Michael Elliott, who is currently Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and was Director of Culture at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport until earlier this year, was awarded an honorary degree by Sheffield Hallam University.
The award was presented on Friday 25 November 2011 at Sheffield City Hall, during a graduation ceremony for students from the University's Faculty of Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences.
It is a welcome return to Sheffield Hallam for Michael who, in the 1970s, was president and subsequently general manager of the University's student union. He later became head of the principal’s office and then head of publicity and information services. In the latter post, he was instrumental in rebranding the institution.
Speaking at the ceremony, he said: "I'd like to thank the University from the bottom of my heart. The institution has changed a lot since I was here, but it's still an enterprising centre of excellence, a provider of first class facilities to its students and graduates, and it's a business-facing, forward-looking institution."
Michael also had some advice for students hoping to mirror his own successful career path.
He said: "Challenge orthodoxy, be passionate, be respectful of other professionals and build around you a fabulous team. At the end of the day it's not the individual, it's the team that counts. I wish everyone graduating here today all the very best in their careers."
Michael has been a Governor at the University of Wolverhampton since 1997 and Chairman of the Board of Governors since November 2009.
Michael Elliott is former Director, Culture at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Associate Cultural Director of Liverpool Culture Company which was responsible for planning Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture 2008. He led the partnership of the major cultural institutions in the city, which attracted significant new investment of national funding for Liverpool.
Michael is a former Chief Executive of the Heart of England Tourist Board, and from 1989 until 1996 was Chief Executive of West Midlands Arts, the Regional Arts Board.
During his time in Sheffield (1971 to 1987) he served as Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Crucible Theatre, as a governor of a number of school and college governing bodies, and as a co-opted member of the Sheffield Education Committee.
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