A bestselling author, Nottinghamshire’s only Michelin Star chef and a senior figure in the UN are part of graduation celebrations at The University of Nottingham.
Robert Harris, Sat Bains and Baroness Amos are among the outstanding individuals receiving honorary degrees at this summer’s ceremonies, which take place from July 10th-20th.
The University is conferring honorary degrees on 12 people in recognition of their exceptional achievements in the arts, academia, business, public service, sport, charity and the community. They will be part of the celebrations as this year’s graduating students become alumni of the University — joining a global family of more than 200,000.
More information about graduation is available here.
This year’s honorary graduates (by date of ceremony) are as follows.
Baroness Amos is Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations.
She has campaigned on the issues of human rights, social justice and equality, and spent the last decade in various high-level government positions, including as Cabinet minister with responsibility for international development and as Leader of the House of Lords.
From 2001 to 2003, she served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, with responsibility for Africa, the Caribbean, Consular Affairs, the Commonwealth and Britain’s overseas territories. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 1997.
Valerie Amos is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on July 10th at 11am.
Sat Bains is chef/patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham, and has been recognised by fellow chefs and food writers from all over the world for his innovative style of cuisine.
Since opening his restaurant in 2002, he has garnered two Michelin stars, the ultimate 5 Rosettes from the AA and 9 out of 10 in the Good Food Guide. Sat has long championed the use of quality local produce on his menus. He has appeared at worldwide congresses demonstrating his dishes and ensuring the place of the East Midlands on the international gastronomic stage. Sat remains passionate about training for young chefs and the industry as a whole and works closely with various local colleges and universities.
He has made numerous television appearances including BBC Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen. His debut book, entitled Too Many Cowboys, Only One Indian, is due to be released in September this year. Sat Bains is to be awarded the degree of Master of Arts, honoris causa, on July 10th at 3pm.
Keith Hamill OBE graduated from The University of Nottingham in 1974 in Politics, and was President of the Students Union from 1974-75.
During a period of exceptional growth and development for the University, he was President of Council (its governing body) from 2003 to 2011 and Treasurer and Chair of Finance Committee from 1988 to 2003. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, having trained with Price Waterhouse, where he became a Partner. He then became Director of Financial Control of Guinness and was subsequently Chief Financial Officer of United Distillers, Forte and WH Smith.
He then went on to have an extensive career as Chairman and Non-Executive Director of public and private equity companies in the UK and internationally. These roles have included being Chairman of Travelodge, the airline Go, and Tullett Prebon (financial instruments broker), Collins Stewart (stockbroker), Moss Bros and businesses in insurance broking, fund management and leisure, as well as being a Non-Executive Director of Samsonite, Electrocomponents and easyJet. Keith Hamill is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on July 11th at 11am.
Ann Greenwood graduated from The University of Nottingham in 1976 with a Joint Honours degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry.
She stayed on in Nottingham to train as a Chartered Accountant qualifying in 1979, and became an associate of the Institute of Taxation in 1981. In 1987 Ann moved to her current position as Financial Director with Campbell Scientific Ltd, the European headquarters of a US company. Ann was a lay member of the Council of The University of Nottingham (1999-2011) serving on a number of its committees and chairing the audit committee from 2009 to 2011.
She is still actively involved with the University as a trustee of the Student Union and undertakes other voluntary work with the Nottingham Workplace Chaplaincy and Young Enterprise. Recently Ann was appointed as chair of audit for Principia Rushcliffe, one of the newly-created NHS clinical commissioning groups. Ann Greenwood is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on July 11th at 3pm.
June Spencer OBE was born in Sherwood, Nottingham, attending Mountford House School and Nottingham Girls’ High School. Afterwards, she studied Drama, obtaining an LGSM diploma in Performers’ Elocution.
After a season in Repertory at the Little Theatre, Nottingham, she began working in Radio in 1943 and has worked freelance for the BBC in every kind of radio production ever since. She has played the character ‘Peggy’ in The Archers for 61 years, and is now the only remaining founder member of the cast.
June was made an OBE for services to the performing arts in 1991 and a Freeman of the City of London in 2010. In that year she wrote her autobiography, The Road to Ambridge, which was published by JR Books. June was happily married to Roger Brocksom — a University of Nottingham alumnus — for 59 years; they had two adopted children. June Spencer is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa on July 12th at 11am.
Robert Harris was born in Nottingham in 1957 and read English at Cambridge University.
In 1978 he joined the BBC, becoming a reporter on Newsnight and Panorama. In 1987 he was appointed Political Editor of the Observer, and later was the main political columnist on the Sunday Times. In 2003 he was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards.
His first novel, Fatherland, was published in 1992, and has been followed by seven others: Enigma (1995), Archangel (1998), Pompeii (2003), Imperium (2006), The Ghost (2007), Lustrum (2009) and The Fear Index (2011). His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. In 2010 he collaborated with Roman Polanski on a film of The Ghost, and won several screenwriting awards.
