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Byline: Kat Keogh

AN X Factor finalist is among a crop of former students to be handed an end of year honour by a Birmingham university.

Platinum-selling singer Rhydian Roberts, who came second in X Factor three years ago, is one of five graduates to be named Alumni of the Year by Birmingham City University.

The White-haired Welshman graduated with a first class honours degree from Birmingham Conservatoire, which is part of the university, just months before his X Factor audition.

The 27-year-old, who is currently touring with a production of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, has been awarded the honour in recognition of his "contribution to the university through achievement of excellence." Other graduates set to receive the honour include Mark Persard, manager of Erdington organisation Ingeus, who has helped 350 disabled youngsters get back into work, and MA graduate Kerry Thomas, who co-founded Custard Factory-based music, style and art magazine Fused.

Jewellery and silversmith graduate Fei Liu is also being honoured for his work, which is currently sold in top-end stores such as Harrods and Liberty's and he will be joined by photojournalist Justo Casal, who has had his work published by the BBC and in the New York Times.

Birmingham City University Vice Chancellor, David Tidmarsh, said: "Justo, Kerry, Mark, Fei and Rhydian are all exceptional ambassadors for the university.

"Their stories are inspiring and their achievements outstanding. I very much look forward to meeting them when th certificates at the u ceremonies."

Nominations a staff, students an for alumni who important contrib national or inter nity in the course through volunta work.

The graduates w their certificates mingham City U versity's annua graduation ceremonies at Symphony Hall in January and February.


ellence': Former X Factor singer Rhydian berts is being awarded Alumni of the Year. eft, during his graduation.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Dec 27, 2010
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