More than 3,100 students from the University of Chester will gather together from today (Tuesday, November 1) to celebrate their academic achievements over four days of graduation in the presence of eminent figures in their field.
The graduands will enjoy a special day to remember and join Chester’s numerous alumni when they graduate across 11 ceremonies at Chester Cathedral from Tuesday, November 1 to Friday, November 4.
The graduates-to-be will be congratulated by Canon Jeffrey Turnbull, Deputy President of the University Council who will be the presiding officer on Tuesday and Thursday. Professor Tim Wheeler will be the presiding officer on Wednesday and Friday as well as being at all the ceremonies.
They will be joined by a group of eminent individuals, including two alumni of the university, each of whom will be awarded an honorary degree for outstanding achievements in their chosen field.
Professor Wheeler, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is always a proud moment to see our latest graduates gather with family and friends to celebrate this special occasion and we aim to make it one of the most memorable of their lives.
“Each graduation ceremony represents all the hard work and dedication and all that our graduates have achieved. We congratulate them and wish them all good luck in their careers as they go forward and make their future plans.
“We are also delighted to welcome 11 outstanding individuals who have given so much to the local community and society as a whole. They thoroughly deserve their honorary degrees after all they have achieved and we are delighted to have them join us on these special occasions.”
The celebrated names are:
Tuesday, November 1
- Professor Michael Jones will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business education.
He said: “I grew up in the city of Chester and I still today regard it as my home town. I have seen this city change considerably over the past 70 odd years and watched in appreciation as in recent decades the university has grown and come up fast on the rails to become a commendable player in a very crowded field. To be associated, as I am, with my local university is both an honour and a joy. To be recognised and honoured by my local university, through being awarded an honorary degree, is just magical. I feel so proud and humble at the same time.”
- Amanda Wakeley OBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Art (DFA) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the British fashion industry.
Born in Cheshire, Amanda Wakeley is an established favourite of some of the most stylish women in the world, beginning with the late Diana, Princess of Wales and more recently seen on Amber Heard, Zoe Saldana, Katherine Heigl, Scarlett Johansson and Angelina Jolie.
- Dame Carol Black will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Medical Sciences and Education.
Dame Carol said: “I am honoured to receive an Honorary Degree from the University of Chester. Your faculties are broad-based, and encompass much which is important to our society today, for example Education and Children’s Services, and Health and Social Care. Your mission has at its heart to provide to students and staff the education, skills, support and motivation to develop as confident world citizens, and to serve successfully and improve the global communities where we live and work. This I applaud.”
Wednesday, November 2
- Professor Janet Hemingway CBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to biochemistry and molecular biology and in particular for her services to the control of tropical disease vectors.
Professor Hemingway initially trained as a geneticist and is currently Professor of Insect Molecular Biology and Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, with 450 staff based in Liverpool, Malawi and several other tropical locations.
- Brian Kerr OBE will receive an Honorary Master of Business Administration (MBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to local government and to the city of Chester and county of Cheshire.
He said: “My honorary degree is a recognition of the important role performed by parish councils in creating vibrant communities.”
- Sir David Lees will receive an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his outstanding contribution as chair of the University Centre Shrewsbury Advisory Board and former chairman of the Bank of England’s Court.
Sir David said: “I feel very privileged to have been awarded an honorary degree by the University of Chester. It is indeed an honour in every sense.”
Thursday, November 3
- Steve Morgan CBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the building industry and, in particular, his creation of The Morgan Foundation.
Steve said: “I have always loved the city of Chester. It has been an integral part of the success of Redrow, where we have built many hundreds of houses over the years. The University of Chester is of such major importance to the city, that to be recognised by the university is a great personal honour for me.”
- Roderick Hunt MBE, who is an alumnus of the University of Chester, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of literacy in education.
Rod said: “I feel honoured that the University of Chester has seen fit to recognise my work in the field of early literacy. It is gratifying to know that countless numbers of children have learned to read on The Oxford Reading Tree and, through it, have come to love reading. I am grateful for the formative years I spent at Chester and I am proud to be an alumnus of the institution.”
Friday, November 4
- Helen Willetts will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to broadcasting and meteorology.
Helen said: “Clearly it means a great deal to be recognised by the University of Chester, my birth city, of which I have very fond memories, having spent my first three years on Sealand Road between the Roodee and the footy ground (what does that say about my dad?).
“My parents took us to Chester most weekends in my childhood as my extended family live around Deeside, with my parents heralding from Connah’s Quay and Saltney. We used to arrive and enjoy cake in Owen Owen, play in Grosvenor Park, investigate the Roman ruins regularly and go for lunch on Bridge Street at the fish and chip shop, such a treat.”
- Rob Wotton, who is also an alumnus of the University of Chester, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to sports journalism and broadcasting, and in particular for the contributions made to the University of Chester during his time as Students’ Union President.
Rob said: “It is truly an honour to receive this award. My four years spent at Chester were among the happiest in my life. While it is over 25 years since I left, the memories and the spirit of the institution, have never left me.”
- Robin Jones will receive an Honorary Master of Laws in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the law profession in Cheshire and North Wales.
He was formerly a consultant at Knights Solicitors and the former senior partner at Wayman-Hales and Chester managing partner at Hill Dickinson. He began his career in White Friars with Wayman-Hales, which later merged with Hill Dickinson before it was taken over by Knights.