Graduate giving a speech at a ceremony

Honorary Doctorates

Coventry University Group is proud to confer honorary degrees at our graduation ceremonies.

2023

  • James Grant CBE, more commonly known by his pen name Lee Child, is a best-selling author of thrillers who is globally recognised for his Jack Reacher novel series. The books chronicle the adventures of a former American military policeman, Jack Reacher, who travels the United States investigating suspicious and frequently dangerous situations.

    James was born in Coventry and grew up in Birmingham before going onto study at the University of Sheffield. From 1977 to 1995, James worked at Granada Television, part of the UK's ITV Network, in Manchester as a presentation director. There he was involved with shows such as Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect and Cracker. He was also responsible for the transmission of more than 40,000 hours of programming for Granada, writing thousands of commercials and news stories.

    After being made redundant due to corporate restructuring, James decided to start writing novels, declaring them "the purest form of entertainment." His debut novel, Killing Floor, was published in 1997 and won both the Anthony Award, and the Barry Award for Best First Novel. His Jack Reacher novels have been adapted into a film series starring Tom Cruise and a television series on Amazon Prime.

    In 2009 James took up a Visiting Professorship at his Alma mater, the University of Sheffield and in 2009, he funded 52 Jack Reacher scholarships to support students through their studies.

    At Coventry University we’re pleased to boast a long and distinguished history in broadcasting and authorship. We’re also passionate about harnessing creative thinking and innovation as a tool in solving the complex problems of today. We’re committed to helping students unlock their creative potential and we’re proud that many of our creative subjects, including Media & Film studies and Journalism are regularly ranked among the best in the country.

    As a successful author, James understands and embodies the importance of creativity and we were delighted to welcome him back to Coventry and confer the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on to him.

  • The Very Reverend John Witcombe is Dean of Coventry, holding the responsibility for the overall leadership of the Cathedral’s ministry both locally and internationally. After reading law at Cambridge, John spent an intern year in Manhattan, then trained for ordination in Nottingham before serving as a curacy in the ex-mining parish of Birtley, County Durham.

    John has served churches in Nottingham, Sheffield and West London and completed a Master of Philosophy in Atonement Theology. After becoming Dean of St. John’s College Nottingham, where he taught Practical Theology and led the residential community, John moved to Gloucester as Director of Ordinands and Curate Training. He subsequently became Director of Ministry and Residentiary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral, before moving to his present post leading Coventry Cathedral in January 2013.

    Coventry’s urban setting, commitment to peace and reconciliation and diverse traditions embody the heart of his vocation to ordination. Our university has a long and close relationship with the church, with the Coventry College of Design being founded by the Church of England in 1843. We share in its values of social responsibility and commitment to having a positive impact on the local community and we were delighted, to confer the Honorary Doctor of Letters on John Witcombe.

  • Jane studied Theatre Design at Aberystwyth University before working as Arts Director of Worcester Arts Workshop. Her move to Coventry came in 1990 when she joined the Belgrade Theatre as Community Department Manager before becoming Associate Producer a few years later. While at the theatre she commissioned, produced and delivered a host of significant events. This included Coventry’s first community play, ‘In Search of Cofa’s Tree’, which formed part of the 50th anniversary of the Blitz commemoration that year, three outdoor arts productions of The Mysteries in Coventry Cathedral Ruins and numerous and sometimes controversial main house and studio productions.

    Jane has played a crucial role in ensuring the arts are appreciated in Coventry. Following the cancellation of the Coventry Festival she, along with the team at The Belgrade, started ‘Arts Alive,’ a local outdoor festival with regional and national significance. The city saw numerous national and international companies visiting the city with groundbreaking performances, most notably Carmen Funebre (Poland) Teatro Biuro Podrozy; visits by Odin Theatre (Denmark), Teatr Tascabile (Italy).

    In 2005, Jane and colleagues, set up Imagineer, an organisation dedicated to the creation and delivery of extraordinary outdoor and site-specific work at the intersection of art and engineering, environmental and social change. In the years since, Imagineer has been responsible for bringing Coventry to the national and international stage with projects such as Godiva Awakes, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and, more locally, Sanctuary in association with Artichoke. Through all her endeavours, commissions and co-productions Jane has helped bring millions of pounds in funding to the city. The newly transformed Daimler Powerhouse is a perfect example of this, bringing significant physical resource to the heart of the creative industries of Coventry.

    At Coventry University we take great pride in engaging with local communities and partners, and it is a pleasure to honour someone today who shares in this vision. Jane’s drive and leadership have brought the creative working world to Coventry and its surroundings, showing the world what enterprise and innovation mean to this great city. Her commitment to educating, explaining and inspiring are values we share and hold in the highest regard.

  • Keith is an acclaimed British artist, curator, critic and academic. In 1979, he enrolled on the Foundation Art course at Coventry University, known then as Lanchester Polytechnic, before achieving a B.A.(Hons) degree in Fine Art in 1983 from Trent Polytechnic and a master’s degree in environmental media at the Royal College of Art in London.

    His rise to prominence came in the 1980s as a founding member of the groundbreaking BLK Art Group, an association of Black British art students, primarily based in the West Midlands. He has gone on to become a successful artist, associated with technically innovative work that explores multimedia elements such as computer software, websites, tape/slide, sound and video within an installation-based practice. 

    Keith’s work is held in the highest regard. He has exhibited in Coventry several times including the landmark exhibition The Pan-Afrikan Connection in 1983 and the more recent 13 Ways of Looking, curated by Dr Sylvia Theuri. His work has been displayed at renowned public collections as well as prestigious galleries and museums around the world including The Manchester Art Gallery, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York and Tate Britain in London.

    From winning awards to inspiring the next generation of successful entrepreneurs, we’ve always had a rich heritage and passion for the Arts. It is a significant part of our history and we’ve been educating some of the world’s leading artists, designers and creative thinkers since 1843. Keith is a part of that history and, through his incredible work, as well as his commitment to the diversity and support of Black artists, he has become a role model to many. We were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts on him.

