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Arnie, Padraig & Watson to Receive Honors from St. Andrews University


Three of the world's greatest golfers will be honored by Scotland's oldest university on the eve of the 139th Open Championship at St. Andrews. Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington will be awarded Honorary Degrees by the University of St. Andrews in a public ceremony in the town's Younger Hall on July 13th.

The trio has won 18 major championships, including nine British Open titles, over the course of the last half century. The University will award each of them the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa in recognition of their achievements and outstanding contributions to the game of golf.

The awards ceremony - a traditional feature of Open Week in St. Andrews - will take place at 3 p.m. in the University's graduation venue at Younger Hall in North Street. The degrees will be conferred by University Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell.

Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony. Tickets are free. Register by email at golfgrad@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Of the ceremony, University Principal Dr Louise Richardson said, "Individually and collectively, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Padraig Harrington exemplify excellence, drive and achievement at the highest levels of professional sport.

"This will be an opportunity for St Andrews and Scotland to honor their determination and achievement in the game of golf and the pursuit of excellence. We are absolutely delighted that they have agreed to accept these Honorary Degrees at the home of golf on the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship."

Two-time Open champion Harrington said, "I am very proud to be awarded an Honorary Degree from the University of St. Andrews and I am really looking forward to receiving it at the public ceremony in July during the Open Championship week. It is fantastic to be recognized for this honor but what makes it even more special is that I will be receiving it alongside golfing legends Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson, whose achievements and contributions to the game I have admired and aspired to throughout my career."

Previous recipients of Honorary Degrees from St. Andrews include golf greats Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Gary Player, Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, Peter Thomson and Peter Allis. All have been invited to this year's ceremony.

Among its Honorary Graduates are Bob Dylan, Benjamin Franklin, Michael Douglas and the Dalai Lama.

Founded in the 15th century, St. Andrews is Scotland's first university and the third-oldest in the English speaking world. The University is one of Europe's most research-intensive seats of learning. It is one of the world's top-rated for research, teaching quality and student satisfaction and is consistently ranked among the UK's top-five universities.

As it prepares to celebrate its 600th anniversary in 2013, the University is pursuing a varied program of capital investment, including a New School of Medicine, the refurbishment of its Main Library, new sports facilities and the provision of new student accommodation.