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University of East Anglia unveils 2012 honorary graduates

Tue, 22 May 2012

BBC sports presenter Jake Humphrey, Olympic cyclist Emma Pooley and singer-songwriter Cathy Dennis are among those being awarded honorary degrees from the University of East Anglia this year.

Above L-R: Zoë Wanamaker, Jake Humphrey, Cathy Dennis, Brian Eastman

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and Harry Potter star Zoë Wanamaker, award-winning director and producer Brian Eastman and Indian MP Prof Monkombu Swaminathan will also be recognised in this year’s ceremonies.

UEA Registrar and Secretary Brian Summers said: “We present honorary degrees to those who have made a remarkable contribution to the arts, science, sport, and civil society. This July we will bring together 14 highly acclaimed and distinguished individuals who richly deserve this recognition.”

The honorary degrees will be awarded at this year’s graduation ceremonies which take place from July 17 to 20 at the University of East Anglia.

Norfolk TV presenter Jake Humphrey is well-known in the UK and beyond for hosting the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage.

After attending Framingham Earl High School and sixth form at the Hewitt School, he worked at Anglia TV before getting his big break in children’s television on CBBC.

Jake moved into sports presenting at the BBC, hosting Football Focus, Sports Personality of the Year and The Superbowl, amongst many others.

He will be on screen later this year as part of the BBC’s Olympic presenting team.

Jake said: “I'm incredibly privileged to receive such an accolade from the University Of East Anglia. I must also admit to feeling rather embarrassed and very lucky to be meeting the rest of the graduates who have all had to study a lot harder than me to achieve their doctorates.

“I'm really looking forward to spending time at the university, and so proud that my home town boasts such an impressive and successful teaching establishment.”

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Olympic cycling hopeful Emma Pooley grew up in Norfolk, attending Norwich High School for Girls and the 6th form at Norwich School, before taking up cycling while studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge.

In 2010 she was national champion in both road and time trials, and also won the world championship time trial in Melbourne, Australia. Last season she was bronze medallist at the world championship time trial in Copenhagen, Denmark.

She is currently a member of the AA Drink–leontien.nl professional cycling team, alongside studying for a PhD in geotechnical engineering in Zurich.

Emma will be hoping to add to her silver medal success from the 2008 Beijing Olympics later this year at London 2012.

She said: "It is a great distinction to be accorded an honorary degree and I am very grateful to the UEA for giving me this honour. It is especially fitting because many years ago when I was an enthusiastic (though not talented!) runner at school in Norwich I used to train and race in the grounds of the UEA.

“I'm very much looking forward to attending the degree ceremony in July this year"

She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Cathy Dennis is a singer-songwriter and record producer of international fame.

Educated at Taverham High School in Norfolk, she was discovered while recording demos in Norwich, and signed by Simon Fuller aged 17.

After success as a singer, both solo and as part of group D Mob, Cathy turned to songwriting.

She has penned many number one hits to date, including ‘Toxic’ by Britney Spears, ‘I Kissed a Girl’ by Katy Perry, and Kylie Minogue’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ which won Cathy an Ivor Novello Award.

She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Music.

Zoë Wanamaker was born in New York and was raised and trained in London.

She is one of the world's most respected stage and television actors, renowned on both sides of the Atlantic.

Zoë is the recipient of the highest theatrical awards, having starred in over 50 plays and over 40 television shows.

She is the Honorary President of Shakespeare's Globe in London and was awarded the CBE in 2001.

She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Film, television and stage producer Brian Eastman grew up in Norwich, attending the City of Norwich School before studying at Jesus College, Cambridge.

He was one of the pioneer independent producers in the UK, founding his production company, Carnival Films, in 1978, and went on to produce over 300 hours of television drama, eight feature films and numerous stage productions.

Brian's work has won or been nominated for Oscars, Emmy, BAFTA, Tony and Olivier awards. His productions include Shadowlands, Traffik, Agatha Christie's Poirot, Jeeves & Wooster and Porterhouse Blue.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Prof John Durant is director of the MIT Museum and an adjunct professor of science, technology and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He attended the City of Norwich School, and was in the same year and class as fellow honorary degree recipient Brian Eastman.

After obtaining his PhD from the University of Cambridge, Prof Durant was appointed the world’s first professor of public understanding of science at Imperial College London.

He was made assistant director of the Science Museum in 1989 and served as chief executive of At-Bristol before moving to his current roles in 2005. He has focused his career on promoting public engagement within science and technology.

He receives a Doctor of Science.

A world renowned Indian agricultural scientist, Prof Monkombu Swaminathan is also an MP in his home country.

In 1988, he founded his own research foundation dedicated to the cause of helping technology development and dissemination become more receptive to the needs of women, the environment and the less well off in society.

Prof Swaminathan was named by Time Magazine as one of the 20 most influential Asians of the 20th century.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law

Tony Trew is a South African political activist and discourse analyst, and a former civil servant.

He was imprisoned in his home country from 1964-5 for campaigning against apartheid.

After his release he came to the UK, where he became a lecturer at UEA in 1970, teaching logic, history of science and discourse analysis.

He left lecturing in 1980 to take up a post at the International Defence Aid Fund for South Africa, and continued to work for the benefit of the country until his retirement.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Dame Athene Donald is a professor of experimental physics at the University of Cambridge.

Following undergraduate and postgraduate study at Cambridge, she worked in the USA at Cornell University before returning to Cambridge in 1981.

The main focus of her study is the fields of soft matter physics and biological physics, encompassing materials such as liquids, foams, gels, cells and proteins. She has worked with the Institute of Food Research and the John Innes Centre on Norwich Research Park in these areas of science.

Dame Athene is an advocate of women in science, and is the University of Cambridge’s gender equality champion. She was made a Dame in the 2010 Birthday Honours.

She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Sir Mark Jones is the distinguished former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

After working at the British Museum for 18 years, he moved north of the border to oversee the creation of the Museum of Scotland in 1998.

He was knighted in the New Year Honours in 2010, and has recently taken up the role of Master at Saint Cross College, Oxford.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Dr Michael Loewe is one of the leading scholars of early China.

His study of East Asian languages and cultures started when he was breaking Japanese codes and ciphers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

He served as a lecturer in the Universities of London and Cambridge from 1956 to 1990, has acted as a visiting professor in Stockholm and several universities in the USA, and holds an honorary position in the People’s University of China, Beijing.

Dr Loewe has collaborated with the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures in Norwich, to which his late wife Carmen Blacker left her library.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

UEA graduate Sir Andrew Cash is the chief executive of the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

After studying for a degree in Economic and Social History, he joined the NHS fast track graduate management trainee scheme.

Sir Andrew has now been a chief executive for over 20 years, and is also a visiting professor at the universities of York and Sheffield.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Dame Moira Gibb
has enjoyed a long career in local government and social services.

She spent eight years as the chief executive of the London Borough of Camden, having been a director of Social Services and a social work lecturer at the University of Lancashire. She has led the reform of the social work profession since 2009.

Dame Moira was made a CBE in 2002 and a DBE in 2012. She delivered the keynote speech at the 2010 adult and children’s social care conference at the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Research Park.

She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Sir Martin Taylor is a mathematician of exceptional standing.

He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career, and has at various times been an external examiner and adviser in the UEA’s School of Mathematics.

Former Vice-President & Physical Secretary of the Royal Society, Sir Martin is now the Warden of Merton College, Oxford.

He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
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