Celebrating the best of Bath's brain power
The streets of the city centre have been filled with colour and pomp this week.
Enlivening the grey, rainy streetscape have been hundreds of young people coming to the end of their time in this city.
Watched by their parents, they have been following familiar routes – albeit in unfamiliar clothing.
With mortar boards, gowns and their best bib and tucker, students from the University of Bath have made their way to graduation ceremonies that rightly celebrate three or four years of work and play.
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It is to be hoped that some of them – along with their counterparts from Bath Spa University, who graduate later this month – will stay in this area.
We need the energy, ideas and sheer brain power of people who will be among the best in their subjects across the UK.
So we should start by congratulating them.
But we should also pay tribute to the two universities for taking the opportunity to reward some local heroes.
This week, the University of Bath has given an honorary degree to a man who has made it his mission to transform perceptions about homeless people in this city.
Ian Sutherland co-founded the charity Julian House and was until recently its director.
He has never sought personal acclaim but – together with his colleagues – went into daily bat for society's forgotten people, drumming home the message that homelessness is never a lifestyle choice.
Later this month, Bath Spa will honour another figure who inspires people to make a change.
Music maestro Grenville Jones is a one-man National Grid, without whose charity fundraising and ideas the city would be a far poorer place.
The Goldies charity which he founded is transforming the lives of hundreds of older people across the west and Wales, and his appetite for new good works remains utterly undiminished.
So thank you to Ian and to Grenville – as well as to all the other community and business figures getting honorary degrees this month. And thank you to the two academic institutions for recognising that the university of life has much to offer, too.