Keele University Honorary Degrees 2015

Posted on 16 June 2015

Keele University will award Honorary Degrees during this summer's graduation ceremonies to a group of distinguished 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 sustainability, education, business, the LGBT movement, creative writing, Law and the Trades’ Union movement.

The University will award ten honorary degrees to the notable individuals at ceremonies in the University Chapel in July.

Among the recipients will be award-winning British playwright and screenwriter, Peter Bowker, who will receive an honorary Doctor of the University.  Peter’s recent TV drama “Marvellous” was set at Keele and explored the life of honorary Keele graduate, Neil Baldwin and captured a 1.5 million audience when first screened on BBC2. At the BAFTAs it scooped two of the prestigious awards.

Honorary degrees will also be presented to:

Denise Coates, the North Staffordshire businesswoman and founder of bet365, the largest private-sector employer in Stoke-on-Trent, who will receive an honorary Degree of Doctor of the University.
Paul Ekins, Director; Professor of Resources and Environmental Policy UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, will be awarded a Doctor of Science.

Professor Ekins said: “It is a huge honour to be granted an honorary doctorate, and for me this is particularly special because Keele University gave me my first full-time academic position, in 1996. Keele University was excellent early on both in teaching and research on sustainability, and I think I am right in saying that it appointed me the UK’s first Professor of Sustainable Development, when it created this post in 2000. So I shall go back there to receive my honour full of gratitude for the start it gave to my academic career and of admiration for it being a university sustainability pioneer.”

Keele graduate and businessman, Neil Smith will be awarded a Doctor of the University degree in recognition of his service to Keele. Neil was the instigator of Neil and Gina Student of the Year Award at Keele. He is the long-serving President and largest benefactor of the North American Foundation for Keele University and Keele in the USA Foundation.

The Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws will be presented to Keele graduate Michael Todd, QC, a former Chair of the Bar Council, and Fatou Bensouda, who was named one of the World’s most influential people in 2012 by Time Magazine and has held successive roles in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

The honorary Degree of Doctor of the University will be presented to the former Children’s Commissioner for England, Maggie Atkinson, an alumnus of Keele and Honorary Professor; Ruth Hunt, CEO of Stonewall; Malcolm Peckham, a former Pro-Chancellor of the University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Keele, and Lesley Mercer, former TUC President and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy's Director of Employment Relations and Union Services.