  • Lynval Golding is a singer, song writer, guitarist and original member of the Coventry-based band The Specials, an English 2 tone and reggae/ska revival band formed in 1977. Having been the one to introduce reggae & ska music to the band, Lynval’s unique contribution to their success and 2 Tone music label at national and global levels has been widely recognised.

    Born in Jamaica and having grown up in Gloucester and Coventry, Lynval has been described as a role model and inspiration to young people and local musicians. His band, The Specials, are one of the most successful original British Ska bands, achieving several number one singles and albums in the British charts and putting Coventry on the global map with the 2 Tone music legacy.

    In 2019, The Specials released the ‘Encore’ album and the single ‘Vote for Me’ their first in over 40 years. This reached number one in Britain and top five in the American charts, cementing the legendary status of the band and putting Coventry on the global map once again. As the band toured the world celebrating their 40th anniversary with a mixture of new music and the 2 Tone musical legacy, they held four successful performances at the Coventry Cathedral Ruins.

    Since 1840, we have nurtured a rich legacy and passion for the arts. Our alumni, who include some of the world's leading artists, designers, and creative thinkers, have won awards and inspired the next generation of successful entrepreneurs. It was an honour to add Lynval to that list as someone who has had a significant contribution to the field of music and the integration of diverse cultures.

2022

  • Fiona Burton has been the Director of Nursing for the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust since 2017, having previously worked for the Trust as Deputy Director of Nursing and Head of Acute Nursing. Fiona has significant experience, having held a number of senior nursing positions at Trusts across the region, in addition to a period spent working for NHS Improvement. She also sits on the Board of the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust Charity, which is hugely important in terms of enhancing patient care and treatment. 

    Throughout her distinguished career, Fiona has published several articles on wound management and developed best practice literature for the treatment of surgical and trauma wounds. In her current role, she has been responsible for patient safety and experience, infection prevention and control and end of life care.

    Her leadership of the nursing staff was recognised in the 2022 Care Quality Commission’s report on the Trust, in which it is rated as outstanding. The report detailed the Trust’s ‘exceptional service’, noting how staff treat patients with great compassion and kindness, and are respectful of patient privacy and dignity; with ‘patients and families truly respected and valued as individuals. The CQC also commented on how well patient safety was managed and recognised that the Trust delivered high quality patient-centred care: something we continue to be grateful for having endured the COVID-19 pandemic.

    At Coventry University, our people, from leadership to researchers to students are committed to making real tangible improvements to the health and wellbeing of the communities around us, both now and in the future. Throughout her career, Fiona has shared in this commitment and has helped better the lives of many. She continues to do so and we were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, onto her.

  • Dame Penelope Wilton’s nearly fifty-year career in the industry has seen her appear in a host of film, television and theatre productions, picking up a string of awards and nominations along the way.

    Born in Scarborough, one of three locations in the UK to host a Coventry University Group campus, Penelope has led a glittering career. She has taken on leading roles in Downton Abbey, Ever Decreasing Circles; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; The History Boys; Doctor Who; Calendar Girls; and Much Ado About Nothing.

    Away from acting, Penelope is a patron of York-based charity Kyra, which helps women recover from domestic abuse or mental ill health. She has also launched a fundraising appeal to fund the charity’s move into larger premises.

    She is a loyal supporter of CBM, a charity that works overseas to protect and restore the sight of those suffering from conditions causing blindness, is a patron of Halifax Square Chapel Arts Centre and is an ambassador for educational charity Children and the Arts. Penelope is also a big supporter of the Children and the Arts’ ‘Poetry Quest’ project in Halifax, which encourages students to engage with poetry.

    She was presented with an OBE in 2004 for her services to acting, an award that was elevated to a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2016.

    Not only does Penelope reflect Coventry’s passion for the Arts, but she also embodies our dedication to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities and creating better futures. Her charitable work is testament to this and is something we at Coventry University strive to emulate through our teaching, research and collaborations around the world. We were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto her.

2021

  • Anne-Marie is a computing, mathematics and language child prodigy, having been one of the youngest students to pass two GCSEs in Mathematics and Information Technology whilst still in primary school. Incredibly, at the age of 13 she went on to receive a British scholarship to study mathematics at Johns Hopkins University and by the age of 20 had become one of the youngest people to graduate with a master's degree from the University of Oxford.

    Following her graduation, Anne-Marie founded and became CEO of Stemettes, a social enterprise inspiring and promoting women in STEM careers. Stemettes runs panel sessions supporting girls and young women who are considering a STEM career and, to date, has reached almost 50,000 young people, with a view to creating a more diverse and balanced science and technology community.

    Anne-Marie’s motivational and inspiring manner has led her to become a highly sought after keynote speaker. She regularly appears in international media and is a skilled presenter and conference facilitator, having spoken globally for some of the world’s biggest digital companies and conferences, including Facebook, ASOS and Google. In addition to hosting the highly popular Women Tech Charge podcast for the Evening Standard, Anne-Marie featured on the 2019 Royal Institute Christmas Lectures and has been the keynote speaker at the BCS Lovelace Colloquium.

    Her outstanding contribution to raising the profile of women in STEM careers has seen her honoured with a number of awards. She was named a winner in the European Tech Women Awards, London Business Awards and the Barclays Women of the Year Awards, as well as being awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award. Anne-Marie is also a trustee of the Institute for the Future of Work.

    We were proud to welcome Anne-Marie back to Coventry University to officially open our Beatrice Shilling building in 2023. Her dedication in inspiring women to pursue STEM careers is something we share and we're proud to offer several initiatives to support this including the opportunity to participate in the Women in Engineering Society networks. We were delighted to confer the

    Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, onto her.

  • Bruce, who sadly passed away in 2022, was considered one of the most prominent Catholic peace activists in Britain, having been involved in the management of the International Peace Bureau, the Movement for the Abolition of War, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Pax Christi and the Catholic Movement for Peace; the latter two of which led him to becoming Vice-President.

    Bruce was first introduced to the Catholic peace movement in the 1960s when he learnt about Pax Christi's international summer routes for young people. Despite being subject to remarks about damaging his career if he remained active with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, peace-making became his primary vocation. In the 1970s Bruce was juggling chaplaincy work, parish work and peace commitments.

