Quinnell played rugby union for Llanelli Scarlets and Richmond, as well as representing both Wales and the British Lions.
The Welsh forward won 52 caps for his country, scoring 11 tries and captaining the side seven times. He also played for
Wigan Warriors rugby league club between 1994 and 1996.
After retiring from professional rugby in 2004, Quinnell has since been active in promoting the challenges faced by people with dyslexia; releasing his candid account in his book 'The Hardest Test'.
Speaking at the ceremony he said: "I never thought that I would be standing on a university stage wearing a cap and gown because as a child growing up with dyslexia, I struggled through the education system.
"Rugby has been a fantastic career for me and has given me everything I have today. However when it came to retiring from the game I had to face my dyslexia and with the support of my children learned how to read and write.
"I thought that playing rugby was the best job in the world, but now I have the privilege to work with children and adults with dyslexia to ensure that they are given the support needed to prevent them from struggling in the way that I did.
"This is a special day for me to share in the success of the other graduates who have achieved so much in their education."
Dennis Gethin became the President of the Welsh Rugby Union in October 2007 following a long career in local government in the Pontypridd area.
On receiving his award he said, "It is exceptional to be receiving this award today in the company of one of Wales' greatest rugby players, Scott Quinell.
"Through my work in the local area, I have had a long affiliation with the University of Glamorgan and before that the Polytechnic of Wales and this institution is the jewel in the crown of this area. I applaud the work the University does with the local community.
"In terms of rugby, the University plays a major role in providing facilities and support for the WRU and, on behalf of everyone in Welsh rugby, I would like to formally thank everyone involved at the University for their continued support. I wish all of the graduates here every success for the future."
The University of Glamorgan is the second largest University in Wales with over 22,000 students studying a comprehensive range of programmes from the Creative Industries in its new state-of the-art Cardiff campus through to Aeronautical Engineering. The University is currently investing over £140m in facilities across its campuses.
The University's research in areas such as hydrogen is world leading and carried out at a purpose built centre at Baglan, South Wales. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise more than 70% of the University's research activity was assessed as being of a quality recognised internationally.
The University was established in 1992, but has an academic pedigree spanning almost 100 years. It has expanded in recent years and is now part of the Glamorgan Group which includes the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama - the National Conservatoire of Wales - and Merthyr Tydfil College. The University was a finalist in the prestigious Times Higher Education 'University of the Year Awards' recognising its excellence in teaching, research and innovation. Visit the University website at www.glam.ac.uk