Alumni receive awards in New Years honours list

A long-distance learner who graduated from the University of Sheffield has praised the institution’s ‘ethos’ after he received an MBE in the New Year honours list.

Dr Timothy Thirst, aged 58, who received a Masters in Music at the University after completing the three years distance learning programme from his home in Stallham, Norfolk, was honoured for service to the brass band he plays in, youth music and his musical contribution in the community.

Chartered engineer Dr Thirst, who has been playing with the Stallham Brass Band for 50 years and is currently director of music, graduated from the University in 2010.

He said: “I was really impressed by Sheffield as a University and its ethos and I recommend it to people whenever I can.

“I wanted to continue studying music and looked at distance learning. I also wanted to be able to do a part time course because of other commitments and the University of Sheffield said I could do that here. I was supervised very well and came up to the University every few months and exchanged emails with the tutors throughout the course.”

Other members of the University community who received honours included joint Chief Executive and Founder of web based Bookmakers Bet365 Denise Coates, who graduated with a BA in Accounting, Financial Management and Economics in 1990, and was made a CBE for services to the community and business.

Former Chief Executive of Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Christopher Sharratt, who left the University in 1998 with an MSc in Health Services Research and Technology Assessment, received an OBE for services to child health.

Alumni who received MBEs were Martin Rees who completed a BA in Economics in 1972 before becoming Higher Officer in Customer Operations at Cardiff HM Revenue and Customs; Constance Shepherd, who studied for an MEd in Education in 1995, for services to the community in Thurcroft, South Yorkshire; and Leo Solomon, BSc in Maths and Physiology in 1952 and Diploma in Education in 1953, for services to music in Grimsby.

Sir David Warren who received an Honorary LittD in 2011 and is HM Ambassador, Japan, was made Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.

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