Rock legend Tony Iommi and Jordanian princess to be honoured by University

Rock legend Tony Iommi and Jordanian princess to be honoured by University

Black Sabbath co-founder and guitarist Tony Iommi (image credit: JACKIE JETHON)

University news

Tuesday 12 November 2013

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The lead guitarist of iconic rock band Black Sabbath and a princess of the Royal House of Jordan are amongst the outstanding individuals set to receive honorary degrees from Coventry University next week.

Tony Iommi, who co-founded Black Sabbath in Birmingham in 1968, and Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali will be honoured by the University during its graduation ceremonies in Coventry Cathedral.

Celebrated Coventrian and artist George Shaw – whose haunting depictions of the city's Tile Hill landscape have won him acclaim and a Turner Prize nomination – is also being recognised by the institution.

The honorary graduands will receive their commendations in the same week that around 7,000 students are awarded their degrees from the University.

Mr Iommi will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Arts on Tuesday 19th November in recognition of his contribution to the world of popular music, in particular his role as one of the founding fathers of heavy metal music and his status as one of the industry's most influential figures.

On the Friday Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali – who founded the Jordan Media Institute with which Coventry University has links – will become an Honorary Doctor of Letters for her contribution to the field of journalism and media.

Honorary awards will also be presented to designer and educational fundraiser Lady Frances Sorrell, prominent lexicographer Michael Rundell and long-standing Coventry University governor Celia Fitzhugh. The full list can be found in the notes to editors.

Mr Iommi, who will be heading straight from the graduation ceremony to join Black Sabbath in Helsinki for the start of their latest European tour, said:


It's a great honour to receive the doctorate, which comes towards the end of a challenging but amazingly successful year for me. I'd like to thank everyone at Coventry University for my nomination and look forward to meeting them at the ceremony.


Professor Madeleine Atkins, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, said:


It's a pleasure to be welcoming these exemplary individuals to our graduation ceremonies to receive their awards alongside our graduating students. Each of them has excelled in their field in such a way as to be worthy of recognition, and I hope our own students will be inspired by the drive and commitment they have shown throughout their careers.



For further information, please contact Alex Roache, external press and media relations officer, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7679 5050 or email