Bruce picks up honourary doctorate from his former university
Dickinson's award for his contribution to the development of music was presented by Professor David Baker from the Centre for Neuroscience and Trauma at Queen Mary. A life-long Iron Maiden fan, Professor Baker nominated Dr Dickinson "because he could not think of a QM alumnus that was more deserving of recognition". Dr Paul Bruce Dickinson, who uses the stage name Bruce Dickinson, originally graduated with a degree in History from Queen Mary in 1979 following a short stint in the Territorial Army.
As one of the world's best known heavy metal singers, Dr Dickinson and his band have recorded over 20 studio albums, selling millions of copies worldwide and generating a mass following. They have also helped to raise money and awareness of multiple sclerosis, Professor Baker's field of interest, through several benefit concerts, after former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr was diagnosed with the debilitating disease.
Accepting his award, Dr Dickinson commented that as a student at Queen Mary in the 1970s "everyone thought he was studying History, but I spent half the time rehearsing out of tune with my band". He described Queen Mary as a "fantastic place" and congratulated the other graduating students.
Professor Baker comments "I know that Iron Maiden appreciate honours from their fans and as a fan it is my privilege to present the award. Bruce excels in so many ways and if we can aspire to a fraction of the achievements that have been made by him, then the world will be a better place."
Professor Peter McOwan, Dean for Taught Programmes (Science and Engineering) and fellow Iron Maiden fan added: "Scientists and engineers the world over owe Bruce a debt of gratitude. Heavy Metal music seems to have played a big part in making many of us who we are today. Bruce's time with Iron Maiden, his intelligent lyrics and brilliant theatricals were a positive part of our youth, and his amazing accomplishments in entrepreneurship, aviation and entertainment make him a genuine British polymath to be proud of."