    In 1980 he became the General Secretary of CND, during which time Bruce spoke at huge rallies, wrote articles, conducted interviews, debates and visited local groups. His remarkable dedication often saw him returning on a late-night train from meetings around the country, rising to say early Mass in his parish before heading to the office for another hectic day.

    In addition to his peace work, Bruce regularly engaged with refugees, visited prisoners and campaigned for prison reform. He encouraged religious orders to support Justice, Peace and Ecology issues with finance and use of premises and was involved in the education of young people about citizenship and the work of the United Nations.


    At Coventry University we have a proud tradition of involvement in peace activism and have played a part in a wide range of impactful works on a global scale. Coventry is, after all, the city of Peace and Reconciliation. Furthermore, the university’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations ensures we’re having an impact at all levels of society on an international scale. As someone who personified the importance of peace in our time, we were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, onto Bruce.

  • Nitin is an internationally acclaimed producer, songwriter, DJ, multi-instrumentalist and orchestral composer. During his career, he has written the score for over 60 films, most notably the entire composition of the Warner Bros/ Netflix epic film Mowgli in 2018. He also has over 20 solo and collaborative studio albums to his name, for which he has received several major national and international awards.

    A highly musical child, Nitin studied piano, classical and flamenco guitar, sitar and tabla, before going on to study Law at Liverpool University and creating his own band, the Jazztones. Shortly after leaving university, Nitin moved to London where he met up with old university friend Sanjeev Bhaskar, with whom he was given a show on BBC Radio. This would eventually grow into the award-winning BBC TV sketch show Goodness Gracious Me.

    Nitin has collaborated with and written for many high-profile artists and orchestras, including Paul McCartney, the London Symphony Orchestra, Sinead O’Connor, Will Young and Cirque Du Soleil. As a touring musician in his own right, he has performed extensively at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, Hollywood Bowl and the Sydney Opera House.

    He is a recipient of six honorary doctorates from British universities and is a Fellow of LIPA and the Southbank University. In 2017, Nitin received the Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement award and in 2019 was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List.

    Often appearing as Artist in Residence, Curator or Musical Director at international festivals, Nitin also contributes extensively to musical education. He has been patron of the British Government's Access-to-Music programme, the East London Film Festival and creative education charity Artis, as well as acting as a judge for the Ivor Novello Awards, BAFTA, BIFA and the PRS foundation.

    At Coventry University we have a rich musical history. We were at the forefront of the 2-Tone ska revival in the 1970s and 1980s and continue to support the local music scene. Today, we are a Steinberg Certificated Training Centre and our facilities, which include bespoke performance spaces, recording studios and seminar rooms provide the perfect environment for our students to pursue their musical endeavours.

    We were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto him.

2019

  • Carol Burke graduated from the University of Liverpool in 1990, undertaking various placements within British Steel during her studies. On graduating, she joined GKN Axles progressing through roles such as Foreman, Production Manager, Works Manager and Business Manager, before finally establishing a new factory making axles for the Vauxhall Frontera.

    Carol’s fast-track career in GKN led to her recruitment in 1994 by one of Unipart’s manufacturing companies, Premier Exhaust Systems, where she was tasked with introducing and refining Japanese manufacturing methods. In response to the globalisation of the automotive industry, Carol was appointed to the UEES Joint Venture to grow the company and support the Unipart Group. Carol re-engineered the company by extending Toyota’s Lean system and the Unipart Way to encompass manufacturing engineering, design, end-to-end customer service and human resource management.

    In 2006, Carol extended her responsibilities, developing the UEES Teaching Factory. Today, this is a working factory as well as a training facility where people learn about the techniques of lean manufacturing and the Unipart Way.

    In 2014, Carol was instrumental in creating a unique joint venture with Coventry University to establish an Institute of Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering on the Unipart site in Coventry. A leading example of how industry and universities can work together to deliver a real-world business benefit, since 2014, the partnership has grown and produced a pipeline of career-ready engineering graduates. The business has also seen several new products become a commercial reality because of the collaborative work on show.

    In November 2023, the AME was officially relaunched with upgraded facilities dedicated to elevating the student experience and growing research and business, whilst leading the way in supporting UK manufacturing and supporting many of the UN’s sustainable goals. Carol’s continued leadership, support and commitment to the partnership have made an exceptional contribution to the reputation and profile of Coventry University and we were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa, onto her.

  • Richard Stanton came to the Midlands as a student in the late 1970s before joining the West Midlands Fire Service after graduating from Aston University. He served for 25 years, working in and around the city he now calls home, Coventry.

    Known as the ‘face of British cave diving,’ Richard has been called upon to find and recover people – living or lost - in cave systems in the UK, France, Ireland, Norway and Mexico. In 2018, his unique set of skills, leadership and bravery were called upon in a remote cave system in Thailand – to find 13 trapped young men. Against all odds and expectations, Richard planned and executed a successful rescue. This sensational story grabbed the attention of the world and became the subject of the 2022 Amazon film ‘Thirteen Lives.’

    His bravery and dedication to helping others has been rightly acknowledged through numerous awards including an MBE as well as a Pride of Britain Award. In 2018, he was recognised by the city of Coventry with the Award of Merit, the highest honour the city can bestow.

    Richard is also an innovator and technologist and has created closed-circuit rebreather units which allow him to go to greater depths and which have been modified to fit to the side of his body, advantageous for fitting through even smaller spaces.

    His resilience, quest for innovation and desire to make a difference are traits we, at Coventry University, hold dear and seek to aspire to ourselves. We too are innovators and disruptors, dedicated to creating better futures for our communities both at home and overseas while inspiring the next generation. Richard is someone who has, and will continue to, inspire and we were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Technology, honoris causa, on him.

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Dana Firas was born in Amman, Jordan. She was educated at the Amman Baccalaureate School in Jordan before earning a BA in International Relations & Economics from Boston University, an MSc in International Development from LSE and an MPA in Public Policy from Harvard as a Fulbright Scholar.

