Some of the thousands of people who take part each year in courses run by the Foundation of Light attended an award ceremony at the stadium.
A new £9million centre to support enterprise and innovation in Sunderland could produce up to 650 jobs.
Rock legend Brian Johnson, from Gateshead, has been given an honorary degree by Northumbria University.
Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Northumbria University, forty years after graduating from its predecessor with her first law degree.
Vera Baird was Vice-President of the Student Union at Newcastle Polytechnic, before embarking on a career as a barrister.
She went on to become Labour MP for Redcar in 2001 before being elected as Northumbria's first Police Commissioner.
The decision for 16 to 18 year olds in Northumberland to pay for school transport will stand, despite a bid to suspend the move.
A motion to reconsider the policy was defeated at a special council meeting at County Hall in Morpeth.
Parents and students held a protest before the four hour debate.
Helen Ford was there:
Dozens of parents protested outside County Hall in Morpeth, over plans to charge over-16s for school transport in Northumberland.
From September, most students between 16 and 18 years old will be charged £600 to use school buses, and will fund their own public transport costs.
The demonstration took place before an extraordinary meeting of the council. It debated a motion put forward by the Conservative group leader, Cllr Peter Jackson.
It called for the change to be suspended and for more consultations with parents.
The motion was narrowly defeated by 34 votes to 30.
The Labour controlled authority says the council must reduce a £3.3m bill for post-16 transport.
Council leader, Cllr Grant Davey said:
"In difficult times, we need to be focusing our resources on those who are in greatest need.
We've listened carefully to what the public have had to say, not just today but throughout the consultation period, but the bottom line is we have to balance our budget."
The Labour group said the cost of arranging today's extraordinary meeting came to £80,000; a figure disputed by others.
The Conservative group leader, Cllr Peter Jackson said:
"I think people had to have their say. People have got a democratic right and right across Northumberland, families and young people are struggling with this new six hundred pound, effectively, tax to go to school.
They had to be heard and their concerns had to be heard and addressed and I think it was the right thing to do."
A headteacher accused of historic sex offences against a 13-year-old boy is to face a retrial. It is alleged that Anne Lakey, 54, had sex with the boy in the late 1980s while she was a teacher at a school in Sunderland. The complaint was over a pupil at a different school.
Anne Lakey, from Stanley, has already been on trial for the alleged offences. But the jury was discharged on their third day of deliberations at Durham Crown Court on July 4 after failing to reach a verdict on four counts of indecent assault and two of indecency with a child.
She denied the charges but the Crown Prosecution Service have now formally announced thatthey will seek a retrial.Lakey, who was present at the short hearing, was given bail and ordered to return to Durham Crown Court on January 19.
Parents in Northumberland are protesting against the axing of free transport for 16-18 year old students.
The row over the scrapping of free school transport for 16-18 year olds in Northumberland reaches a climax today as parents and teenagers protest outside an extraordinary meeting of the council called to discuss the policy.
The council has taken away free school buses for post-16 students because of central funding cuts.
"We want to thank the vast majority of public servants who turned up for work as usual today. Our official estimates are that fewer than half a million took part in this strike action - well short of the inflated claims of union leaders. Within the Civil Service, there has been the lowest recorded turnout for a national strike.
"Every Jobcentre opened, the majority of children went to school as normal and fire services continue to operate with robust contingency arrangements in place.
– Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office
"As part of our long-term economic plan, this Government has had to take tough decisions, including to restrain public sector pay. The blame for today's disruption rests with those union leaders who pushed for unnecessary strike action with weak mandates."
Thousands of striking public sector workers have attended a rally in the centre of Newcastle. Some have told ITV News that they are struggling to pay their bills, and a 1% pay rise is not enough.