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Honoured Guests

High-profile figures who make a significant contribution to their field of expertise provide inspiration for our students, graduates and staff. Each year we are proud to recognise achievements across a broad range of specialisms through the conferment of honorary degrees. In 2011, we presented awards to a number of outstanding individuals.

Tony Hazell

School of Health and Wellbeing, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

Chair of the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council since January 2009, Professor Tony Hazell is also the fi rst Lay Council member appointed as Chair by the Privy Council and served as a lay member of the Health Professions Council from 2002-2008. Tony studied at Bristol, then Cardiff universities. His early career in the Probation Service and social work led to almost 30 years as an academic and a Masters degree from Brunel University (1984).

Member of the UK Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers (1991-1995); non-executive Director of the Velindre NHS Trust (1998); and Chair of the Trust Board (2001, 2004-2008). He spent 12 years at University of Wales Institute Cardiff as an Academic Board member; six as an elected member of the Board of Governors, and retired as Assistant Principal in 2004. Professor Hazell continues to work closely with the School of Nursing and Midwifery Education at Cardiff University.


Dave McKean

School of Art and Design, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Design

Dave McKean is an award-winning illustrator and designer whose works include The Magic of Reality (Richard Dawkins), The Savage and Slog’s Dad (David Almond), The Fat Duck Cookbook (Heston Blumenthal), What’s Welsh for Zen? (John Cale), Wizard & Glass (Stephen King), Mr. Punch, Signal to Noise, and Coraline. He has illustrated hundreds of book and comic covers including: Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Sandman series; his own Pictures That Tick and award-winning Cages, and erotic novel Celluloid.

He has created CD covers for artists including: Michael Nyman, Alice Cooper, Altan, Bill Bruford, Bill Laswell, Tori Amos, Frontline Assembly and John Cale. He has designed characters for two Harry Potter films, directed five short films and two feature films: MirrorMask and Luna, and is currently editing his third fi lm, The Gospel of Us with Michael Sheen. His paintings, drawings, photographs and narrative works have been exhibited in America, Europe and Japan.


Suzanne Bardgett

School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts

Suzanne Bardgett is Head of Research at the Imperial War Museum, London. After working in the fields of education, publications and exhibitions at the Museum, from 1986 to 1995 she was general editor of the Imperial War Museum Review. From 1995 to 2000 she led the team that created the Holocaust Exhibition, and subsequently directed the exhibition Crimes Against Humanity: An Exploration of Genocide and Ethnic Violence. From 2004 to 2007 she facilitated a Bosnian team’s creation of the Srebrenica Memorial Room in Bosnia-Hercegovina. From 2008 she led a programme to reinvigorate research at the Museum. She is one of the four organisers of the conference Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current Research into Survivors of Nazi Persecution; has published numerous articles and edited two books: Belsen 1945: New Historical Perspectives, and Survivors of Nazi Persecution in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Volumes 1 and 2.


Una O’Brien

School of Health and Wellbeing, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science

Una O’Brien joined the Department of Health in 1990 and has been permanent secretary since November 2010. She has held a variety of roles in government and in healthcare organisations. In 2005, Una completed a three-year secondment as director of clinical governance and development at University College London NHS Foundation Trust. Between 1998 and 2001, she was the secretary to the Bristol/Kennedy Inquiry, a major public inquiry into the NHS. Other previous roles include director general of policy and strategy at the Department of Health, private secretary to the minister for health, principal private secretary to the secretary of state for transport, and deputy director in the prime minister’s efficiency unit. In the 1980s, she helped establish London Lighthouse, a pioneering voluntary sector provider of services for people with HIV and AIDS. Una is a graduate of Oxford University and the London School of Economics, and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard.


Craig Parnham

School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters

Craig Parnham was born in Bridgnorth in 1973. Playing for local cricket and hockey clubs, his sporting ambitions led to his first hockey Great Britain cap in 2000 and first England cap in 2001. A near-fatal injury from an opposing player’s stick in 2001 required his larynx to be rebuilt, but a remarkable recovery of just four months resulted in him leading England at the World Cup.

Craig has represented England 51 times and Great Britain 64 times; played in the 2000 Champions Trophy, 2002 World Cup and Commonwealth Games, 2003 European Cup, and 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. A coaching career upon retirement has resulted in notable achievements. Craig is due to graduate from the UK Sport Elite Coach Apprentice Programme and to complete a postgraduate Diploma in Elite Coaching. He is currently working with the GB squad preparing for the London 2012 Olympics.