    As President of the Petra National Trust, Princess Dana champions the protection of Petra, the ancient Nabataean City in Southern Jordan that has been a World Heritage site since 1985. In 2010 the Trust launched an innovative cultural education and awareness programme for children, youth and teachers. The programme is designed to empower young leaders to identify with their heritage and become responsible tourism entrepreneurs and committed protectors of Petra’s significance and integrity.

    Her promotion of the link between cultural heritage and peaceful relations, within and between nations, generations, faiths and ethnicities has led to her designation as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in July 2017, a role which she has embraced with energy and commitment.

    Her Royal Highness is a remarkable role model for cross-cultural working and, as a practitioner, her work is strongly aligned to the research carried out by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations here at Coventry University.

    For the City of Coventry, the preservation and marketing through tourism of its cultural heritage is a key factor in its status as the UK’s only City of Peace and Reconciliation. A decision based around its cathedral and the city’s historical reputation as a place of sanctuary. Respect for, and promotion of, cultural heritage is a common ground for dialogue and a vital tool in building peaceful relationships. We are proud of our association with someone who shares those values in HRH and were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, on Her.

2018

  • Alan Ayckbourn is an internationally acclaimed playwright and the first person to be awarded an honorary degree at CU Scarborough.

    Born in London in 1939, Alan left school at the age of 17 having acted in several school productions of William Shakespeare. His professional acting career began in Scarborough at the Stephen Joseph Company. It was here that Sir Alan first began writing and directing his own plays and his prolific talent quickly caught the attention of the professional theatre world.

    Over the next six decades, Sir Alan would go on to pen a collection of over 80 plays. Many of these have become staples of international theatrical repertoire and performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world including on the West End and Broadway with all but four being debuted in Scarborough.

    Some of his major successes include Absurd Person Singular (1975), Woman in Mind (1985), House & Garden (1999) and Private Fears in Public Places (2004). His plays have truly been captured by a global audience and have been translated into over 35 languages and performed on stage and television around the world.

    His exemplary works have quite rightly been littered with accolades which includes a prestigious Laurence Olivier and Tony Award. In 1987, Sir Alan received a CBE and was knighted in the 1997 New Year Honours. It is also rumoured, though not proven, that he is the second most performed English playwright of all time, after Shakespeare.

    Despite his global success, Alan has continued to show a dedication to regional theatre and has contributed massively to Scarborough and the surrounding area. We were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, on him.

  • Alan Rusbridger is a renowned and highly respected journalist with an international profile, best known for his role as Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian newspaper from 1995 to 2015. Beginning his career as a reporter while at university, Alan has been recognised with global prizes and accolades for his services to journalism.

    At the Guardian newspaper, he was instrumental in bringing to light the Wikileaks, phone hacking and Edward Snowden revelations while guiding the Guardian to multiple awards, including in 2014, an Emmy and the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

    A pioneer of the field, Alan was a leading figure in British journalism, seeing through one of its biggest transformations as it moved into the digital age. For over two decades, he led a root and branch change at the Guardian with digital transformation at its core, opening the publication to new media and audiences, and enhancing its international reputation.

    When he came to Coventry University in 2010 to deliver a keynote speech, he helped our political reporting students and met our investigative journalism students at the University of Oxford in 2017.

    Throughout his career, he has taken a particular interest in opening access to higher education to people from under-represented groups, an ethos and approach we share at Coventry University. Furthermore, his story of resilience, creativity and invention are values that we, and this city, respect and know well. The educational landscape is one in a constant flux of change and from delivering an excellent student experience to award-winning teaching and pioneering research we’re constantly looking for ways to adapt and better ourselves. Alan is someone who has cultivated and led change first hand and we were delighted to welcome him back to Coventry and confer the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on him.

  • Neelam Gill, a British model of Punjabi Sikh descent, was born in Coventry in April 1995. Raised in a multicultural environment, she proudly embraced her Indian heritage while also experiencing the British way of life. Her family instilled a strong sense of cultural pride, which has played a crucial role in shaping her identity and perspectives.

    Her journey into the fashion industry began when she was scouted by a modelling agency at the age of 14. Despite initial hesitations about entering an industry that did not fully represent her background, she decided to pursue her dreams with the unwavering support of her family.

    Her breakthrough came when she caught the attention of Burberry, with her role as the face of their beauty campaign in 2014 marking a significant turning point in her career. The success that followed has seen Neelan collaborate with other renowned brands, such as Abercombie & Fitch and Dior.

    Beyond the runway, Neelam passionately engages in advocacy for social and humanitarian causes, using her platform to champion issues on women’s rights and racial equality. Her involvement in initiatives and campaigns focused on inclusivity further demonstrates her dedication to driving positive change.

    Neelam’s journey from a young girl with dreams to a trailblazing model and activist showcases the power of determination and advocacy. At Coventry University, diversity and inclusion are core pillars of our strategy. Our diversity is one of our greatest strengths, bringing knowledge, perspective and cultural enrichment to all who choose to study and work with us. Widening participation and being truly representative of the communities we serve is integral to our success today and in the future.

    Neelam’s dedication to challenging the status quo as she strives to create a more inclusive and positive fashion world is inspirational and we were delighted to honour her with this degree.

2017

  • Delia was born in Coventry in 1937 and her formative childhood experiences growing up during the Blitz had a direct impact on the remarkable music that she would create in her adult life.   

    At the age of 11 she won a place to the all-girls grammar school Barr's Hill, where she excelled at maths and music. Her twin passions for the subjects continued when she won a scholarship to Girton College, Cambridge. It was during this time that she travelled to the 1958 Brussels World's Fair with the composer Jonathan Harvey and experienced Edgar Varèse's Poème électronique in Le Corbusier's pavilion. With its combination of electronic music and the visual arts, it would prove to have a deep influence on her future practice. 

    Delia’s big break occurred when she joined the BBC as a trainee assistant manager before being hired by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop at Maida Vale. It was here that she made history, proposing an electronic rendition of Ron Grainer’s famous “Doctor Who” theme. One of her earliest creations, this now iconic arrangement became one of the first electronically produced themes to be used on Television.  

