Derek Picot - general manager of the five-star Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel - and John Donaldson - executive director of Arora Hotels - were awarded Honorary Doctor and Master of the University degrees respectively at an awards ceremony at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in London last Friday (30 March).
Picot has more than 40 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He has worked in all five continents, with previous jobs including resident manager at the Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong and a spell at the Le Meridian in Sydney.
Upon receiving the degree, he said: "I would like to thank the University for this wonderful honour. Along with my fellow honourees we have been lucky to enjoy such great careers and it is especially exciting to see the new and emerging talent in the hospitality industry being awarded to."
Donaldson joined Arora Hotels in 2001. He is also director of Wentworth Golf Club, an elected trustee of the Institute of Hospitality and a member of the marketing and communications group of the Gatwick Diamond.
He said: "It's a great privilege in life to be able to enjoy your work and I just want to extend my congratulations to the students at the University for all their hard work."
Fellow hoteliers Sir Rocco Forte and Richard Solomons and chef Martin Wishart are among other members of the hospitality industry who have been awarded honorary degrees by universities in the past year in recognition of their contributions to the industry.