Keele Announces Honorary Degrees Summer 2012

Posted on 31 May 2012

Emma Bridgewater and Matthew Rice, of Bridgewater Pottery, are among seven distinguished people who will be awarded Honorary Degrees by Keele University during this summer's graduation ceremonies. The awards will be made to a group of people who have made outstanding contributions within their fields of expertise.

They are key figures who have made a major impact, with significant work over many years in the local community and local economy, ageing and intergenerational relationships, law, arthritis research, and national and international politics.

The University will award six honorary degrees at ceremonies in the University Chapel on July 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.

Honorary award recipients are:
Emma Bridgewater and Matthew Rice will receive the joint award of Doctor of the University in recognition of their enormous contribution to the ceramic industry of North Staffordshire and the local community.

Emma Bridgewater Ltd is a British company owned and run by Emma (née Bridgewater) and Matthew Rice. The core of the business is pottery, which is made with loving care in much the same way as it would have been in Victorian times. The company was born in 1985, when Emma was looking for a birthday present for her mother. She wanted to buy a cup and saucer, but in the shops she couldn’t find anything that she liked. She liked some of the colourful Italian designs that she saw, but being made of terracotta they would crack or chip in the dishwasher. It was one of those “kerching!” moments - here was the opportunity she had been looking for; the pottery she sought for her mum was what every cosy kitchen needed. So she set out to design it herself.

She went to Stoke-on-Trent to find a model-maker; she worked with him to get the first pieces just right. Luckily, her strong preference for cream earthenware was easily met, as this was still in wide production in many large and small potteries in the city. Stoke-on-Trent became the focus of Emma’s working life. At first she had her designs made under contract, but within a few years her company acquired their own manufacturing facility and soon expanded into a big nineteenth century factory on the Caldon canal, where they still make all of their ceramics.
Today Emma’s husband, Matthew, also designs for Emma Bridgewater. He indulges his passion for birdlife in the best-selling and highly collectible Birds range.

Bryan Carnes will receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his significant contribution to business in North Staffordshire and nationally and also his links with Keele.

Bryan was CEO of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1984 until his retirement last year. During which time he saw membership grow from 350 to around 1000 and turnover grow to in excess of £3m.

He is a member of Keele University’s Nominations Committee and has worked closely with the University to enhance business/ HE links and to promote the University and the sub-region in local, national and international arenas.

His extensive involvement in the wider community included numerous board positions, including North Staffordshire Regeneration Zone; Stoke on Trent Local Strategic Partnership; a Trustee of New Victoria Theatre; Champion for Environment and Design and Founder Director of Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council.  At regional level, he was on the Board of the West Midlands Chambers of Commerce and chaired the West Midlands International Trade LLP. Nationally, he was a British Chambers of Commerce Board member from 2006-2009 and an International Trade Committee member.

A former Chairman of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College, he had a sports hall named after him and was a Board Member of the Community Partnership Railway Enterprise Workshops – a project generating £500,000 over five years and supporting 3,500 13-year-olds.
Bryan was awarded an MBE in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to business.

Sir Peter Coulson, QC, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of his eminence in the field of law and his contribution to, and engagement with the University, particularly within the School of Law. 

Sir Peter Coulson was the first Keele Law graduate to be appointed as a High Court judge. He graduated from Keele in 1980 with a degree in English and Law.

A former member of Keating Chambers, Sir Peter Coulson was sworn-in by the Lord Chief Justice as a High Court Judge in 2008. Sir Peter was a member of Keating Chambers until 2004 when he was appointed as a Senior Circuit Judge in the Technology and Construction Court.

Sir Peter Coulson joined Keating Chambers in 1983 and became one of its busiest Juniors. He was led by Humphrey LLoyd QC in Ashville v Elmer [1989], which confirmed the power of arbitrators to grant rectification, and by Anthony May QC and Christopher Thomas QC in McAlpine v McDermott (1992). He also appeared in the Chancery Division in Regalian Properties v LDDC [1995], a case concerning restitution and quasi contract.

He took Silk in 2002 and, still at the start of a flourishing leading practice, accepted appointment as a Senior Circuit Judge in the Technology and Construction Court in 2004. In 2008 he was elevated to the High Court Bench. During his short time as a Senior Circuit Judge he found time to write the definitive work on Construction Adjudication, now in its second edition.

Alan Hatton-Yeo, Chief Executive of the Beth Johnson Foundation, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of his significant contribution to the work on ageing and intergenerational relationships across the UK, and internationally, and his longstanding links with the University.

Alan Hatton-Yeo worked in the field of special education for seventeen years with roles including College Principal and Principal Education Officer of the then Spastics Society for England and Wales. Following a period working with the British Red Cross he joined the Beth Johnson Foundation as Chief Executive in March 1998.

The Foundation was established in 1972 to develop new approaches to ageing that link practice, policy and research. Currently its work includes specialist work around advocacy for people with dementia, health promotion for older people, mid-life, volunteering, engagement and participation and intergenerational work. Alan has an international reputation for his work in the fields of Intergenerational Practice and Ageing and his current roles include:

o Chair of the International Consortium for Intergenerational Programmes
o Member UK Advisory Forum on Ageing
o Member Steering Group Age Action Alliance
o Member National Partnership Forum for Older people for Wales
o Co-Chair Age Action Alliance Working Group on Age Friendly Environments
o Honorary Research Fellow University of Keele
o Associate Editor Journal for Intergenerational Relationships

Professor Alan Silman will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science in recognition of his international standing in the field of arthritis research and his connections with the University.

Professor Silman has been Medical Director of Arthritis Research UK since January 2007. 
Professor Silman is responsible for providing the strategic direction and leadership to Arthritis Research UK’s research and education activities.  He has been involved in medical research in the musculoskeletal field for the past 30 years, and prior to joining Arthritis Research UK was Director of the (then) arc’s Epidemiology Unit (1988-2006).  Until the end of 2011 Alan was a consultant rheumatologist at the Manchester Royal Infirmary.
Some of his milestones include leading the Epidemiology Unit to its award as the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Centre of Excellence in 2006; he was Heberden Orator in 2004; he received an Honorary Doctorate from UEA in 2009.

Professor Silman is the UK editor of the main leading international textbook ‘Rheumatology’ and is a distinguished speaker both in the UK and overseas.  His external responsibilities have included membership of the MHRA Pharmacovigilance Expert Advisory Group, Chairman of the Assessment Panels of UK Universities Research Assessment Exercise (2002-2008) and Chairman, Ministry of Defence panel of research into the health of servicemen and women.

Baroness Williams of Crosby will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University in recognition of her distinguished career, and achievements, as a national and international politician.

The Rt. Hon. Professor Shirley Williams, a distinguished politician and academic, is co-founder of the Liberal Democrats and has been a member of the House of Lords since 1993, where she was spokesperson on Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 1998 to 2001 and Leader of the party in that House from 2001 to 2004.

From 1964-1979 and 1981-1983 she was an MP, and for five years a member of the Cabinet. She is Professor Emeritus of Elective politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

She was adviser to the former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown MP, on issues of nuclear proliferation. She was until recently a member of the International Commission on Nuclear Non Proliferation and Disarmament, which was co-chaired by the former joint Foreign Secretaries of Australia and Japan. She was Co-President of Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs), 2002- 2006.