Ireland rugby skipper Rory Best among those lining out to be honoured at Queen's
Ulster and Ireland rugby captain Rory Best, a host of international academics and the chief executive of Marks and Spencer are among those who will receive honorary degrees at Queen's University this year.
Every year at its summer and Christmas graduations, Queen's recognises individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the university and Northern Ireland around the world.
The illustrious list for 2018, released today, includes world-renowned cancer researcher Professor Charles Sawyers, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator who holds the Marie-Josee and Henry R. Kravis Chair of the human oncology and pathogenesis programme at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
Professor Martin Meehan, president of the University of Massachusetts and a former Congressman who represented the 5th Congressional District of Massachusetts in the US House of Representatives, and Michael J Dowling, president and chief executive of Northwell Health New York, are also among the recipients.
Moving closer to home, Professor Dame Janet Beer, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, is also on the list of those to be honoured; along with Professor Dame Vicki Bruce, professor of psychology at Newcastle University; and Professor Catriona Seth, who holds the Marshal Foch chair of French literature at Oxford University and is a Fellow at All Souls College.
Meanwhile, Steve Rowe, chief executive of M&S, and Best OBE, captain of Ulster Rugby and Ireland, are among the 15 people from the world of business, science, sport, academia and the arts being honoured by Queen's this year.
Siobhan Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the Early Years organisation - formerly known as NIPPA - will be honoured for distinction in public service. Other figures from the world of business and commerce to be recognised by the Belfast university include: Roy Adair, chief executive of Belfast Harbour Commissioners; Dr Raja Easa Saleh Al Gurg, managing director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group; Dr Shahidah Bt M Shariff, chief executive of Petronas Research Group in Malaysia, and Owen Brennan, executive chairman of Devenish Nutrition.
They will each receive an honorary doctorate from the university for their services to business and commerce.
This year's summer graduation events at Queen's University will take place from June 28 to July 4.