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The ITB founder is now an honorary doctor of letters after being honoured by his alma mater, the University of Exeter
By Jon Chapple on 29 Jul 2019
British booking agent Rod MacSween, founder and CEO of International Talent Booking (ITB), has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Exeter, his alma mater.
MacSween – one of 11 honorary graduates in 2019, and one of three doctors of letters (DLitt) – chemistry and statistics at Exeter, and was also the university’s social secretary from 1969 to 1970.
As social secretary, MacSween brought artists including the Who, Pink Floyd and Robert Plant’s Band of Joy to the university, where they played for 1,800 students at £1 per ticket. After graduating, he spent time at various London agencies before eventually coming into the organisation of notorious manager Don Arden, where he first met Arden’s daughter, Sharon Osbourne – now a longstanding friend.
MacSween’s ITB roster still includes the Who, Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne
“She was working with her father at the time,” MacSween told IQ last year, as the agency celebrated its 40th birthday. “We, and then Ozzy, became great friends. With all their help, ITB was set up in 1976. Barry [Dickins] came and joined as a partner in 1978.”
At ITB, MacSween’s roster now includes the Who, Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne, as well as Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Guns n’ Roses, Kiss, Lenny Kravitz, Maroon 5, Morrissey, Ozzy, Pearl Jam, Scorpions and Tool.
Addressing Exeter students during his conferral, MacSween advised that “enthusiasm, commitment, integrity and a measure of risk-taking” would be key to success in their working lives.
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