Wyman receives honorary degree

FORMER Rolling Stone Bill Wyman said he was thrilled last night to accept an honorary doctorate in recognition of his life's achievements.The musician joined hundreds of degree students at a special graduation ceremony to be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

By Danielle Nuttall

FORMER Rolling Stone Bill Wyman said he was thrilled last night to accept an honorary doctorate in recognition of his life's achievements.

The musician joined hundreds of degree students at a special graduation ceremony to be presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

The glittering event was held at Trinity Park in Ipswich last night and followed a day-long programme of graduation ceremonies involving more than 900 students.

Mr Wyman, who was accompanied by his wife Suzanne and daughters Katie, 12, Jessie, 10 and Matilda, eight, said he was delighted when he found out he had been selected for the accolade.

“They offered it to me last year but I was on tour in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia for seven weeks. I asked if they could defer it for a year which they did,” he said.

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“I only just made it this time. I go on tour all over the UK on Saturday for five weeks. I was thrilled.”

Wyman owns a magnificent 16th Century moated mansion near Bury St Edmunds and enjoys spending time metal detecting in the grounds and on other archaeological sites in the county.

The musician, who has opened many Suffolk museums and has undertaken charity work in the county, described the Suffolk countryside as his “sanctuary” and said it was his favourite part of England.

“I bought a house here in 1968. When I moved up here it was very unspoilt and a bit out the way. Now people commute, it's become much more acceptable to live out here. A lot of celebrities are living in Suffolk.

“But where I live it has not changed since 1968. It's still quiet countryside, among farmland, and nothing has changed in 38 years - except me.

“That's what I like about it. It's a place where I can unwind in peace and quiet. It's our sanctuary from the hectic life I lead. It's the same for the family. I feel part of Suffolk - it's my favourite part of England.”

Honorary degrees are awarded to people with a national or international reputation, individuals who have made a significant contribution to Ipswich or Suffolk or those with a strong connection to or the county as a whole.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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