Scientists, authors, actors, business leaders, lawyers, surgeons and philanthropists – all of these and more will be heading to University of East Anglia (UEA) to become honorary graduates next month.
Lord of the Rings and Titanic actor Bernard Hill, Apple Tree Yard author Louise Doughty and Virgin Money CEO Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia are among those who will be awarded this summer.
In total, 18 recipients will be awarded with honorary degrees at the UEA’s graduation ceremonies between Monday 15 July – Friday 19 July.
Honorary degrees are awarded annually to acknowledge individuals for outstanding accomplishments in their field or for exceptional contributions to the community.
UEA Vice Chancellor David Richardson said: “We’re fortunate to have a really diverse group of honorary graduates this year, who can list a host of truly exceptional achievements between them.
“I look forward to them receiving their well-deserved honours on graduation week and to hearing their words of advice for our graduating students.”
Actor Bernard Hill has enjoyed a long and successful career in film, television and theatre. On stage he has played a variety of roles including Macbeth, Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard and Eddie Carbone in Arthur Miller’s ‘A View from the Bridge’. On television he is best known for his role as Yosser Hughes in ‘Boys from the Black Stuff’. Bernard is one of few people to have starred in three Academy Award-winning Best Picture films: Gandhi (1982); Titanic (1997) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). He is a BAFTA and Emmy nominated actor and has won the Broadcasting Press Guild Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
Bernard said: “Such were the times that I lived in, I wasn’t allowed to do sixth-form study. My father told me that he I had to leave school and get a job to help my mother and as a consequence, it was impossible for me to venture even remotely near a place in a university.
“This honorary degree is a perfect way for me to foil my father’s well-meaning intent. It feels very satisfying in the first place but fills me with such overwhelming pride at being able to stand nervously and vicariously on the brink of academia. Thank you UEA. You honour me in more ways than I can express.”
Bernard will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Louise Doughty is the author of nine novels and five plays for radio, including Apple Tree Yard, which was adapted for BBC television in 2017. Her new novel, Platform Seven, will be published by Faber & Faber in August 2019. She has been nominated for multiple awards including the Costa Novel Award and Orange Prize for Fiction and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her work has been translated into thirty languages. She studied on the MA in Creative Writing at UEA and created the UEA Crowdfunded BAME Writers’ Scholarship, helping BAME students to enter the MA Creative Writing (Prose) programme.
Louise said: “It's a great pleasure to receive this honour. I was a rather immature 23-year-old when I came to UEA and I learned a huge amount when I was here, largely due to the trenchant criticism of my work that I received from my tutors and fellow students. It was a baptism of fire but by the end of it, I knew how much work I would have to do to become a professional author.
Her advice to graduates is: “Prepare for the long haul as very few successful careers begin in a flurry of acclaim. Building yourself as a novelist - and I'm sure many other professions - takes an enormous amount of hard work and ability to absorb criticism. There are no shortcuts.”
Louise will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia
Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia is the co-founder and CEO of Snoop, a new platform being designed to redress the balance of power between consumers and big business. Her career has spanned senior roles at Aviva, Virgin Direct, RBS and Virgin Money, where she was the first female CEO of a publicly listed UK bank. A prominent advocate for women in business and equality, Jayne-Anne won Leader of The Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in 2018 in recognition of her personal impact on the success of Virgin Money as a force for good in the banking industry.
Dame Jayne-Anne said: “Having developed my early career in Norwich it is a great honour to be recognised in this way by UEA. My advice to new graduates is to be yourself, find your purpose and go change the world.”
Dame Jayne-Anne will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Henry Marsh is a leading British neurosurgeon who specialises in operating on the brain under local anaesthetic. He has written two memoirs, ‘Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery’ and ‘Admissions: A Life in Brain Surgery’, which have been translated into 35 languages and have sold over a million copies in the UK alone. Henry continues to work pro bono as a neurosurgeon in Ukraine and Nepal, as well as part-time in the NHS.
Henry said: “To receive this is a considerable surprise and a great honour. I studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford and then Medicine in London. I don’t think I realised at the time just how fortunate I was to get the education I received.”
He passes on the advice: “Life is difficult. Persistence is the key to success.”
Henry will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Sir Gregory Winter
Sir Gregory Paul Winter CBE FRS FMedSci is a Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist best known for his work on developing technologies to make therapeutic monoclonal antibodies for treatment of non-infectious diseases. His inventions have been used in top selling pharmaceutical drugs, including for treatment of multiple sclerosis, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. He has combined his research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (Cambridge) with entrepreneurial activities and has founded three biotech companies. He is now Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Sir Gregory said: “Receiving this honorary degree is rather like receiving a prize - it is a very pleasant surprise to find that other academics think so well of my work.”