David Reekie

School of Art and Design, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts

Born in London in 1947, David Reekie studied Glass and Ceramics at Stourbridge College of Art; and Art, Design and Technology at Birmingham College of Art Education. A founder member of British Artists in Glass, David has lectured throughout the world including: Pilchuck Glass School, USA; Sars Poteries, France; Ezra Glass Studios, Japan; Espace Verre, Canada; Australia School of Art; the University of South Australia; Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin and at the Wanganui Glass Festival, New Zealand. He has been awarded a Fellowship in Glass by Lincolnshire and Humberside Arts, and

Winston Churchill Fellowship to study Alternative Architectural Glass in the USA; appointed an International Council Member to Pilchuck Glass School, and Member of the Advisory Council for North Lands Creative Glass, Scotland; shortlisted for the 1998 Jerwood Prize for Glass and 2006 Coburg Glass Prize in Germany; had work selected for exhibition at the G8 Summit; and been invited to attend a reception given at Buckingham Palace to celebrate British design.

Toni Fazaeli

School of Education, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Education

Toni Fazaeli joined the Institute for Learning (IfL); the professional body for teachers and trainers across further education and skills; as its first chief executive in June 2008. Toni’s career began in teaching, and she has taught in schools, prisons, further and adult education. Before joining the IfL she was a senior civil servant with policy responsibilities for further education; national director in quality and standards; inspector for the Further Education Funding Council; and an officer for adult education in Leicestershire Local Education Authority.

Focusing on teaching, training, learning, educational policy and research, Toni has visited education and other-sector organisations internationally for benchmarking practice and learning from difference. She mentors and coaches individuals, with a focus on people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and occasionally visits older people in residential homes as a volunteer tutor. Toni is married and has four children.

Dave Heeley

School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters

Dave Heeley discovered he was going blind aged 10. At 17, his career ambitions shattered, Dave decided to be positive, and enrolled at Queen Alexandra College for the Blind. His life changed overnight when he was introduced to his first guide dog. Since that day, Dave has competed in numerous marathons and challenges, including The Ultimate Challenge (2008) – 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents – the first blind person to achieve this. The Challenge launched Dave’s new career as a motivational speaker.

In 2008 Dave (and his running guide) won the BBC Midlands Sports Outstanding Sporting Achievement award. Presented with the Contribution to the Community award by West Bromwich Albion FC, Dave’s charity work has also been recognised with invitations to Buckingham Palace and the House of Lords. 2011 saw Dave complete the epic Top2Toe Challenge: cycling over 700 miles and running 10 marathons in 10 days from John O’Groats to Land’s End. He completed his 10th consecutive Great North Run three weeks later.

Hugh Meynell MBE

University of Wolverhampton Business School, Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration

Hugh Meynell was born in Albrighton in 1931 and educated at Ampleforth. Commissioned for National Service spent in Germany, a career at Meynell & Sons followed for 40 years, where Hugh was the 6th generation. The Company developed new products in demand to the needs of the market: making water pumps, gas and electrical fi ttings and plumbing products. Hugh pioneered Safemix Thermostatic Showers into their range for the QE2 liner, Buckingham Palace and many hospitals.

Hugh developed exports, started companies in Japan and America and was responsible for worldwide sales to 53 countries. The Company was sold to Caradon in 1988. Hugh undertook voluntary work including being: Shropshire Chairman of St John Ambulance, Chairman of the Rural Development Commission, and High Sheriff of Shropshire. He is currently president of the Shrewsbury Flower Show. He founded the County Air Ambulance Trust in 1992 which raises £2 million pa to support air ambulances at Cosford, Strensham and Stafford. He was awarded an MBE in 2000.


Tony Collins

University of Wolverhampton Business School,

Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration

Born in Sedgley; where he still lives; Tony Collins left school at 16 to start an apprenticeship with Rockwell-Thomson. He became a qualified chartered management accountant, rising to a Fellow of the Institute in 1987. He has held a number of financial positions and in 1989 became financial director at GEC Cannon Industries based in Cosely. In 1993 Tony moved to train-building company, GEC Alstom Metro-Cammell. He progressed to become commercial director, leading the negotiation team who sold the Pendolino Tilting Trains to Virgin. He joined the Virgin Rail Group as major contracts director in 1999 responsible for introducing the Pendolino and Voyager trains into passenger service and overseeing the upgrade to the West Coast mainline infrastructure. In 2004, Tony became the chief executive and today has responsibility for Virgin Rail business which carries 30 million people a year, employs 3,500 people and has a turnover of £900million pa.