    Delia was an innovator and she was a disruptor. She regularly took on projects that weren't necessarily endorsed by the BBC and pushed the boundaries of what was possible, paving the way for many like her in the music production business and inspiring a generation. In 2022 we were proud to announce that our flagship College of Arts and Society building would be named after Delia. The facility represents a major transformation in our offering of the creative arts and it is fitting we marked it by honouring the legacy of a Coventry legend.  

    We were delighted to confer a posthumous Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto her.

  • Born in Southend on Sea in 1988, Jack Monroe found international recognition as the face of food poverty and as a voice to offer support, advice and comfort for families whose circumstances leave them struggling financially.

    Her career began as a call handler for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, however, following the birth of her son, Jack was unable to commit to inflexible shift patterns and gave up the role and spent the next 18 months on benefits and looking for work. Often going to bed hungry, Jack struggled with financial hardship and was left offering all her belongings for sale to raise income.

    Jack documented her struggles and shared recipes and advice on surviving on a food budget of £10 a week via her online blog, A Girl Called Jack, and on social media. She quickly built up a loyal following with her recipe being handed out by foodbanks to help those managing on very little income.

    Her jump to influence in the mainstream media came when she invited a Daily Telegraph food writer for lunch – a 24p-per-portion chickpea tagine – inspiring an article on her methods and tips. Within a year, Jack had a Guardian column, was a face of Sainsbury’s supermarket campaign on food waste and affordable living and appeared on a Question Time debate.

    As of 2023, Jack has a social media following in the hundreds of thousands and remains a fierce campaigner on food poverty issues. She has written and published a series of recipe books, the most recent being ‘Thrifty Kitchen,’ appeared on TV programmes including Daily Kitchen Live and has written for global publications including The Huffington Post and The Guardian. Her commitment to creating better futures is inspiring and is something we, at Coventry University, seek to echo in everything we do, from our teaching to research.

    We were delighted to confer a Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto her. Born in Southend on Sea in 1988, Jack Monroe found international recognition as the face of food poverty and as a voice to offer support, advice and comfort for families whose circumstances leave them struggling financially.

    Her career began as a call handler for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, however, following the birth of her son, Jack was unable to commit to inflexible shift patterns and gave up the role and spent the next 18 months on benefits and looking for work. Often going to bed hungry, Jack struggled with financial hardship and was left offering all her belongings for sale to raise income.

    Jack documented her struggles and shared recipes and advice on surviving on a food budget of £10 a week via her online blog, A Girl Called Jack, and on social media. She quickly built up a loyal following with her recipe being handed out by foodbanks to help those managing on very little income.

    Her jump to influence in the mainstream media came when she invited a Daily Telegraph food writer for lunch – a 24p-per-portion chickpea tagine – inspiring an article on her methods and tips. Within a year, Jack had a Guardian column, was a face of Sainsbury’s supermarket campaign on food waste and affordable living and appeared on a Question Time debate.

    As of 2023, Jack has a social media following in the hundreds of thousands and remains a fierce campaigner on food poverty issues. She has written and published a series of recipe books, the most recent being ‘Thrifty Kitchen,’ appeared on TV programmes including Daily Kitchen Live and has written for global publications including The Huffington Post and The Guardian. Her commitment to creating better futures is inspiring and is something we, at Coventry University, seek to echo in everything we do, from our teaching to research.

    We were delighted to confer a Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto her.

  • Liv Garfield CBE is the current Chief Executive of water company Severn Trent. She was born and raised in Harrogate and attended schools in York before studying German and French at Cambridge University. Following her graduation, Liv spent a year working at the British Consulate in Brussels before spending five years at management consultancy Accenture. As a consultant in the Communications and High-Tech Market Unit, she was responsible for designing and implementing business change solutions across several industry sectors.

    Prior to joining Severn Trent, Liv was Chief Executive Officer of Openreach, part of the BT Group, where she spearheaded and oversaw the commercial roll-out of fibre broadband to two-thirds of the country. She joined BT in 2002 and held the roles of Group Director of Strategy and Regulation, Managing Director Commercial and Brands, Global Services and UK Customer Services Director.

    In 2013, Liv was ranked in the top ten of Fortune Magazine’s ’40 under 40’ list and was the highest-ranking Brit in the exclusive league table of the world’s fastest rising young corporate stars. In October 2020, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to the water industry.

    Away from her day-to-day job, Liv held the position of non-executive director for Tesco for two years and, in September 2015, she was appointed as a Government Business Ambassador for UK Trade and Investment, now named The Department for International Trade.

    A symbol for women in business, Liv Garfield is an inspiration for millions and we were delighted to confer a Degree of Doctor of Business and Administration, honoris causa, onto her.

2016

  • responsible for the creative direction and curation of the House of Brands – Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar. Living and breathing design, Gerry is fundamental to the company’s vision to become the creators of the world’s most desirable modern luxury automotive brands for the most discerning of clients.

    Gerry has a wealth of design experience, from his early days as an industrial design student through the Royal College of Art, to working with some of the biggest creative organisations in the world in international career spanning over 40 years. Throughout his journey, Gerry has lived by the principle that creativity can transform business whilst enriching people’s lives.

    Following a stint working for Chrysler in Detroit, Gerry returned to the UK as a Senior Designer for Peugeot and later joined the Rover Group. He then moved to the Ford Motor Company to rejuvenate the Lincoln-Mercury brands, setting up studios in Detroit and Irvine, California.

    His influence since returning to Land Rover in 2004 cannot be understated. From the radical Range Rover Evoque and reductive Range Rover Velar to the iconic reimagined Defender and peerless Range Rover, Gerry has embedded creativity into the very core of the business.

    His passion for design and innovation have been the cornerstones of a distinguished career and are themes that we, at Coventry University, hold in the highest regard. We have a rich heritage for creativity stretching back to 1843, which we continue to promote today as we instil the importance of creativity and innovation into everything we do. We were delighted to honour Gerry with a Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

  • Ian Callum, now retired, was most recently Design Director at Jaguar and is one of the most respected car designers of his generation. Born in Dumfries, Scotland, Ian studied Industial Design at the Glasgow School of Art before enrolling at the Royal College of Art (RCA) on the Automatable Design Course.