He added by way of advice for students: “Don’t spend time worrying about what you are going to do with the rest of life. Decide on something that you find interesting and important, and try to make a go of it.”
Sir Gregory will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
Lucy Marks is the Managing Director of the Norfolk Network (NN), an organisation connecting entrepreneurs, founders and directors of start-ups and growing businesses in Norfolk. Her work through NN has inspired students and given them unique opportunities to develop employability skills through training, volunteering and introductions to businesses. Lucy has offered vital support for UEA’s enterprises and entrepreneurship activities by linking the university community with businesses.
Lucy said: “I'm deeply honoured and reflective on the last 14 years. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to meet such energetic and enthusiastic students and to collaborate with dynamic and inspirational colleagues at UEA and in the local business community.
Her advice to graduating students is: “Believe in yourself, continue to work hard, be curious and enjoy what you do. Reach out to people and build a supportive network. Never underestimate the value of meeting face to face.”
Lucy will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Performer Camille O’Sullivan is a singer and actress, and previously an award-winning architect and painter. She’s received international acclaim for her dramatic interpretations of the songs of Nick Cave, Brel, Tom Waits, Radiohead and more. Her acting credits include Oscar-nominated ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ alongside Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and her award-winning performance in the Royal Shakespeare’s ‘Rape of Lucrece’. Camille was the winner of the prestigious Architectural Association of Ireland Award in 2000 and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy as a painter.
Camille said: “I am absolutely honoured and delighted to be awarded this honorary degree, one of the absolute highlights of my life! Especially because it is coming from UEA – I fell in love with that part of England since we first started touring there and it is one of my favourite destinations.”
Her advice for graduates is: “Be delighted with what you have achieved first of all, it’s a big milestone in your life – and if there is something you have always wanted to try, just do it. Work hard but remember that life is for enjoying so if you can get that love and enjoyment at work, then it won’t feel like work!”
Caroline Richardson, Director of Norwich Playhouse, says “We’re thrilled that Camille O’Sullivan has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of East Anglia. She is much loved by all at the Playhouse, and we can’t think of a better performer to be recognised for their abundant talents. It will be a pleasure to be present when Camille receives her invitation, and to share her joy and delight.”
Camille will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
John Fagan co-founded Norwich’s Tech and Startup Community, SyncNorwich, in 2012 with the aim of promoting and enabling local tech business growth in Norwich. John has been instrumental in building Norwich's national profile as a tech cluster and SyncNorwich also holds the annual Sync The City event, in which attendees pitch a start-up tech idea and attempt to make it a reality in 54 hours. In its fifth edition earlier this year, over 600 developers, designers and businesses attended the event. He has involved UEA staff and students in the local tech community from SyncNorwich’s outset and his work has been hugely influential in helping UEA students find jobs and internships in the sector.
John said: “I am literally honoured, and very proud! It was most unexpected. I love working with the amazing UEA team, they make it too easy for us achieve great things.
He also had this advice for graduates: “Get out of the house and get any job immediately, do your best at that job and be positive – there is no such a thing as good luck or bad luck. Engineer your own serendipity and remember that every interaction you have could lead to an opportunity.”
John will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Professor Odd Arne Westad
Professor Odd Arne Westad is one of the world's foremost international historians and an expert on contemporary international history and the East Asian region. He is currently Professor of History and Global Affairs at Yale University, having previously taught at Harvard and London School of Economics, and is an Honorary Research Fellow for UEA’s School of History. Arne has won numerous literary awards, including the Bancroft Prize, for his book ‘The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times’, which has been translated into 17 languages. He also edited the three-volume ‘Cambridge History of the Cold War’ and co-wrote the ‘Penguin History of the World’. His most recent book is ‘The Cold War: A World History’.
Professor Westad said: “I am deeply honoured to be awarded an honorary degree from UEA. For more than a decade, I have spent part of my time in Norfolk, and I feel a strong attachment to these parts. I was lucky enough to graduate from first-class state colleges, with excellent tutors, and I hope future UEA students will benefit from the same. As the first in my family to attend university, I felt that my time there was a wonder of learning and discovery.
“If I can offer one piece of advice to the graduates, it must be this: never stop asking questions about things you don’t understand or agree with!”
