Staffordshire University announces honours list

Stoke City FC manager Tony Pulis and world cup winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks OBE are among those singled out to receive Staffordshire University’s highest honour.

15 inspirational people who each ‘create the difference’ in their respective fields will become honorary Doctors of the University during a week of graduation ceremonies taking place at the Trentham Estate from July 6 – 10.

These include Lord Wedgwood of Barlaston – direct descendent of Josiah Wedgwood – and Jonathan Wilkes who are seen as worthy ambassadors of North Staffordshire, its products and its people. Ardent wildlife campaigner Pat Callaghan, former chair of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, will also be honoured for her work in nature conservation and sustainable development.

Staffordshire University will also be using the occasion of its awards ceremonies to recognise the contribution made by Graham Stow CBE, former Group Chief Executive of the Britannia Building Society and retiring Chair of the University’s Board of Governors.

Husband and wife journalists Jackie Ashley and Andrew Marr, Dame Joan Bakewell and Esther Rantzen CBE will also be joining the ranks of Staffordshire University’s honorary graduates for the considerable contribution they have made in the world of television and the media.

Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Christine King CBE, said: “These are people who stand out in their respective fields, who make a difference by being effective role-models and inspiring others, who have achieved and continue to strive for fair play and equality.

“These are outstanding people who share our values, our beliefs and our aspirations and we are delighted to be honoring them at Staffordshire University’s Graduation Ceremonies in 2009.”

Around 3,000 graduates are set to receive their degrees and be congratulated on their achievement by Professor King and the University’s Chancellor Lord Morris of Handsworth OJ.

The full list of Honorary Graduates, in ceremony order, is:

  • Monday, July 6, 11.30am – Faculty of Sciences
    • Patricia Callaghan – former Chair of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, the Potteries and Newcastle Wildlife Group and Sustainable Staffordshire.
  • Monday, July 6, 3.00pm – Law School
    • His Hon. Judge Simon Tonking – Resident Judge at Stafford Combined Court, he has also involved students from Staffordshire University’s Law School in filming training videos for the Judicial Studies Board.
    • Cordella Bart-Stewart – After graduating from North Staffordshire Polytechnic, now Staffordshire University, she founded the Black Solicitors Network (BSN) and sits as a part time judge in the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal in Central London.
  • Tuesday, July 7, 10.30am – Faculty of Health
    • Gordon Banks OBE – Widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest ever goalkeepers and a member of the England World Cup Winning squad in 1966.
  • Tuesday, July 7, 2.30pm – Faculty of Health
    • Dame Joan Bakewell DBE – Newspaper columnist, government appointed Voice of Older People, former TV presenter and Arts Correspondent for BBC television.
    • Esther Rantzen CBE – Well-known and highly regarded TV personality, and founder and President of Childline – a national helpline to help children in distress.
  • Wednesday, July 8, 10.30am – Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Technology (FCET)
    • Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock – A prominent space scientist who travels around the UK teaching school pupils about the wonders that are out of this world, literally.
  • Wednesday, July 8, 2.30pm - FCET
    • Bill Garrett – Since graduating from Staffordshire University in 1990, he has gone on to become the BBC’s Head of Technology.
  • Thursday, July 9, 10.30am – Business School 
    • Jonathan Wilkes – Star of stage and screen, he regularly returns to the Potteries, his home town, to tread the boards of the Regent Theatre during pantomime season and to give something back to the region.
  • Thursday, July 9, 2.30pm – Business School
    • Graham Stow – Former Group Chief Executive of the Britannia Building Society, retiring Chair of Staffordshire University’s Board of Governors and tireless ambassador for the county.
  • Friday, July 10, 10.30am – Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    • Nitin Sawhney – Nitin Sawhney is widely regarded as one of the most influential and versatile creative talents on the music scene, with 17 awards, eight studio albums and more than 40 film scores.
    • Jackie Ashley – Her journalism career has spanned television, radio and newspapers, and she now writes a weekly column and blog for one of the UK’s biggest national dailies, the Guardian.
    • Andrew Marr – One of the UK’s best-known political journalists, former national newspaper editor and now presenter of his own weekly TV show.
  • Friday, July 10, 2.30pm – Faculty of Arts, Media and Design
    • The Lord Wedgwood of Barlaston – Lord Piers Wedgwood is a direct descendent of Josiah Wedgwood, the 18th century “father of pottery” and an authority on the art and industry of English pottery making.
    • Tony Pulis – Stoke City Football Club manager, who took his team to the Premiership, maintained their top flight status and who will be leading The Potters over the coming competition.


Maria Scrivens
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