He is an Honorary Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is married to the writer Gill Hornby; they have four children. Robert Harris is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa on July 12th at 3pm.
Steve Holliday has been Chief Executive of National Grid plc since 2006, and a Non-Executive Director of Marks & Spencer plc since 2004. He is also chairman of the board of trustees at the charity Crisis.
He joined National Grid Group in March 2001. Prior to joining National Grid he was on the Board of British Borneo Oil and Gas. His early career was with Exxon, holding senior roles in refining, shipping and international gas.
Steve is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineers. He volunteers his time to lead a number of skills, STEM and sustainable energy related activities for Business in the Community and chairs the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy. He is currently chairman of The Technicians Council.
Steve also chairs the Young Offender Programme, led by National Grid, which in 2011 marked 2,000 offenders through the Programme. Steve Holliday is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on July 13th at 11am.
Professor Alexander MacKenzie Johnston OBE graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1968 and worked in large animal veterinary practice in Scotland before joining the staff of the Royal Veterinary College in 1979, being appointed Emeritus Professor on retirement. The Doctor of Veterinary Medicine was awarded by the University of London in 1991.
He served as an independent expert on a number of UK and EU scientific committees and was elected to Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1997, in recognition of special eminence in and services to the cause of veterinary science and the OBE for services to food safety. He is the author, and has contributed chapters, of a number of books. In retirement he works part-time for an equine practice as a senior consultant.
Professor Alexander MacKenzie Johnston, Emeritus Professor of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, honoris causa on July 17th at 11am.
Desmond Wilson was born in Jamaica and attended Middlesex Corner Elementary School, moving to England at the age of 17. He arrived in Nottingham — which became his adoptive home — in the winter of 1957, working as a coalminer, bus driver and precision engineer.
In 1971 he took on the running of a cafe bar in Radford, Nottingham, and began to get an insight into the problems faced by the black and ethnic minority population in the city. Years of work in the community bore fruit in 1978, with the opening of the Afro-Caribbean Community Centre. He was also involved in a number of other community organisations including the Racial Equality Council and the Joint Indian Pakistani Afro-Caribbean Communities project.
He was elected as a Labour City Councillor for the St Ann’s ward in 1991, going on to serve for 16 years, including as Chairman of the Employment and Economic Development Committee and Lord Mayor in 2002/3 and 2006/7. He retired in 2007, to do community work in Jamaica. Desmond Wilson is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on July 17th at 3pm.
Graham Cartledge CBE was born in Nottingham and joined Gordon Benoy & Partners in 1974, becoming Chairman in 1992.
Under Graham’s leadership, Benoy has become one of the UK’s foremost architectural practices, now operating across the globe. His support for international trade has seen him work closely with UK Government bodies to promote British businesses throughout the world. Graham has ensured that Benoy works closely with the university’s School of Architecture. The company was an early advocate of sustainable development, a key feature of all Benoy-designed buildings at the University.
In 2007, the Cartledge family established the Benoy Foundation, a grant-making charitable trust that supports tangible, lasting projects using buildings, sustainability, community and education throughout the UK and further afield. He was awarded the CBE by Her Majesty The Queen in 2008, for services to architecture and charity. Graham Cartledge CBE is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Architecture, honoris causa on July 18th at 11am.
John Knight CBE JP has had a 25-year career across the statutory and voluntary sectors.
After graduating from The University of Nottingham with a Zoology degree in 1982, he worked at the Department of Health. Subsequently he headed the respected Policy and Campaigns Department at Leonard Cheshire Disability for 16 years, becoming a Director of the charity. He advised and lobbied governments on the development of disability and social policy and was a member of Advisory Bodies to the Ministers for Disabled People and Civil Society.
Currently he is a Board Member of the Charity Commission and a Public Appointments Assessor, chairing competitions for Chairs of national public bodies. A founding member of the influential Voluntary Organisations Disability Group and once a Trustee of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, he has previously held Board level positions on national regulatory agencies — the Commission for Social Care Inspection and General Social Care Council. John Knight is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa on 18th July at 3pm.
Martine Hamilton Knight graduated from the Surrey Institute of Art (WSCAD) in 1990 with a BA (hons) degree first class, and has specialised in architectural photography ever since.
Over the last 22 years she has run a successful business based in Nottingham working for architects, construction companies, interior designers and advertising agencies. Her work has been published in many international books & journals and exhibited in several galleries including a large solo show in China in 2009. She has two complete books featuring her images of Nottingham’s architecture, entitled Nottingham Transformed and Campus Views about The University of Nottingham. In 2007, the BBC featured Martine in their series A Digital Picture of Britain and in 2009, she was a national judge for the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).
She is an Associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and is also a partner in a successful photography school called Line+Light which runs one-day courses at a variety of venues including one at The University of Nottingham’s Jubilee Campus. Martine Hamilton Knight is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa on July 19th at 11am.
- Ends -
For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter
Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news