Professor Westad will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Michael Napier CBE QC(Hon) was the senior partner of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors for 30 years, helping it to grow from a small provincial firm into one of the top 20 law firms in the UK. He was President of the Law Society in 2001 and was voted ‘Lawyer of the Year’ by Legal Business magazine in 2012. During 14 years as the Attorney General's pro bono envoy he promoted initiatives by the legal profession and students in law schools to help meet otherwise unmet legal need.
Michael said: “To receive this recognition from such a prestigious academic institution as the UEA is a considerable honour and privilege.”
His advice to graduating students is: “Whatever you do and wherever you go in your career, do your utmost to make a difference to the world around you, and if you stumble, don’t lose heart and keep going.”
Michael will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
In 1996 Mark Goyder founded an independent not-for-profit think tank which works ‘to inspire and enable business to be a force for good in society’. Tomorrow’s Company has been credited with setting a new agenda for responsible business and investment, and laying the foundations for changes in company law. He previously worked for 15 years as a manager in manufacturing. A broadcaster and former Times columnist, Mark has advised and challenged business leaders and addressed audiences all over the world and his latest book – ‘Entrusted – Stewardship for Responsible Wealth Creation’ will be launched in October.
Mark said: “It is heart-warming to receive this honorary doctorate – an affirmation of my work and that of Tomorrow’s Company over 25 years to inspire and enable business to be a force for good in society.”
His advice for graduating students is: “Experience is the most important thing and it doesn’t matter where you start, so don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Try different things, paid and unpaid and if you think there’s a company or a person you’d like to work with just approach them, it’s always worth knocking on the door. Don’t allow anything you do be dictated by money considerations. If you are really determined it’s the right thing to do, you will find a way.”
Mark will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Madhu Sarin played a key role as a member of the Campaign for Survival and Dignity in India, which successfully secured the ‘Forest Rights Act’ in 2006, and was instrumental in drafting the act. This was breakthrough legislation which recognises the individual and community forest rights of over 200 million indigenous and other citizens living in and around forests in India. Madhu has also worked and co-authored papers with a number of academics in UEA’s Development School on topics including poverty alleviation and natural resource management.
Madhu said: “It feels wonderful to have one’s work recognised by a prestigious university. I obtained a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Punjab University in Chandigarh and a postgraduate diploma in Tropical Studies (later renamed Development Planning) from the Architectural Association in London.
Her advice to graduating students is: “I feel one shouldn’t get constrained by disciplinary silos in addressing pertinent challenges which emerge in the context in which one is working.”
Madhu will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Ben Santer is an Atmospheric Scientist at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California and is internationally renowned for his work on the detection and attribution of climate change. He graduated from UEA with a 1st in 1976 and has since received accolades ranging from membership of the US National Academy of Science to the World Meteorological Organisation’s Norbert Gerbier Award. Ben was also the lead author of a key chapter in the 1995 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. This chapter reported a ‘discernible human influence on global climate’, a finding now accepted by virtually all climate scientists.
Ben said: “I have never received an honorary degree so this is deeply humbling. It is also deeply gratifying that I will have the opportunity to see many old friends from my time at UEA. That ‘award’ is equally special.”
His advice for graduates is: “To quote from ‘Thinking Without Borders’ on the UEA website: ‘words have the power to change the world’. In 1995, I was involved with a scientific report that yielded a 12-word finding: ‘The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate’.
“These twelve words changed the way the world views the human role in the climate system. So never forget the power of language, and never forget the power and beauty of science.”
Ben will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
Bernardette Holmes MBE has played a crucial role in developing national language policy and in promoting the value of languages and cultural agility in business in the UK. She advised the Department for Education on curriculum reform for modern languages and has led the British Academy major policy research project ‘Born Global’, engaging key stakeholders from employment and education in a radical rethinking of languages education. Bernardette is a former President of the Association for Language Learning and has held a long-time role advising ‘Arsenal in the Community’.
Bernardette said: “It's a privilege and an honour to be receiving this prestigious award. I am deeply touched that I have been nominated to receive it and immensely grateful that my work has been recognised in this way. I would like to share this honour with all those who work tirelessly to promote the value of languages and cultures in our schools, our universities, in business and in civil society.”
Her advice for graduating students is: “As graduands, you have all reached a significant milestone, and deserve to be congratulated for your achievements, but the journey is not over. Keep striving for a deeper understanding of the world around you; seek out the truth; welcome diversity; and use your knowledge and abilities wisely in whatever ways you can to create a kinder and fairer world.”
