Keele’s Honorary Graduates Share Experience and Insights

Posted on 20 July 2016

Keele celebrated its Honorary Graduates at Graduation 2016 for their impact in society, careers to date and their drive and commitment to their work.

As well as addressing fellow graduates from Keele during their ceremonies, we sought insights from all of our honorary graduates on what they’ve learned from their own experiences, as well as advice for students graduating as they embark on their next steps.


Stephen Cutts, Doctor of the University and Assistant Secretary-General (United Nations) has enjoyed a truly international career which stemmed from his own experiences as a student at Keele.
“It was the university that gave me a real opportunity when I came here as a mature student. Learning how to learn set me up for the rest of my professional career and I really owe them all to Keele.
“Keele when I was here taught me to try different things… it forced me to go out of my comfort zone. It opened me up to a diverse environment that started to give me a global outlook, and I became addicted to that. Throughout my career I’ve followed organisations where I can work in an international group”

Professor Anne Power, Doctor of Letters, Professor of Social Policy (London School of Economics) talked about her focus of doing the things that mattered throughout her career.
“When I was young I was impatient, I wanted to change the world…I had no idea that I was going to end up teaching in Tanzania, I’d work in the ghettos in Chicago, or that I’d end up working in the worse estates in this country. Yet it was because I really tried to do the things I thought mattered, which were helping people bridge gaps and get on in life. People never know what’s around the corner so, go for it!”

Community and identity are two key features to Keele’s student experience which helped shape Malcolm Clarke’s fascinating career, and as an alumnus, are what keep him engaged.
“Despite the University having expanded since my day, it’s really retained its sense of identity. Certainly, the students of my day are passionate about having been here as it’s really a unique place.”

Former Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Foskett was given Doctor of Letters and believes Keele has much to offer students as they embark on their next step.
“The key strengths (at Keele) are its sense of community. Staff and students feel a great belonging to Keele and that shows itself in the very high quality of teaching, very high quality of satisfaction in students and very high quality of job destinations that students get.”

“Never dispense with the academic rigour that Keele has given you. Follow the evidence and follow the argument wherever it goes.” Malcolm Clarke

“When opportunities come along take them…When it doubt, do it. People regret not taking risks more than taking them.” Steve Cutts.

“The more experience of the world you have the more likely you’ll find your place in the world.” Danny Flynn.

“Grab the opportunities where you can, because they don’t come along that often.” Professor Nick Foskett