THE academic who has been steering the University of York through a massive expansion has been made a CBE for services to higher education.

Vice-chancellor Brian Cantor is one of three professors at the university to receive awards in the New Year Honours List.

Prof Susan Mendus, Morrell Professor Emerita of Political Philosophy, is also made a CBE for services to political science, while Prof Sarah Thompson, head of the Department of Physics, becomes an MBE for services to higher education.

Prof Cantor has been vice-chancellor since 2002 but is stepping down at the end of 2013 to return to scientific research after leading the £750 million, 65-hectare Heslington East campus extension.

The honour comes as the university starts a year of celebrations in 2013 to mark its 50th anniversary.

A university spokeswoman said: “Prof Cantor has led the university through its most dynamic period of growth, which has included the major campus expansion at Heslington East, and York’s recognition on the world stage, including being ranked being in the Top 10 of young universities worldwide.”

Prof Cantor said: “I am enormously proud to receive this honour as we enter our 50th year. I do so on behalf the staff, students and friends and supporters of the university who have helped to make York such a success story in higher education.”

Also receiving CBEs are internationally acclaimed York master stone and wood carver Dick Reid, for services to heritage and restoration, Harrogate philanthropist Dr Terence Bramall, for charitable services and John Sanderson, former clerk of the course at York Racecourse for services to the horseracing industry.

Frank Paterson, 82, of Askham Bryan, has been made an MBE for services to museums. Mr Paterson, former general manager of British Rail’s eastern region in York, said he had chaired the Friends of the National Railway Museum for ten years until earlier this year and had also been on the museum’s advisory board since 1978.

He said he had also chaired the York Civic Trust’s Fairfax House Board and was a former President of the Rotary Club of York, with the annual Dragon Boat Race on the Ouse launched during his year in office.

The MBE also goes to Patrick Joseph Cronesbury, of Thornaby, founder and chair of the Middlesbrough Disabled Supporters Association, for services to the disabled in sport and the community, Jack Stephenson, for services to the community and charity in Scarborough, and Rosalind Louise Rowley, known as Lindy, for services to the community in Scarborough. Ken Garland, 76, of Kexby, has been awarded the BEM, for services to the community in York.

He has worked with several charities since the age of 25, including the Wilberfoss Trust, Bedern Hall Committee, the Friends of York Hospital and Kexby Parish Council, and said he was flattered by the recognition.

He said: “My wife has been a big part of it, always pushing me to do things. She deserves it as much as me.”

The BEM also goes to Christopher Wilby, former executive director of Scarborough YMCA, for services to young people, and Valerie Thornhill, founder of VISTA, for services to adult education in East Yorkshire.

The BEM also goes to former Yorkshire Evening Press journalist John Scott, for services to the community in Strensall and York.

Mr Scott, 84, said he was a copy boy and then a reporter at the former Yorkshire Evening Press in the late 1940s, before becoming chief reporter at the Yorkshire Post’s York office for 40 years. He was a member of Strensall Parish Council for 30 years and was chairman of the village hall committee for 16 years.