A YEAR-long calendar of events is being planned to help commemorate the University of York’s golden jubilee in style.

There are plans for a major event at York Minster in February, incorporating performances by the university choir and orchestra and the conferral of five honorary degrees which will kickstart the year-long celebration of the university’s 50th anniversary year.

The university will confer honorary doctorates on East Yorkshire artist David Hockney and four other people who have made outstanding contributions to York and Yorkshire in the last half century.

Mr Hockney will attend the event on February 12 and will join Janet Barnes, chief executive officer of York Museums Trust; Robert Brech, the chairman of York Science Park; John David, master mason of York Minster and Dianne Swiers, deputy chief nurse of Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust in receiving 50th anniversary honorary degrees.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Brian Cantor, said: “The University of York is extremely proud of its relationship with this great city and its people.

“We are starting our 50th anniversary celebrations by formally acknowledging that relationship through this exciting public event in York Minster at which we will confer honorary degrees on five people who have made significant contributions to the advancement of York and Yorkshire.

“The university’s success is directly attributable to the hard work and dedication of our founding staff, those pioneering students who chose to come to York in the early 1960s and to all of those who have worked here and supported us since then.

“We are also enormously grateful for the wide-ranging support of the city of York and its people. We hope very much that many of them will be part of our celebration on 12 February and throughout our anniversary year.”

The celebration event will include performances of Bruckner, Parry and Vaughan Williams by the staff, students and alumni of the university’s music department. Music marking the anniversary, composed specially by Dr Richard Shephard, director of the York Minster Fund and an honorary graduate of the university, will be performed for the first time at the celebration.