Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney is to be made an honorary graduate of Staffordshire University.
The 50-year-old worked in marketing at nearby Alton Towers for a number of years and will receive the award at a ceremony next month.
Varney told The Sentinel newspaper: “The theme park is one of my main passions and the three years working there was a big part of my career.
“I had been working in consumer marketing and couldn’t believe my luck when I got the job. It means a lot to be receiving the honorary doctorate.”