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007 Producer and Olympic Gold medallist honoured at LSBU graduation

James Bond Producer Michael G. Wilson OBE and Olympic Gold medallist Greg Searle MBE, have been honoured at this week's graduation ceremony, in recognition of their continued support London South Bank University's mission in their fields of expertise
28 October 2013

Each year, the University confers a small number of honorary awards to individuals who have distinguished themselves in fields in which the University is engaged, and who have contributed to the good of the wider community of the University.

LSBU Alumnus Greg Searle - who received an Honorary Fellowship from LSBU - is one of the country's most prominent and successful sportsmen, having won more than 12 medals, including gold at the 1992 Olympics. In recognition of his achievements, Greg was awarded an MBE whilst studying at LSBU in 1993 -making him one of the youngest MBE's at the tender age of 20.

At the age of 37, Greg made the bold decision to return to competitive rowing and seek a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games. "The London Olympics were a learning opportunity for me", Greg said at the LSBU ceremony.

"I had learned from past experiences that I had to be a better team player and buy in to leadership - and it was an amazing experience to join forces and to strive to achieve a common goal, together. "The hard work, pain and sacrifice paid off, when he won a bronze medal with the men's eight at Dorney Lake.

Michael Greg Wilson OBE, who received the Honorary Doctor of Letters from LSBU, has been working on James Bond films since Eon's second production Goldfinger, released in 1964. Joining Eon full-time in the mid-1970s, Michael worked his way up and has produced every Bond film since Moonraker in 1979.

Michael has also co-written five Bond films, and even appeared in some films - including Goldfinger, Die Another Day and Casino Royale. Thanks to his business acumen, the company has survived through challenging times and emerged in the 21st century with the Bond franchise as dynamic and relevant as ever. In 2008, Michael was awarded a prestigious OBE.

Speaking to the graduating student upon receiving his Honorary Doctor of Letters, Michael said: "Today may be the end of your formal education, but it's just the beginning of your lifelong education. Be curious, make the most of the opportunities that come your way, and be sure to marry the right person."

Greg and Michael were awarded their respective honorary degrees at the graduation ceremony of LSBU's Faculty of Engineering, Science and the Built Environment, which took place in the heritage-listed Royal Festival Hall, one of the world's elite event venues, situated in the Southbank Centre near LSBU's London campus.