    His career began in the 1970s when he was recruited by Ford, spending 12 years working in the company’s design studios in Britain, Japan, the United States, Australia and Germany. During this time, he worked on globally recognised models including the Fiesta, Mondeo and Escort RS.

    In 1990, Ian joined Peter Stevens and Tom Walkinshaw to form TWR Design and was quickly appointed Chief Designer and General Manager. During this period, he was partially responsible for designing the Aston Martin DB7, the design he is perhaps most famous for. He also designed the Aston Martin Vanquish and worked on designs for clients including Volvo, Mazda and HSV. In 1995, he was awarded the Jim Clark Memorial Award in recognition of his styling work on the DB7.

    In 1999, Ian became Director of Design for Jaguar, based in Coventry. His impact was almost immediate as he succeeded in taking Jaguar in a more dynamic and modern direction. The first next-generation model which reflects this ethos was his first complete production in Jaguar, the 2006 XK. This momentum continued with the 2008 XF and the 2010 XJ. He was also responsible for the 2010 C-X75 concept car.

    Throughout his distinguished career, Ian has showcased a commitment to innovation. At Coventry University we’re passionate about developing our innovation ecosystem and create a more dynamic and exciting environment for students, staff, communities and business. From his time at Ford all the way to his success at Jaguar, Ian has exhibited this same passion and we were delighted to confer a Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto him.

  • A legendary performer, singer, artist, band leader and songwriter, Pauline Black has dedicated her life to the music scene. Born and raised in Essex, Pauline moved to Coventry to study a combined science degree at Lanchester University in 1971. In 1973 she moved to the Coventry School of Radiography, studying from 1973-76, graduating with a Diploma of The Society of Radiographers.

    Starting her career as a part-time radiologist at Walsgrave Hospital, Pauline nurtured her love of music by singing in pubs across Coventry. Her band, The Selector, went from the streets of Coventry to a platinum-selling band and one of the most influential within the 2-tone music scene. Their debut album, ‘Too Much Pressure’, was released in 1980 and kickstarted a journey which saw the band release a collection of top 40 singles in the United Kingdom. Not satisfied with being a leading figure in the music industry, Pauline has also starred in television and theatre productions, appearing in dramas such as The Vice and The Bill. In 1991, her performance in the play ‘All or Nothing at All’ was recognised by Time Out with their Best Actress Award.

    Pauline has been vocal in supporting and campaigning for racial equality throughout her career and uses her own experience and challenges with racial issues to spread messages of racial equality. Her 2011 memoir, Black by Design, is a powerful insight into her life and, like her music, raises questions and tackles difficult topics around race and equality.

    At Coventry University, our commitment to embracing our differences, whether cultural, racial or something else, makes us who we are. Our diversity is our biggest strength, and we were proud to honour someone in Pauline who shares in that commitment. As a result of this, as well as her outstanding contribution to the musical heritage of our city, we were delighted to confer a Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto her.

2014

  • Born in 1956 in London, the Most Reverend Justin Welby was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied history and law before embarking on a career in the oil industry.

    In 1989, Justin took the decision to move away from the industry and train for ordination. He obtained a degree in Theology at Durham University and went on to attain the Cranmer Diploma in Ministerial Studies in 1992. After being ordained Deacon in 1992, he spent 15 years serving Coventry Diocese. Between 2000 and 2002 he also chaired an NHS hospital trust in South Warwickshire

    In 2002, he was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral, where he ran a comprehensive programme of reconciliation work. He worked extensively in the field in Africa and the Middle East and has a particular interest in Nigeria, where he was and remains involved in work with groups involved in conflict transformation. In the Niger Delta, he has worked on reconciliation with armed groups.

    On 21 March 2013, he was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury in a service at Canterbury Cathedral. During his first 18 months in office, Archbishop Justin visited every province of the Anglican Communion – joined by his wife, Caroline – an extraordinary personal pilgrimage that involved 96 days of travel.

    Since 2013, he has made regular visits to dioceses around the southern province of the Church of England and has taken part in everything from baptisms to baking competitions. Coventry University has a rich history with the Church dating back to 1843 and we have a commitment to interfaith dialogue and understanding. We were honoured to confer the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, onto him.

  • Justin King CBE is a renowned figurehead of British business. Born in the East End of London in 1961, before moving to the Midlands with his parents, Justin is best known for leading J Sainsburys PLC through a lengthy period of unbroken growth.

    Jusin studied at Tudor Grange School in Solihull before going onto study a business degree at Bath University. Following graduation, Justin worked his way up the retail sector ladder, building a portfolio of brands including Mars, Pepsi-Co, Marks and Spencer and Asda. He was also involved in the introduction of Häagen-Dazs ice cream to the UK.

    Prior to becoming CEO of Sainsburys in 2004, Justin was Head of Food at Marks & Spencer where he was a pioneer in the development of the Simply Food business. At Sainsburys, Justin was instrumental in ensuring the company won back market share from its rivals and remained independent. In his ten years in post underlying profits nearly trebled and Sainsburys was regularly named Supermarket of the Year. In 2011, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Birthday Honours for services to the retail industry.

    In 2014, Justin stepped down to pursue new opportunities. In 2019, he joined the M&S Board as Non-Executive Director and in 2022 was appointed Chairman of Dexters Group.

    With over thirty years of experience working in and leading large organisations, Justin is an inspiration for anyone pursuing a career in business. At Coventry University we have a long tradition in business education and are proud to boast successful graduates in high profile positions worldwide. Additionally, our ranking in the 2023 KEF recognises our commitment to supporting local business regeneration. Justin has dedicated his career to supporting business and enterprise and we were proud to confer the Degree of Business and Administration, honoris causa, onto him.

  • With a career spanning over five decades, Ken Loach is one of Britain’s foremost political filmmakers. Born in Nuneaton in 1935, Ken completed two years of National Service before studying Law at Oxford University, where he was President of the Dramatic society.  

