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Honorary degrees announced at University of East Anglia

Thu, 21 May 2009

An Olivier Award winner, a baroness, the director of the British Museum, an astro-physicist, and a climatologist are among those being awarded honorary degrees by the University of East Anglia (UEA) this summer.

Above: Alun Armstrong

UEA Registrar and Secretary Brian Summers said: “Each year the University of East Anglia presents honorary degrees to those who have made a remarkable contribution to the arts, science, and learning. This year we bring together a distinguished and talented group of individuals who richly deserve this recognition.”

The honorary degrees will be awarded at this year’s graduation ceremonies which take place from July 14 to 17 at the University of East Anglia.

Alun Armstrong is a Laurence Olivier Award-winning English actor. He made his debut in the 1971 film Get Carter, and has since worked regularly in British stage and television productions. Recently, he has appeared in films including Sleepy Hollow, The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing.

On television, Armstrong has played the character of Brian Lane in the popular BBC drama New Tricks and has appeared in dramas including Our Friends in the North, Between the Sheets and Little Dorrit

He spent nine years with the Royal Shakespeare Company in performances including Nicholas Nickleby, The Taming of The Shrew, and The Jew of Malta and took the role of Monsieur Thénardier in the original cast of Les Misérables. He has been nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award six times and won in 1994, for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Sweeney Todd. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Valerie AmosBaroness Valerie Amos is a Labour politician and life peer. She became the first black woman in a British Cabinet in 2003 when she was appointed secretary of State for International Development and was subsequently Leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She was a Foreign Office Minister from2001-2003.

Baroness Amos was born in Guyana, South America and came to Britain aged nine. She studied at the Universities of Warwick, Birmingham and East Anglia.

She is currently chair of the Royal African Society, a Fulbright Commissioner and member of the Advisory Board, Global Health Group, University of California.

She holds Honorary Doctorates, from Manchester, Warwick, Staffordshire, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester and Bennett College, and North Carolina universities. She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.


Neil MacGreggorNeil MacGregor has been director of the British Museum since August 2002 and is also chair of the World Collections Programme – a Government funded initiative to establish partnerships between six major cultural institutions in the UK and institutions in Asia and Africa. Previous posts include director of the National Gallery in London and editor of arts periodical The Burlington Magazine

He read French and German at New College, Oxford, philosophy at École Normale Supérieure in Paris and law at the University of Edinburgh, and was called to the Scottish Bar.  He then studied art at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, and became a lecturer in the History of Art and Architecture at the University of Reading and at the Courtauld Institute of Art. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.


Steven LukesProf Steven Lukes is the author of numerous books and articles about political and social theory. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and is currently a professor of sociology at New York University. He has formerly held posts at Balliol College, Oxford, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Siena and the London School of Economics. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.


Martin ReesBaron Martin Rees of Ludlow is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and is president of the Royal Society. 

He studied at Cambridge, and has held positions at Sussex and Cambridge universities, and visiting professorships at Leicester University, Gresham College, Imperial College and several universities abroad.

The author of more than 500 research papers, Rees has made important contributions to the origin of cosmic microwave background radiation, as well as to galaxy clustering and formation. He is also a well-respected author of books on astronomy and science intended for general readership.

In 2005, he was appointed to the House of Lords. In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate from Yale University. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Brian HoskinsSir Brian Hoskins is Director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London and Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Reading, where he has been for more than 30 years. He is a weather and climate scientist who is perhaps best known for his work on understanding fronts and cyclones and has produced research across many areas of meteorology including monsoons and teleconnections. 

He is currently a member of the UK Committee on Climate Change. He was knighted in 2007 for his services to the environment. He is a member of the scientific academies of the UK, USA and China, and has played significant roles in international weather and climate research and in the Nobel Prize winning international climate change assessments. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Alan SilmanAlan Silman
is the first medical director of the UK Arthritis Research Campaign, a post he has held since January 2007.  He is a Professor of Rheumatic Disease Epidemiology at the University of Manchester, and an honorary consultant in Rheumatology at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.  A specialist in musculoskeletal disease research, Prof Silman has published in excess of 500 articles in this area. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

David WallaceProf Sir David Wallace
CBE is director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge and master of Churchill College, Cambridge.

After studying at the University of Edinburgh and Princeton University, he held posts at the universities of Southampton and Edinburgh, and was Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University from 1994-2005. 

He has served as Treasurer of the Royal Society, President of the Institute of Physics and he is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.  In 1996 he was awarded a CBE for his services to parallel computing and was knighted in 2004 for services to UK science, technology and engineering. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

Judy DunnProf Judy Dunn
is a psychologist who specialises in child development and family issues. She is a leading theorist in the field of children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.
She is currently Professor of Developmental Psychology working in the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s, and was previously MRC Research Professor at King's College London. She receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.

Mayr HartingProf Henry Mayr-Harting
is one of the most distinguished living historians of the medieval church.

He studied at Merton College, Oxford, before going on to hold posts at the University of Liverpool and Oxford. He was Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford and Lay Canon of Christ Church, Oxford, from 1997 until 2003. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of several Academy committees, one of which he chairs. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.

Lars-Hendrik RollerProf Lars-Hendrik Röller
is an eminent academic who became the first chief competition economist at the European Commission. He is also president of the European School of Management and Technology in Berlin, president of the German Economic Association and a panel member of the European Research Council.

He holds the chair of Industrial Economics at Humboldt University in Berlin and has previously held posts at Stanford University, New York University, and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.




Prof Stanley Cavell is one of the most important American philosophers of the 20th century, renowned for his inclusion of the arts, media and psychoanalysis into philosophical inquiry.

He is the Walter M Cabot Professor Emeritus of Aesthetics and the General Theory of Value at Harvard University and a past president of the American Philosophical Association. He has written extensively on Ludwig Wittgenstein, J L Austin, and Martin Heidegger, as well as on the American Transcendentalists Henry Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He receives an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.