University of Ulster to honour McIlroy

US Open golf champion Rory McIlroy is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.

US Open golf champion Rory McIlroy is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster.

Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody and Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will also receive the doctorates.

The degrees will be conferred during summer and winter graduation ceremonies.

The university said: "Rory McIlroy has quickly established himself as a major force in international golf as a Major winner and Ryder Cup hero."

McIlroy is the youngest winner of the US Open for almost 90 years and will be awarded a Doctor of Science degree for his contribution to golf.

He follows in the footsteps of compatriots Graeme McDowell, who received an honorary degree last year after capturing the 2010 US Open, and Darren Clarke, honoured by the university in 2002.

Ferguson is being recognised with a Doctor of Science degree for his services to football, enjoying success with Manchester United and Aberdeen.

Lightbody will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters for services to the music industry.

Snow Patrol has enjoyed success around the world with hits including 'Chasing Cars', 'Run' and 'Just Say Yes', which was used as the campaign theme tune during Derry's successful bid to become 2013 UK City of Culture.

Ian McKellen is to receive a Doctor of Letters degree for services to acting.

His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He played Gandalf in the 'Lord Of The Rings' film trilogy and had a part in 'X Men'.

Irish American businessman Bill Flynn will be given a Doctor of Laws degree for services to peace and reconciliation.

The former chairman of Mutual of America helped procure a US visa for Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams.

Former Belfast Telegraph editor Ed Curran will be made a Doctor of Letters in recognition of his services to journalism.

Since retiring as editor-in-chief, he continues to write a column for the newspaper.

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