University announces honours list

A Man Booker prize-winning novelist, the first female Black Rod and the Chief Executive of Bentley are among those to be honoured by the University of Wolverhampton this year.

The University awards honorary degrees to people who have made a significant contribution to their field of expertise.

This year, 14 people are to be recognised during this September’s graduation ceremonies. 

They include the 2010 winner of the Man Booker prize, Howard Jacobson, who was a lecturer at Wolverhampton Polytechnic during the 1970s which provided inspiration for his first novel, Coming From Behind.

Sarah Clarke, the first female Black Rod in the 650-year history of the role, will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. The formerdirector of Wimbledon tennis championships attended Wolverhampton Girls High School. 

An Honorary Degree of Doctor of Engineering will be awarded to University of Wolverhampton graduate Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors.

West Midlands born novelist Kit De Waal is to receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters. Kit, who grew up in Birmingham, is the author of 2016 novel My Name is Leon.

Other recipients include well-known Wolverhampton businessman and University graduate Sham Sharma, owner of Zuri Coffee in the city, and Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Workers' Educational Association Ruth Spellman.

Awards will be presented to Wolverhampton-born Patrick Vernon, a social activist and commentator on Jamaican heritage; Dame Colette Bowe, Chair of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Kenneth Gardner, Artistic Director of Krazy Kat Theatre Company.

Also set to be honoured are figures from the business and construction world, including Clive Hickman, Chief Executive Officer of the Manufacturing Technology Centre; Chris Blythe, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Building and Naomi Climer, Former President of the  Institution of Engineering and Technology.

The University will also recognise Stuart Squire, former Operations Director of Static Systems Group PLC for his work as a mentor to Business School students and Andy Walder, Non-Executive Director/Consultant for the Construction, Housing and Educational sectors.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “The University is delighted to award honorary degrees to high-profile figures that make a significant contribution to their field of expertise. 

“These figureheads provide inspiration for our students, graduates and staff.  This year, we are proud to recognise the achievements of various people across a broad range of specialisms, many of whom have local connections with the University, the city and wider region.”

The awards will be presented during the University’s graduation ceremonies, which take place at the Grand Theatre from Thursday, 13 September to Friday, 21 September 2018.

The full list of honorary recipients and their awards is below:

Thursday, 13 September

Sham Sharma - Honorary Fellowship. In recognition of his contribution to the University, and support of current students through a number of prizes and awards.  

Friday, 14 September

Sarah Clarke – Doctor of Letters. In recognition of her achievements and to celebrate her appointment as Black Rod, particularly given her historic connection to the city.  

Ruth Spellman – Doctor of Education. In recognition of her contribution to the promotion of lifelong learning over a numbers of years and in particular her mission to raise aspirations and develop educational opportunities for the most disadvantaged. 

Adrian Hallmark – Doctor of Engineering. In recognition of his achievements as an alumnus of the University and to celebrate his appointment as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bentley. 

Monday, 17 September

Howard Jacobson – Doctor of Arts. In recognition of his contribution to the literary world over a number of years and in particular his success in winning the Man Booker Prize.

Mandy O'Loughlin (known professionally as Kit de Waal) – Doctor of Arts. In recognition of her contribution to the literary world and in particularly her efforts to ensure that all writers from a variety of backgrounds have the opportunity to realise their potential.

Dame Colette Bowe – Doctor of Arts. In recognition of her contribution to widening participation particularly in STEM subjects together with her interest in music.

Tuesday, 18 September

Andy Walder – Doctor of Technology. In recognition of his work in the construction and engineering sectors.

Wednesday, 19 September

Chris Blythe – Doctor of Professional Practice. In recognition of his contribution to vocational training and education particularly in his role as Chief Executive of CIOB.

Thursday, 20 September

Clive Hickman – Doctor of Engineering. In recognition of his contribution to the manufacturing sector over a number of years, and more recently as the Chief Executive of the Manufacturing Technology Centre. 

Kenneth Gardner – Doctor of Arts. In recognition of his work in making Theatre more accessible to the deaf community through Crazy Kat Theatre Company, and in particular, his support and engagement with the Arena Theatre as a Patron.

Patrick Vernon – Doctor of Letters. In recognition of his contribution to the voluntary and public sector over a number of years and in particular his historical work around family genealogy and identity of migrant communities particularly African and Caribbean communities.

Friday, 21 September

Stuart Squire – Honorary Fellowship. In recognition of his contribution to the University through the Institute of Directors/Business School mentoring scheme.

Naomi Climer – Doctor of Engineering. In recognition of her contribution to the Engineering world particularly in her role as the first female president of the Institution of Engineering and Technology.  

Further information

Pictures: Howard Jacobson; Kit de Waal (credit: Sarah Lee 2018)

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Thursday, 09 August 2018

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