Bernardette will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Charles Barratt was until recently Chairman of Barratt & Cooke, the Norwich based stockbrokers. Born and educated in Norfolk, Charlie is Norfolk through and through and he has been active in the local community all his working life, from High Sheriff of Norfolk in 2010 to a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk today. Also an author and farmer, Charlie is a past Chairman of Norfolk Community Foundation, and Norfolk Victim Support. He is also now a Trustee of the Norwich Cathedral Trust, The Priscilla Bacon Hospice Care, and The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts among others.
Charles said: “I fail to put into words the honour I feel to become an honorary graduate of the UEA. I never thought such an honour would be bestowed upon me – indeed I still cannot believe it. Norfolk is the centre of my universe and UEA is at the very heart of it.”
His advice to graduates is: “Never forget how lucky you have been to go to university – in my day it was the exception not the norm and nobody could study in a more beautiful county than Norfolk. The world is now your oyster – choose a job that you enjoy, and one that will give you satisfaction for the rest of your life.”
Charles will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
Gunther Kress is a trailblazing figure in the field of multimodality studies, a social semiotic theory of communication. Gunther taught at UEA between 1971 and 1978. His book ‘Language as Ideology’, written at UEA with Bob Hodge, helped establish the field of Critical Discourse Analysis. Working at the Institute of Education (now part of UCL) as Professor of Semiotics and Education for nearly 30 years, he is now regarded as one of the leading academics of the early 21st century, developing a field which is becoming indispensable in contemporary research.
Gunther said: “Nothing is quite as rewarding – or as essential - as recognition from one's peers. Getting this award from UEA is special for me: its structures and its atmosphere had provided an environment that encouraged adventurousness and exploration in teaching and in conversations with students and colleagues.”
His advice for graduating students is: “The world is much more complex now than it was even two decades ago. Be confident in your capacity to use the tools the degree has provided you with for thinking and doing according to what is best for you, and what you know is ethical and right.”
Gunther will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.
Michael Houghton is a British scientist who held the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology and is Director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute at the University of Alberta. He is the co-discoverer of the Hepatitis C virus, and has been instrumental in key developments in detecting the disease in blood suppliers. With his colleagues, he has identified drug targets and developed a vaccine which could potentially be effective against all strains of the virus and has won a number of national and international awards for his work.
Michael said: “I am deeply honoured and pleased to receive this honorary degree since my BSc degree at the UEA in 1972 set me on the path to a career in medical research. My degree at UEA was a great time in my life - excellent teaching and a wonderful overall experience that I treasure.
“My advice to anyone graduating this summer would be to find your passion and go for it!”
Michael will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
Tim Luke is a Vice Chairman for Barclays Global Technology and Telecom investment banking practice, based in New York. From 2011 to 2014, Tim served as a Senior Adviser on Business and Technology Policy to the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street. Prior to working at number 10, Tim worked for 18 years at Lehman/Barclays in equity research and was Number 1 ranked in three technology sectors. Tim served as a Business Ambassador for Finance and Technology for the Prime Minister from 2014 to 2019 and is on the Board of Tech Nation promoting the UK's tech sector.
Tim said: “I am so grateful for my education and experience as an undergraduate at UEA. Returning to receive an Honorary Degree is incredibly exciting.
“The UEA experience has always been about embracing what is new and innovative. Looking ahead, our enthusiasm to shape exciting, emerging growth fields seems more important than ever, whether it is in business, politics or the arts.”
Tim will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.
David and Sarah Kowitz
David Kowitz is a Managing Partner and Founder of Indus Capital Partners with more than twenty years' experience in the investment industry. He graduated from Brown University with a degree in English Literature, spending a semester at UEA. Sarah Kowitz is heavily involved with organisations in her local community of Hastings and is a Deputy Lieutenant of East Sussex. Sarah is a trustee of both the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings and the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition.
David and Sarah set up the Fairlight Arts Trust in 2012, which aims to raise the profile of Hastings and the coastal surrounds as a centre for internationally acclaimed art and music. Together they fund the Kowitz Scholarship at UEA, which supports students on the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction).
Sarah said: “I am very pleased that my alma mater, UEA, has chosen to honour me in this way. I studied English Literature at UEA and was fortunate to be taught by world class professors. It was a happy and stimulating time.
“My advice would be to stay close to people who are passionate and optimistic about what they do and don’t be defined simply by your career.”
David and Sarah will each receive an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law.