Bryn Jones awarded Honorary Bachelor Degree

16 July 2015

Elizabeth France, Pro Chancellor of Aberystwyth University presents an Honorary Degree to Bryn Jones
Elizabeth France, Pro Chancellor of Aberystwyth University presents an Honorary Degree to Bryn Jones

Co-ordinator of the Penparcau Community Forum, Bryn Jones, has been presented with an Honorary Bachelor Degree by Aberystwyth University.

Bryn, who studied at the Carmarthen School of Art, has been dedicated in his service to the local community.

He worked at the Mental Health NHS Trust Unit in Aberystwyth for 13 years and was a founding member of HAUL – a local Arts and Healthcare Group established in the 1990s.

He also served as Chairman of Borth Community Council and was an Auxiliary Coastguard member for 10 years, receiving a Valedictory Certificate for his length of service.

Bryn Jones was presented with an honorary Bachelor Degree on Thursday 16 July by Dr Debra Croft, Manager of the Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion.

Presentation of Honorary Bachelor Degree to Bryn Jones

‘Prynhawn da i chi gyd!    Good afternoon to everyone.

Dirprwy Ganghellor, Is-Ganghellor, darpar raddedigion, gyfeillion.  Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Bryn Jones am radd Baglor er Anrhydedd yn y Celfyddydau Prifysgol Aberystwyth.

Pro Chancellor/Treasurer, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters.  It is an honour and a privilege to present Bryn Jones for an Honorary Bachelor Degree of Arts of Aberystwyth University.

It is fitting that we are here today in the Arts Centre, at the graduation ceremony for a new generation of fine artists and art historians, to celebrate the contribution to our local community of someone who is an avid advocate of the “the arts” and their ability to change the outlook, cohesion and aspiration of individuals and a community. 

As Manager for the Centre for Widening Participation and Social Inclusion, I have worked with the Penparcau and Trefechan communities since I first started a ‘proper job’ with Aber Uni – a frightening 10 years ago next month. I have been proud to work with Bryn over most of that time – from providing signs for the community shop front and Scouts wildlife areas, running a variety of workshops and training, rescuing a desk for the new forum office, and as of this morning, supporting the healthy-eating initiative fruit & veg co-op, by picking up 100 pieces of fruit every week, for the young people I have on campus for the summer. These days, I do more science than art, but that is about our only disagreement - and so, we share more than divides us.  

Bryn and I share what people now call a “portfolio” career - but we find ourselves here, working to provide opportunities to our local community. Bryn was raised in Caernarfon and studied at the Carmarthen School of Art - and we have swapped stories of living in squats, living for art and performance, and living through the upheavals of the 1980s and the politics of that time. 

We also share the belief that the extensive educational and training opportunities in our small town must be harnessed to improve the life chances of those who are  not ‘expected’ to go to University, not ‘expected’ to improve their life chances, not ‘expected’ to succeed.

And we also share the disbelief that funding for mid Wales is diminishing, in all sorts of areas, with little rural proofing of provision, and the increasing urbanisation of policy. 

But it is also fair to say that the removal of Communities First status from Penparcau in 2013 – although seen as a great loss - has proved a catalyst to the community, local groups, families and supporters – and the Penparcau Community Forum ... LIMITED (as Bryn would proudly say) has emerged and flourished … under the guidance of Bryn Jones, with his passion, his networking skills, and his knowledge and ability for searching out and stretching small pots of funding.

He will say that he is one of many – but there has to be ‘the one’: that holds a disparate group together – a true “Co-ordinator”. 

And beyond Penparcau, he has contributed to Aberystwyth, Ceredigion and mid Wales: he helped found ‘HAUL’ – a local Arts and Healthcare Group, worked in Mental Health care more widely, worked for the Arts Council as funding officer for “Arts for All”, has been a councillor and Chair of Borth Community Council, an Auxiliary Coastguard member and much, much more I’m sure. 

Dirprwy Ganghellor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Bryn Jones i chi am radd Baglor er Anrhydedd yn y Celfyddydau. 

Pro Chancellor, it is my absolute pleasure to present Bryn Jones to you for an Honorary Bachelor Degree of Arts.’

Aberystwyth University Honours 2015

Twelve individuals are being honoured by Aberystwyth University during the 2015 graduation ceremonies, which take place at the University’s Arts Centre from Tuesday 14 July until Friday 17 July.

Eight Honorary Fellowships will be presented to individuals who have, or have had a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.

Two Honorary Doctorate degrees will be presented to individuals who have been outstandingly successful in their field, or who have a long record of renowned research and publication.

Two Honorary Bachelor degrees will be presented to individuals who are members of Aberystwyth University staff without an entry-level degree in recognition of long-service, contribution and dedication to the Institution; and members of the local community who have made a significant contribution to Aberystwyth and the area.

Also being honoured are:

Honorary Fellowships:

•        Eurwen Richards, former President of the Society of Dairy Technology and first female Cheese Master in the UK.

•        Professor Robin Williams CBE, researcher in semiconductor physics, Fellow of the Royal Society and former Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University.

•        Professor Miguel Alario-Franco, researcher in solid state chemistry and former President of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Spain.

•        Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and the Wales Office and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Debbie Moon, BAFTA award-winning creator and writer of the television series WolfBlood, contributor to the Hinterland television series and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Dr Francesca Rhydderch, Award-winning novelist, former editor of New Welsh Review and Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Swansea University.

•        Dr Lyn Evans, researcher in high energy physics and leader of the team that designed, built and commissioned the Large Hadron Collider.

•        Iolo Williams, wildlife television presenter of more than 20 series for the BBC and S4C including Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, and former RSPB Species Officer for Wales.

Honorary Doctorate Degrees:

•        Dylan Iorwerth, award-winning poet and author, radio and television presenter, founder and Directing Editor of Golwg Cyf and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

•        Professor Huw Cathan Davies OBE, Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, former National Academy of Science Researcher at NASA Institute in Virginia and an alumnus of Aberystwyth University.

Honorary Bachelor Degrees:

•        Rhian Phillips, former Head teacher of Plascrug Primary School and International Schools Learning ambassador for Wales.

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