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In a ceremony held in Hong Kong on the eve of APLF 2014 on March 30, The University of Northampton awarded Honorary Degrees to a select group of top global tanners plus the visionary founder of APLF.
The Institute for Creative Leather Technologies of The University of Northampton proposed that recipients of the Diploma could be nominated for the award of an Honorary Degree, Bachelor of Science. The opportunity refers only to the cohort of Diplomates graduating up to 1995, who typically will have given at least eighteen years of industrial experience since graduating.
Derek Dickins, co-founder of the APLF and current Director of APLF Ltd was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the on the eve of the 30th Anniversary of the show for his services to the leather industry.
The following 14 individuals were Honorary Degree, Bachelor of Science, David Burgess, Barney Crawford, Sateesh Damle, John Ettling, Geoffrey Githinji, Reg Hankey, Jon Hopper, Jonathan Muirhead, Richard Pai, Iain McFadyen, Stephen Trantum and Chris Tysoe. A posthumous honorary Bachelor of Science degree was awarded for Steve Miller of JBS Couros who unexpectedly died earlier this year. Miller was a former National Leathersellers College student.
The rationale for nominating the Diplomates for an honorary degree is to recognise the contribution they have made to the global leather industry and its associated supply chain over the decades since graduating. It celebrates the unique relationship the University has with the Corium Club and the business world of leather and associated industries. It is also to recognise the links between the University and the (now senior) industrialists and leaders of an internationally important business.
The predecessor of the British School of Leather Technology was the National Leathersellers College, based in London from 1895 to 1978, when it relocated to Nene College of Northampton and became the British School of Leather Technology. These predecessors of the School of Science and Technology and Institute for Creative Leather Technologies of the University of Northampton ran a two year full time Diploma in Leather Technology (Higher National Diploma, HND): at this time, this was the highest qualification (in the world) open to students in the field of leather studies. From 1993, new BSLT undergraduates engaged in the newly established BSc in Leather Technology, so the first cohort graduated in the summer of 1996.