The outgoing boss of Aberdeen Performing Arts has said she will “treasure forever” the moment she was given an honorary degree.
Jane Spiers was today made an honorary Doctor of Letters during the Robert Gordon University’s winter graduation ceremony.
Chancellor Dame Evelyn Glennie – herself an award-winning percussionist – conferred the honorary award upon her friend.
Ms Spiers, who will step down as chief executive of APA in the spring, also oversaw the renovation and restoration of the Music Hall, where the ceremony was held.
“It is one of the pinnacle achievements of my life”
In 2019, Aberdeen Performing Arts were named Business of the Year in the north-east at the Northern Star Awards, and Ms Spiers was given a lifetime achievement award.
Before this, she was the first chief executive of Horsecross Arts, bringing together Perth Concert Hall and Perth Theatre.
She also led the redevelopment of the Tolbooth, Stirling’s Centre for Music and the Arts, which won the Crown Estates Conservation Award for the best work of restoration and adaptation in the UK.
In 2017, Ms Spiers was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland.
RGU principal and vice-chancellor Steve Olivier said: “Jane’s vision, dedication, and masterful history of achievements makes her an inspiration to all graduates.
“The consistent positive impact Jane has gifted the north-east is validation that following your passion with resilient, conscientious effort can achieve remarkable things.”
“It’s a moment I’ll treasure forever”
Having led such a varied and adventurous, she was proud to share this day with students starting their careers as her own begins to wind down.
She said: “It’s such a great privilege to receive this honorary doctorate from Robert Gordon University, a university with deep roots in the city and the north-east, and a university that nurtures creative thinking and entrepreneurship.
“Out of all the things I have done, it is one of the pinnacle achievements of my life – it has been so emotional to here in my place of work looking out at my family and my work family and getting the chance to share it with them all.
“I’ve spent my working life in the arts, and so it was extra special to receive my honorary doctorate from Dame Evelyn Glennie in the Music Hall. It’s a moment I’ll treasure forever.”
She was joined at the ceremony by her three children and her partner – who will continue celebrating over the weekend when one of her daughters pick up their own masters degree in Glasgow.