Issue date: 12 November 2003

ISSUE DATE: 12/11/03

The University of the West of England will award the honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration to John Joseph Burke DL this week. The honorary degree will be conferred at the Award Ceremony of Bristol Business School on Thursday 13 November at 11.30am at Bristol Cathedral.

John Burke is best known in business circles for his career with the Bristol and West Building Society (more recently Bristol & West plc). He joined the Society in Plymouth in 1964 and held a number of posts before becoming the Chief Executive and Managing Director. In that capacity he led the Society’s demutualization and its sale to the Bank of Ireland, of which he became a Director. He retired from the Bristol & West in May 2001 having served as Deputy Chairman for the previous two years.

Beyond the business world, John Burke has many interests and roles. They currently include: Board Member and Honorary Treasurer of the Royal Bath and West of England Society; Board Member of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative (President and Chairman May 2000 – May 2003); Trustee of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum; Trustee, St Monica Trust; Trustee, Bristol Cathedral Trust; Chairman of the Bristol Cathedral Appeal; Chairman of the West of England Strategic Partnership; Chairman of Young Enterprise South West; National Board Member, Young Enterprise; Member of the Colston Society; Member of the Court of the University of Bristol; President, Chew Valley Rugby Club. He is also a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers.

His past activities include: Chairman of Governors, Chew Valley Comprehensive School; Founder Chairman, Crimestoppers Western Region; Director, Royal School of Needlework; Chairman, Business Leaders Group of the Prince’s Trust Volunteers, Bristol; Trustee, Harbourside Foundation; Chairman, Business Leaders Group, BiTC Education Action Zone; Trustee, John Cabot Matthew Trust; Chairman, Western Training & Enterprise Council; Trustee and past Chairman of the Greater Bristol Foundation; member of the Council of the CBI; past Master of the Guild of Guardians; and, past President of the Anchor Society.

John Burke is the Vice Lord Lieutenant of the City and County of Bristol. He is married to Sally and they have three sons, all of whom are married, and five grandchildren. He is a keen rugby supporter, enjoys fly fishing and says that he plays golf for the benefit of other people’s morale.

The Honorary Degree is awarded in recognition of John Burke’s outstanding contribution to Bristol and in particular to the engagement of its business community with broader charitable and social endeavours.


Back to top