ISKANDAR PUTERI: Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim was awarded an honorary degree during University of Reading Malaysia’s (UoRM) inaugural graduation ceremony here.
He was conferred an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws during the ceremony held at its campus in Educity.
UoRM provost Prof Tony Downes said Ismail played an instrumental role in the establishment of the university here.
“UoRM takes delight in awarding him an honorary degree in acknowledgement of his notable contribution to the development of the entire Iskandar region.
“It has been a pleasure working with him and his team from IRDA and his continuous support is greatly appreciated,” he said at the ceremony.
Ismail expressed his appreciation to UoRM for the recognition, adding that it was his first doctorate.
“It is a true honour to be conferred an honorary degree and I accept this recognition not only for myself but for the organisation I represent,” he added.
He joins the university’s community of more than 275,000 alumni across 150 countries and a roll of noted honorary graduates including British High Commissioner to Malaysia Vicki Treadell, who received her doctorate from the university last year.
Ismail, who has been serving in IRDA since January 2010, has an extensive career in town and country planning including as the director of the Physical Planning Division, Federal Town and Country Planning Department in Kuala Lumpur.
He was also the Penang State Town and Country Planning Department director before being appointed as Khazanah Nasional’s senior vice-president of special projects in 2006 to oversee the planning of Iskandar Malaysia.
The event also saw the graduation of the first group of students from UoRM, which included 11 students who were awarded their degree in Finance and Business Management at Henley Business School Malaysia at the university.
Nine other graduates were Malaysians who completed a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the university’s main campus in the United Kingdom.
Graduate Ooi Dai Jing was also presented with the Educity Award for Outstanding Achievement, courtesy of Educity@Iskandar for achieving best overall result among her batch.
“I am truly proud to be a part of UoRM and I hope that the university can maintain its track record of excellence and continue to contribute to the society for generations to come,” she said and also expressed her gratitude to Educity for the award.
University of Reading vice-chancellor Sir David Bell, who presided over the ceremony, said it was a significant day for UoRM and Henley Business School, as it was celebrating the inaugural group of graduates at Reading’s first multidiscipline overseas campus here.
“It gives me immense pleasure to salute our new graduates for their diligence and tenacity in completing their studies with us.
“Through our outstanding teaching, I am confident that we have produced a new pool of talented and capable young adults who will become leaders of tomorrow,” he said.