A comedian, a Paralympic gold medallist and leading figures from the business world are among those to be honoured by the University of Wolverhampton.
The University awards honorary degrees to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise.
This year, 11 are to be recognised during this September’s graduation ceremonies.
They include one of the most successful comedians in the UK, Al Murray, famous for his alter ego the Pub Landlord, who will receive an honorary Doctor of Social Science. The award is made in recognition of his contribution towards military history, which is a major research strength of the University, and his passion in raising its profile to the younger demographic.
Chris Holmes, now Lord Holmes of Richmond, is a former Paralympic swimmer who won nine gold, five silver and one bronze medal across four Games, including a record haul of six golds at Barcelona 1992. He will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters.
An honorary Doctor of Business Administration will be presented to local businessman Henry Carver, Managing Director of Carvers Builders Merchants and President of Wolverhampton Business Forum.
Director and filmmaker Michael Cumming, who worked on the ground-breaking and controversial TV series Brass Eye, will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts. Michael is a graduate of the University of Wolverhampton and has worked with leading figures from comedy including Chris Morris, Matt Berry, Jo Brand, Rory Bremner, Sir Lenny Henry, Matt Lucas and David Walliams.
Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service Rebecca Bryant – the first woman CFO to have progressed through the ranks in the UK – will receive an honorary Doctor of Professional Practice.
Also set to be recognised is Diversity Consultant for ITV News, Vidar Hjardeng MBE, and former Regional Director for the West Midlands region for the Institute of Directors John Phillips MBE.
Dame Colette Bowe, chairman of the Banking Standards Board and chairman of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, will receive an honorary Doctor of Business Administration, while environmental scientist Peter N. Churchill will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Science.
Former president and chair of Interfaith Wolverhampton, Sehdev Bismal MBE, and independent midwife and founder of Midwifery Conversations, Elsie Gayle, will also be honoured.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “Each year the University of Wolverhampton awards honorary degrees to people who have made a significant contribution to their area of expertise. As people who have achieved notable success in their chosen field, they provide inspiration for our students, graduates and staff.
“We are proud to recognise the achievements of people across a broad range of specialisms, and look forward to welcoming them all to our graduation ceremonies in September.”
The University of Wolverhampton graduation ceremonies will take place at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Friday, 15 September 2017 to Friday, 22 September 2017.
The full list of honorary recipients and their awards is below:
Dame Colette Bowe - Honorary Doctor of Business Administration. In recognition of her contribution to widening participation particularly in STEM subjects together with her interest in music.
Lord Holmes of Richmond – Honorary Doctor of Letters. In recognition of his contribution and achievements in sport as well as his passion for promoting accessibility and celebrating diversity.
Henry Carver - Honorary Doctor of Business Administration. In recognition of his service to the local community, particularly through his charitable endeavours.
Elsie Gayle – Honorary Fellowship. In recognition of her contribution and passion towards midwifery and her commitment towards the BME community and women’s rights, particularly in the areas of childbirth and mental health services.
Rebecca Bryant – Honorary Doctor of Professional Practice. In recognition of her contribution and achievements in the fire and rescue service and acting as an inspirational leader in the field.
Vidar Hjardeng MBE - Honorary Doctor of Arts. In recognition of his contribution and outstanding achievements in the broadcast industry and visually impaired people.
John Phillips MBE – Honorary Doctor of Business Administration. In recognition of his contribution towards student development and ongoing support and promotion of mentoring within the University’s student community.
Sehdev Bismal MBE – Honorary Doctor of Social Science. In recognition of his contribution to the local community and ongoing commitment to promoting equality and diversity.
Al Murray - Honorary Doctor of Social Science. In recognition of his contribution towards military history and his passion in raising its profile to the younger demographic.
Michael Cumming – Honorary Doctor of Arts. In recognition of his contribution and outstanding achievements in the field of film and TV production.
Peter Churchill – Honorary Doctor of Science. In recognition of his contribution to the development of scientific research at a regional, national and international level.
For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.
Date Issued: Thursday, 10 August 2017