    After graduating, Ken spent a few years in the Royal Air Force before a brief spell in the theatre. However, his attention quickly turned to directing, joining the Northampton Reparatory Theatre as assistant director in 1961 and, shortly after, the BBC as a trainee television director in 1963. Over the next decade, Ken was responsible for a host of successful productions in television and cinema, from Cathy Come Home (1966) and Kes (1970). Both received critical acclaim from the British Film institute with the former being ranked second on a list of the all-time top 100 British television programmes and the latter voted the seventh greatest British film of the 20th century.  

    Ken’s success continued with his film Hidden Agenda (1990), a political thriller set in Norther Ireland, sharing the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival. His prominence at Cannes didn’t end there either with two of his films, The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006) and I, Daniel Blake (2016) winning the Palme d’Or, making Ken one of only nine to win the prestigious award twice. The latter also delivered Ken his first BAFTA Award, winning Outstanding British Film in 2017.  

    His work has successfully drawn attention to some of the most poignant social issues of our time including labour rights, mental health, unemployment and homelessness and has no doubt played a pivotal role in changing mindsets and raising awareness. We were delighted to confer the Degree of Arts, honoris causa, onto him. 

2013

  • Born in Cairo in 1969, Her Royal Highness Princess Rym Ali is the founder of the Jordan Media Institute, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to establish an Arab centre of excellence for journalism education. She has also been member of the Board of Commissioners of the Royal Film Commission for Jordan since July 2005.

    A graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, the Princess also holds a Master of Philosophy in Political Science from the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris (1991) and a Master of Arts in English Literature from the Sorbonne.

    Prior to marrying His Royal Highness Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein in 2004, Princess Rym worked extensively for international broadcasters, including CNN, where she began as a producer in 1998 and later worked as a Baghdad correspondent from 2001 until 2004. She also developed her portfolio working for the BBC World Service, Dubai TV, Bloomberg TV, Radio Monte-Carlo Moyen-Orient and United Press International-UPI.

    In 2007, the Princess set up the Jordan Media Institute with the goal to become a centre of excellence in journalism education in Jordan and the region. The Institute provides two strands of services – a one-year practical masters course in Journalism and journalism training programmes, both in Arabic.

    Her Royal Highness has been the recipient of several awards throughout her career. In 2011, she received a prestigious Alumni Award from the Columbia University School of Journalism and in the same year she was also awarded the ‘Best International Journalist’ prize at the 32nd Ischia International Journalism Awards Ceremony, one of the most renowned journalistic awards in Italy. The following year, she received the Excellence in Media Award from the Global Thinkers Forum.

    Coventry University has a proud history of delivering quality in media and journalism studies. In 2023, the Guardian University Guide 2024 ranked our Media & Studies and Journalism course 5th and 7th respectfully, demonstrating our commitment to these disciplines. As someone who shares in this passion, we were delighted to confer the Degree of Letters, honoris causa, onto Her Royal Highness.

  • Born in Birmingham in 1948, Tony Iommi is synonymous with heavy rock; his innovative, de-tuned, dark guitar riffs are the blueprint not only for the hundreds of bands that have followed him but also for the global genre of Heavy Metal.

    By 1967, Tony had played with several blues-based rock bands before eventually forming the group, Earth with three old acquaintances from his school days, Terry “Geezer” Butler, Bill Ward and John “Ozzy” Osbourne. After a traumatic accident at a sheet metal factory, which resulted in Tony losing two fingertips on his right hand and a brief spell playing with the band Jethro Tull, the band changed their name to ‘Black Sabbath.’

    With a change in name came a change in musical direction with the band exploring dark, lyrical subjects to the backdrop of repetitive and heavy music. This style created the blueprint for heavy metal and led to them becoming one of the world’s top hard rock bands and Tony one of the world’s best and most recognisable guitarists.

    Years of success followed, however, by the late 1970’s the band began to go their separate ways first with Ozzy Osbournes exit in 1979 followed quickly by Butler and Ward. Tony, on the other hand, stayed on and several inspired releases and a shift in the band’s focus to Europe, kept the Black Sabbath name alive. The band have reunited on several occasions. In 1985 they returned for an appearance at Live Aid, Philadelphia, and in 1999 they won Best Metal Performance at the Grammys following their reunion tour.

    Today, Tony is widely considered one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, influencing millions and paving the way for generations of heavy metal artists. He was an innovator and disruptor in his field and we were delighted to confer the Degree of Arts, honoris causa, on him.

2012

  • Spencer Kelly is the BBC’s longest serving and most experienced technology presenter and journalist. Born in Hampshire, Spencer’s love of technology and computers started in primary school, a passion that led him to Cambridge University where he studied Computer Science and graduated with a double first.

    His broadcasting journey began when he was 17, working at Radio Glen in Southampton before running the Cambridge University Radio during his studies. Following graduation and a brief stint in British Gas’ IT department, Spencer took a job at Power FM and spent two years as a travel presenter, reporting as a ‘flying eye’ on traffic problems from a small light aircraft. This role ultimately led to him taking over as the breakfast show host on Ocean FM, a post he held for six years.

    In 2003, Spencer joined the BBC as one of five interactive presenters, a team that pioneered new forms of interactive broadcasting, using the web, digital television and digital radio. In 2006, following guest appearances on Channel Five’s ‘The Gadget Show’ and BBC World’s Click Online, Spencer became the presenter of the re-named Click series, taking over from Stephen Cole.

    As host of Click, Spencer has travelled the globe investigating the latest technology developments and reporting on innovations from around the world. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and technology such as James Cameron and Bill Gates while continuing to push boundaries. He famously demonstrated security loopholes in Facebook and gave the first televised demonstration of a botnet.

    His passion for innovation and technology, as well as his willingness to act as a disruptor are characteristics and themes that Coventry University share. We were delighted to celebrate his achievements and confer the Degree of Technology, honoris causa, on him.


2011

  • Known for his exquisite cover drive and sharp reflexes in the field, Ian Bell was one of England's finest cricketers up until his retirement in 2020.

    Born in Coventry in 1982, Ian’s cricketing ability was evident at a young age and he was earmarked for the top long before he made his international debut for England. Breaking into the Warwickshire first-team in 2001, Ian quickly made a name for himself becoming the county’s youngest centurion and youngest capped player.

