The chief executive of Church & Co, Stephen Etheridge, has been made an honorary fellow of the University of Northampton at this year's summer graduation ceremonies. The footwear company is based in Northampton and its shoe production started back in 1675. Etheridge is already associated with the university, as it offers advice and support to the university staff on the development of its degree course in footwear and accessories. In addition, each year Church & Co offers a scholarship to third-year students. Etheridge also serves as non-executive director of the British Footwear Association (BFA). Church & Co is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prada but the company has always sought to preserve its English shoe tradition. The success of the company has recently brought it to buy Northampton's former bus depot in order to expand its manufacturing facilities.