Keele Honorary Degrees Summer 2013

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Posted on 24 May 2013

Olympic gold medallist Anna Rose Watkins, from Leek, is among nine people who will be awarded Honorary Degrees by Keele University during this summer's graduation ceremonies. They are key figures who have made a major impact, with significant work over many years in the local community and local economy, energy research, health, business, publishing and theatre-in-education. The University will award the honorary degrees at ceremonies in the University Chapel on July 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th.

Honorary award recipients are:

Ms Anna Rose Watkins, MBE, who won a gold medal in the double sculls at the London 2012 Olympics, will receive the honorary award of Doctor of the University. She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, where she won a bronze medal in double sculls and has won four medals in the World Championships, most recently a successful defence of her world title with Katherine Grainger, in Bled, Slovenia in 2011. Anna was born and raised in Leek.

Neil Baldwin, who has been adopted by the student body over the last 50 years as something of a mascot for Keele, will be awarded the honorary degree of Master of the University. He has watched, supported and kept in touch with successive cohorts of Keele students building an impressive network of alumni contacts both national and internationally. He serves the students offering advice and support to students, remaining steadfastly proud and loyal to Keele. In doing so, he has openly defended Keele and voiced his concerns about any issue that has or would affect Keele to his numerous contacts within parliament, the various leaders of Christian denomination churches, volunteer organisations and business leaders across the country, of whom he regularly visits.

Ian Dudson CBE, the Lord-Lieutenant for Staffordshire, and an industrialist, whose family ceramics business has been based in Stoke-on-Trent for many generations, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University.  Ian was appointed Lord-Lieutenant for Staffordshire in March 2012. A recent High Sheriff, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Keele University Council for eight years, he is Honorary President of the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, joint patron of Burslem Port Trust and a former trustee of Lichfield Cathedral.

Tony Elliott, the founder and owner of the Time Out Group based in London, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University. He came to Keele to study French and History, and worked on the student magazine Unit. On becoming editor in 1967 he decided to break it out of its parochial roots, print more copies and start selling in London's underground hangouts. The magazine included interviews with Jimi Hendrix, Yoko Ono and film director Joseph Losey, as well as artist Keith Albarn, father of Blur frontman Damon Albarn. Rather than complete his degree, Elliott returned to London in 1968 with plans to produce a magazine. He started Time Out from his mother's kitchen in Gloucester Road, London. He is now chairman of Time Out Group, which publishes 23 magazines in 16 countries and more than 40 city guides. Elliott remained the sole owner of the group until November 2010, when he sold a 50% stake to private equity group Oakley Capital, valuing the company at £20million.

Ms Deborah Meaden, a British business woman who ran a multi-million pound family holiday business before completing a management buyout and is best known for her appearances on the BBC Two programme Dragons' Den, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University.  Deborah was a Sustainability Ambassador for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. She has actively supporting a number of other environmental charities and initiatives including the annual Observer Ethical Awards, which she has judged since 2008. In 2009 Deborah accepted the role of Ambassador for the WWF, the world's leading environmental organisation and she also acts as a Patron for Tusk Trust.

Professor John Loughhead OBE, a key figure in driving the development of sustainable energy systems, who has held a number of prominent roles influencing government policy, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Currently Professor Loughhead holds the position of Executive Director of UK Energy Research Centre as well as a number of advisory roles for both government and industry in the area of sustainable energy systems.

Ms Karen Middleton, CBE, the Government’s most senior allied health professions advisor, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University.  She has held the post since 2007, and provides advice on all aspects of the 12 professions, comprising approximately 80,000 clinicians, classified within this group.  She has raised the profile of the contribution AHPs can make to transforming health and social care through a range of initiatives including the launch of the Competence-based Career Framework for AHPs, the Service Improvement Programme and the AHP Leadership Challenges.  She recently led work on direct access to physiotherapy services, which has now been adopted as a key Government policy.

Ms Jill Rezzano, Head of Education, The New Vic Theatre in North Staffordshire, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters:

·         In recognition of her outstanding contributions to theatre-in-education and to community education. These contributions span the life course and include work with pre-school children, families and carers in New Vic Education’s long established literacy project – Tale Trail – which culminates in an annual interactive storytelling event every Christmas; professional development and networking events for teachers; creative cross-curricular work with school children and students; and adult education opportunities through Revolve workshops and the practical Evolve drama project.

·         In recognition of her long standing collaborations with Keele colleagues around ageing and intergenerational relations and, in particular, to the ongoing Ages & Stages projects.

·         As a way of celebrating and recognising the shared 50 year history and connections between the New Vic Theatre and the University.

Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science. Previously Mark Walport was Director of the Wellcome Trust, which is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds. Before joining the Trust he was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.