    Having played several Under-19 series for his country, Ian’s first foray with the full England Test squad came when he was brought in as cover for an injured Mark Butcher for England’s tour of New Zealand in 2001-02. His full international debut came a few years later in the final match of a Test series against the West Indies.

    Ian struggled for consistency in the early years, often touted as someone England could rely on when the pressure was off. However, this perception changed following England’s tour of South Africa and Australia during the 2009-10 season. Throughout he saved his best for when the chips were down, leading to wins during both series and culminating in his maiden Ashes hundred at Sydney. In 2013, Ian became the first man to reach triple figures in three successive Ashes tests since Chris Broad in 1986, scoring centuries in each of England’s three victories. He was dutifully rewarded for his efforts, winning player of the series and a place on the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

    Ian continued to be a consistent member of the England set-up until 2015, when he retired from One Day International Cricket, before calling it a day in all forms at the end of the 2020 Northern summer. Since retiring, Ian has held several coaching positions. In September 2023, it was announced that New Zealand had appointed Ian to their coaching staff ahead of their limited over series against England.

    We were delighted to confer the Degree of Arts, honoris causa, on him.


2010

  • Dr Andy Palmer is a chartered engineer and automotive executive with more than 40 years' experience, having been COO of Nissan and CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda.

    Described as the 'Godfather of EVs', his career began as a 16-year-old apprentice before becoming a Project Engineer and joining Austin Rover in 1986 where he worked his way up to Chief Engineer for Transmission Engineering & Manufacturing. In 1991, Andy joined Nissan and held a succession of positions, including Program Director for Light Commercial Vehicles, Senior Vice-President, and Executive Vice-President before being appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2013.

    While at Nissan, Andy was responsible for transforming the product line-up as well as Business Strategy and Product Planning, Global Sales & Marketing, IT and the company’s Electric Vehicle and Battery business. His time at Nissan is also remembered for his pioneering ground-breaking technologies, including leading the development of the Nissan LEAF, the world’s first mass-market electric vehicle.

    In 2014, Andy was appointed CEO of Aston Martin Lagonda where he oversaw the launch of four core car models with nine derivatives, including the development and launch of the DBX, the company's first foray into the growing Luxury SUV market.

    Andy’s distinguished career was rightly recognised by AutoExpress who voted him into their Hall of Fame as the “Most Influential British Person in the Global Automotive Business.” In 2018, AutoExpress also named him their “Person of the Past 30 Years.”

    Today, Andy is CEO of Palmer Automotive Ltd; CEO of Pod Point; Chairman of Hilo Ltd, the EV scooter manufacturer; and IONETIC, the battery pack technology company. He has also founded a charitable foundation to fund apprenticeships for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, made Ambassador for the COP26 Business Climate Leaders campaign and was given the “Men as Allies” award by the Women's Engineering Society.

    Andy is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Board and, in 2023, delivered the keynote address at Coventry University’s annual Chancellor’s Dinner. Like Andy, we’re passionate about clean growth and electrification and, through our teaching, research and collaborative partnerships, we’re making a real, tangible difference, in our regional and international communities.

    We were delighted to confer the Degree of Technology, honoris causa, on Andy and we look forward to working closely with him in the future.

  • One of the UK’s most distinguished medics, Sir Bruce Keogh has played a pivotal role in healthcare across the NHS and was NHS England’s Medical Director and professional lead for NHS doctors for a decade.

    Born in November 1954 in modern-day Zimbabwe, Sir Bruce earned a Bachelor of Science degree and MB BS degree from Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, part of the University of London. Prior to his role as Medical Director, he had a distinguished career in surgery holding numerous posts including Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham, Director of Surgery at the Heart Hospital and Professor of Cardiac Surgery at UCL.

    As well as this, Sir Bruce was also President of the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, Secretary-General of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, International Director of the US Society of Thoracic Surgeons and President of the Cardiothoracic Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.

    In 2007, he became NHS England’s Medical Director and, following the Lansley reforms of the NHS, was appointed National Medical Director in NHS England from 2013. As the most senior doctor in the NHS, he was responsible for clinical policy and strategy, clinical leadership and innovation across the health service. Following a decade in post, Sir Bruce stepped down from the role and was appointed as Chair of Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Trust. He also chairs the medical research charity The Scarfree Foundation and the British Heart Foundation Clinical Research Collaborative.

    Sir Bruce holds numerous accolades and awards for his services to medicine. Most notably, in 2003, he was anointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE).

    Healthcare is part of who we are at Coventry University and we continue to be incredibly proud of the fantastic work taking place across the Group. We were honoured to recognise someone in Sir Bruce, who has dedicated his career to creating better futures through healthcare and were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, onto him.

2009

  • Evan Davis is a renowned English journalist, presenter and former economist perhaps best known for hosting Radio 4’s PM programme and presenting Dragons’ Den.

    Born in Worcestershire in 1962, Evan studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John’s College, Oxford before obtaining a Master of Public Administration at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. After graduating, David began work as an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and London Business School before joining the BBC in 1993 as an Economics Correspondent. He would go on to become the Economics Editor at the BBC, the most senior economics reporter in the corporation.

    In 2008, Evan stood down from the role to join BBC Radio 4’s The Today programme as a full-time presenter, a role he held until 2014 when he became the main presenter of BBC2’s Newsnight. In 2018, Evan became the presenter of PM, the news and current affairs programme that airs weekdays and Saturdays on Radio 4.

    Away from Radio, Evan has appeared on several BBC documentaries and shows. In 2011 he presented Made in Britain and in 2014 created the two-part BBC2 series Mind the Gap. Since 2005 he has also been the presenter of the BBC2 business reality show Dragons Den. Evan has also written a number of books, the most recent, titled Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It, was published in May 2017.

    His work has been recognised with numerous awards. In 2017, he was the Television and Radio Industries Club News presenter of the Year and in 2015 was voted Attitude Magazine’s “Man of the Year.”

    We were delighted to confer the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa, onto him.

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