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Campus hosts last ceremony of the winter

By Lisa Smyth

The University of Ulster's final ceremonies of the 2005 winter graduation series were due to take place today at its Jordanstown campus in Newtownabbey.

Over 700 students from the faculties of Arts, Business & Management, Social Sciences, and Computing & Engineering will be presented with their degrees and diplomas.

The Chancellor of the University of Ulster, Sir Richard Nichols, will preside over the morning ceremony, while the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Richard Barnett, will preside at the concluding ceremony.

Two eminent Northern Ireland businessmen were set to receive special honours at the ceremonies.

During the morning ceremony, Jim Dornan was to receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) in recognition of his services to business life and to the university.

Following a successful career in the linen industry, management consulting and the soft drinks industry with Coca-Cola, Mr Dornan was appointed managing director of Belfast International Airport, later leading the buyout team when the facility was privatised in 1996.

Mr Dornan also served on the board of the University of Ulster Foundation for nine years.

Latterly, he has been involved in developing and supporting an innovative pilot project, led by the university's School of Education, concerned with raising self-esteem in children of primary school age - people who for decades have felt divided on religious and sectarian grounds can work and live together harmoniously in one community.

In the afternoon, Terence Cross was to receive the First Trust Bank/University of Ulster Distinguished Graduate Award, in recognition of his contribution to the integrated education movement and to business life in Northern Ireland.

Mr Cross, the founder and owner of Delta Print & Packaging Ltd, is one of Northern Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs.

He grew up in Northern Ireland and is from a Catholic/Protestant background. In both his business and his wider community roles and responsibilities he has shown by example and leadership how people who for decades have felt divided on religious and sectarian grounds can work and live together harmoniously in one community.

Delta Print & Packaging Ltd has been in the folded packaging business for 25 years and it has grown into the most successful new start in west Belfast, turning over millions annually and enjoying 20% year on year growth over the past 10 years.

As well as the factory in west Belfast, he also has nine factories in China and two in India. The most recent venture for the company has been to secure a five-year deal, worth £50m, with McDonalds.

Through his involvement in the Integrated Education Fund and Children in Crossfire, Mr Cross helps to bring together children across the religious divide.

He is also involved in the West Belfast Partnership Boards and the West Belfast Enterprise Council as well as working with The Ireland Funds in raising funds from abroad to provide grants to local communities to support programmes of peace, education, culture and reconciliation on both sides of the border.

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