Recognising exceptional achievement

06 Dec 2013 16:32:38.967

PA 390/13

The University of Nottingham will honour the achievements of three VIP guests at this year’s winter graduation ceremonies.

The distinguished guests who will receive honorary degrees are Julia Allison, Rolf Noskwith and Sir David Brewer.

The University is conferring the honorary degrees in recognition of the group’s exceptional achievements in academia, business, public service, charity and the community.

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The guests will join thousands of successful students who will formally receive their degrees and become graduates of the University during ceremonies from 10to 13 December, held on the main University Park campus.

More information about graduation is available here.

Julia Allison

Julia trained as a midwife in Nottingham and worked as a district, hospital and independent midwife. She studied for an MA at The University of Nottingham in 1988 and gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee into maternity care in 1990, later published as Delivered at Home, a study of 62,444 home births in Nottingham between 1948 and 1972. In 1991 she became Head of Faculty of Midwifery at the University of East Anglia. 

Julia is a Vice President, Past President and former General Secretary of The Royal College of Midwives and former treasurer of the International Confederation of Midwives. She represented the Royal College at conferences and events around the world speaking to midwives in Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe, Japan, Scandinavia, and the USA.

Now ‘retired’ she has recently completed a PhD thesis – Elizabethan Midwives: Beliefs, Practices and Outcomes of Childbearing in Rural East Anglia at The University of Manchester. She is married to Barrie and they have two children, seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.

Julia Allison is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, at 3pm on Tuesday 10 December.

Rolf Noskwith

Rolf Noskwith was born in 1919 in Germany and came to England in 1932 with his parents. He was educated at Nottingham High School and Trinity College, Cambridge. From 1941 to 1945 he worked at Bletchley Park on the Enigma cipher of the German Navy.

In 1946 he joined Charnos Ltd (later Charnos plc), his father’s firm, manufacturing ladies’ stockings at Ilkeston. From 1952 to 2002 he was Chairman of the company which extended its manufacture to other textiles. Charnos became a well-known name for hosiery and lingerie.

In 2002, at a difficult time for the British textile industry, Charnos plc sold its businesses and changed its name. Led by Rolf’s son, Adrian, it is successful in a new enterprise.

Rolf Noskwith is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at 3pm on Wednesday 11 December.

Sir David Brewer

Sir David Brewer was Chairman of the China-Britain Business Council and President of the EU-China Business Association from 2007 to 2013.

He was a member of the board and Honorary Treasurer from 1991 to 2007. Sir David is a holder of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government Magnolia Gold Award. He is a Vice President of the Great Britain China Centre, having been Chairman from 1997 to 2004. He is also Chief Advisor of the Advisory Board of the Association of Chinese Financial Professionals in the UK (ACfPU), Non-Executive Director of LIFFE Administration and Management, Tullett Prebon SITICO and the National Bank of Kuwait (International), and a Senior Adviser to Travelex.  

His career has been in insurance broking, with Sedgwick and Marsh. For Sedgwick he opened their offices in Japan (1976), China (1981) and India (1986). Sir David was Lord Mayor of the City of London for 2005-2006 and was appointed Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London in 2008.

Sir David Brewer is to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, at 11am on Friday 13 December.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottinghamhas 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university among graduate employers, the world’s greenest university, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World's Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits


Charlotte Anscombe – Media Relations Manager (Arts and Social Sciences)

Email:  Phone:+44 (0)115 74 84 417 Location: University Park

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