Sir Paul at graduation celebrations
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Sir Paul McCartney has led graduation celebrations at the "fame" school he set up in his home city.
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (Lipa) opened in 1996 after a long campaign by the former Beatle.
Sir Paul, 70, was accompanied at the graduations for the first time by wife Nancy Shevell, 52, who he married in October last year.
Around 260 students from the UK and 15 other countries attended the ceremony alongside the music legend to collect their degree and postgraduate certificates.
Sir Paul also presented Lipa Companionships to Olivier Award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne and Grammy-nominated musician and music video director Kevin Godley.
Lipa companionships were also presented to production manager Jason Barnes, UK pantomime producer Michael Harrison, choreographer and creative director Gary Lloyd, sound engineer and sound designer Owen Lewis, and reminiscence arts pioneer Pam Schweitzer. The institute awards companionships for outstanding achievement and practical contribution to students' learning.
Lipa's founding principal and chief executive, Mark Featherstone-Witty, said: "This year, just shy of 200 practitioners contributed to our learning - a solid total for us in the provinces.
"No institution is better than its teachers. There's no substitute for learning from the best - people like Sir Paul, who answered students' questions. These generous professionals shared their knowledge, engaging all the disciplines we teach."
Lipa, located in the former Beatle's old school - the Liverpool Institute for Boys - was founded by Sir Paul and Mr Featherstone-Witty with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for those who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry.
Sir Paul McCartney led the graduation celebrations at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts