NUI Galway to award honorary degrees to distinguished individuals at Los Angeles

Monday, 14 March 2005

National University of Ireland Galway will celebrate the achievements of four outstanding individuals by conferring them with honorary degrees at a formal ceremony in Los Angeles on the 6 May 2005. It is the first time that the University has awarded honorary degrees at a ceremony held outside of Ireland.

Degrees will be conferred on the following individuals:
Anjelica Huston, for her contribution to cinematic arts, as an actress and director
Ray Bradbury, for his outstanding achievements as a novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and poet
Dolores Hope, as a philanthropist and humanitarian, who has devoted much of her life to the service of others
Merv Griffin, for his contribution to American entertainment and popular culture

The Honorary Degree ceremony will take place in the presence of Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Taoiseach, Dr Garrett Fitzgerald and President of NUI Galway, Dr Iognáid Ó Muircheartaigh.

The conferring ceremony will be followed by the Huston Gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel, Los Angeles. This will be the culmination of a programme of business, cultural and academic events during the first week of May 2005 to mark the continued growth and influence of the NUI Galway-based Huston School of Film & Digital Media.

Dr Ó Muircheartaigh, NUI Galway President said: By hosting this unique Conferring Ceremony and Gala in Los Angeles, we are celebrating both the Huston Film School and the strong links between Ireland and Southern California. The four outstanding individuals who we will honour, all of whom enjoy strong Galway connections, have demonstrated exemplary standards of artistic creativity and humanitarian service and their influence is felt and admired across the world.

Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media said: Since its launch in 2003, the Film School has been very successful and now attracts graduate students from Ireland and abroad to participate in a range of programmes in our screen writing, film studies and arts administration programmes. These graduates will play a significant role in the film and television industries in the future at regional, national and international levels.

The Los Angeles events will bring together celebrities from the world of film and television along with leaders from business and political life and the many graduates of NUI Galway who are living in California. Proceeds from the Huston Gala, which will have a strong entertainment programme with a distinctive Celtic flavour, including a performance from ConTempo, Galway's ensemble-in-residence, will contribute toward the continued development of the Huston Film School.

The Huston Film School is named after John Huston, one of the twentieth century's greatest film directors and celebrates the Huston family's links to the west of Ireland and St. Cleran's, the family home in Galway, which is now operated as an exclusive hotel.

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