educational institution, York St John has since recognised hundreds of former alumni with an honorary degree. Norman is so far the only one of his 1940 cohort to receive one.