Former Guardian editor and automotive trailblazer to receive university honours

Wednesday 21 November 2018

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A world renowned journalist who edited the Guardian for more than 20 years, a trailblazer in the automotive industry, and the man driving the Lanchester name forward are all among those receiving honorary doctorates from Coventry University this week.

Alan Rusbridger, who spent 20 years as editor of the Guardian newspaper, will be made an Honorary Doctor of Letters at a ceremony on Monday in recognition of his longstanding and significant contribution to national and international journalism.

A highly successful and well respected political and investigative reporter, Alan has won awards in the UK and across the world. As editor of the Guardian he helped steer the newspaper through a digital transformation, and sat at the heart of the Wikileaks and Snowdon revelations.

Alan is also a keen amateur musician and was chair of the National Youth Orchestra for eight years. He has chaired the Photographers’ Gallery in London; remains chairman of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism; and sits on the board of the Royal National Theatre in London. 

In 2014 he was elected principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and has served as a visiting professor in universities across the world.

He will be joined on Coventry’s honours roll by Peter Ward who will receive an honorary doctorate of business administration for his significant contribution to the industries following an impressive career with Jaguar, Unipart and Peugeot, Rolls Royce and Bentley Motors as well as his time as chairman and CEO of various global automotive companies.

Born and raised in Coventry, Peter remains a key figure in the industry, serving as president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and as director of the British-American Chamber of Commerce in New York. He remains hugely influential in education, technology and innovation.

Also among the honorary awardees this week are specialists and exemplary figures from fields ranging from healthcare to engineering history.  

Chris Clark, a graduate of the university, has become the world’s foremost expert and biographer on the life of engineer and inventor, Frederick Lanchester. He will receive an honorary doctorate of arts in recognition of his outstanding ongoing contribution to the heritage and legacy of the polymath.

Lynn Bowles, a BBC radio broadcaster is being presented with an honorary master of arts in recognition of her services to broadcasting after a career across the world and 18 years working as a traffic reporter on BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans and Ken Bruce shows.


Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, offered his congratulations to all those receiving their awards

We are as always, delighted to be honouring these exceptional individuals at this week’s graduation ceremonies, many of who themselves graduated from our university all those years ago. The commitment they have shown in their chosen disciplines and the contribution they have made to society as a whole, is indeed worthy of praise and recognition.

While we congratulate all of the students graduating with us this week, we hope that they will take inspiration from our honorary doctorates as they move to the next stage of their lives.”

John Latham

For further press information, please contact Hannah Smith, press officer at Coventry University, on 024 77658352 or at

Details of each of the awards and when they will be presented are as follows:





Alan Rusbridger

Honorary Doctor of Letters

In recognition of his longstanding and significant contribution to national and international journalism


Monday 19th November 2018, 12noon

Lynn Bowles

Honorary Master of Arts

In recognition of her services to broadcasting


Tuesday 20th November 2018, 10am

Kiran Patel

Honorary Doctor of Science

In recognition of his contribution to cardiology and health and clinical leadership

Wednesday 21st  November 2018, 1pm

Peter Ward

Honorary Doctor of Business Administration

In recognition of his significant contribution to the global automotive and transportation industries


Wednesday 21st  November 2018, 3.30pm

Rona Epstein

Honorary Doctor of Laws

In recognition of her significant contribution to research and campaigning activities in respect of detention conditions, particularly for women and children

Thursday 22nd November 2018, 10am 

Lisheng Wang

Honorary Doctor of Education

In recognition of his contribution to the development of high quality international education

Thursday 22nd  November 2018,

Raymond Chan

Honorary Life Fellowship

In recognition of his service to the development of high quality international education

Thursday 22nd  November 2018,


Paul Martynenko

Honorary Doctor of Technology

In recognition of his extensive contribution to the field of Information Systems

Friday 23rd November 2018, 10am

Chris Clark

Honorary Doctor of Arts

In recognition of his outstanding and ongoing contribution to the heritage and legacy of Frederick Lanchester


Friday 23rd  November 2018

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