PLYMOUTH University honoured Spinnaker’s Chairman, Phil Parry, with an Honorary Doctorate of Management in September for his outstanding contribution to the University, to the development of students and graduates as well as to the international shipping business.
Also awarded doctorates this year by Plymouth were Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the United Kingdom’s First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and David Dingle CBE, CEO of Carnival UK.
Phil, himself a shipping business and law graduate from Plymouth, says how “incredibly proud and not a little bit surprised – I thought it was a joke” he was to receive the letter notifying him of the Award.
“This year’s Graduation Awards Ceremony co-celebrated the University’s 150th anniversary. Plymouth is now a huge academic institution, with 30,000 students, but it all started in 1862 with the School of Navigation, whose aim was to improve safety and instil professionalism in the seagoing career – not all that unfamiliar today. And so it was particularly pleasing not only to be honoured in this way, alongside some remarkable individuals, but to receive the honour this year of all years.”
During his acceptance speech Phil told the joke about the sorry headmaster who told the pupils who were leaving his school that year that whatever their expectations were, they should “lower them”. But he went on to say that he would rather be leaving university with the economy poised to recover than with it at the top of the market. “In particular,” he said, “employers in shipping and international trade actively request Plymouth graduates when using Spinnaker to recruit for them.”