Sir Garry Hawkes and Danny Pecorelli are to be honoured with honorary degrees by the University of Essex.
Both Hawkes and Pecorelli have connections with the University of Essex, through the Edge Hotel School, which is based on the campus in Colchester.
Sir Garry, a pioneer of the contract catering sector, co-founded the school, which opened four years ago. The school offers unique job-based training in conjunction with the adjacent four-AA-star, 40-bedroom Wivenhoe House hotel.
Today, Sir Garry is director of the Edge Foundation, having been former president of Hospitality Action, president of the British Hospitality Association, chairman of Edexcel and chair of the Basic Skills Agency.
After studying hospitality management at Huddersfield Polytechnic, he rose to become chief executive of international catering company Gardner Merchant, eventually leading the management buyout of the group. He remained with the company for 37 years before joining rival Aramark, eventually retiring in 2004.
As chairman of Edexcel, he sold the company to Pearson, the publishers of the Financial Times. With the proceeds of the sale, he set up the independent educational charity the Edge Foundation, which supports technical, practical, vocational and professional education through the UK.
Sir Garry was made a CBE for services to tourism and the catering industry in 1999.
Pecorelli, who was named Hotelier of the Year in 2014 by The Caterer, is the managing director of Exclusive Hotels and Venues, which comprises four five-AA-star hotels, two venues and two golf clubs. Together the properties hold an unprecedented 20 AA rosettes and four Michelin stars.
As a passionate supporter of hospitality education, Pecorelli regularly visits the Edge Hotel School to give masterclasses on the industry, provides scholarships and mentors students working towards their degrees in hotel management. Exclusive spent around £50,000 on sponsoring a suite at Wivenhoe House.
Sir Garry and Pecorelli will receive their degrees at the Edge Hotel School graduation ceremony on 15 July.
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