Some of Staffordshire’s greatest living success stories are being honoured by Staffordshire University at its award ceremonies next week.
These include top Asian entrepreneur Mo Chaudry who recently starred on television’s Secret Millionaire and Stoke City FC chairman Peter Coates whose online gambling business makes him one of the 25 richest people in British football.
Celebrated poet Carol Ann Duffy, ‘the running paramedic’ Ray Edensor, blind opera singer Denise Leigh and healthcare boss Neil Carr are among the 15 people who will become honorary Doctors of the University during awards week which takes place at Trentham Gardens beginning on Monday July 7.
National figures who have been singled out to receive the University’s top honour includes husband and wife design team Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway and BBC journalist Alan Johnston who was kidnapped during his posting on the Gaza strip.
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Christine King said: “These are outstanding people who share our values and aspirations and who have created a real difference in their respective areas.”
Around 3,000 graduates from the class of 2008 will be attending this year's ceremonies to collect their final year awards from Professor King and Staffordshire University Chancellor Lord Morris of Handsworth OJ.
Honorary recipients, in ceremony order, are:
Monday July 7 at 2.30pm
Wayne Hemingway MBE and Gerardine Hemingway MBE – Founders of the internationally famous Red or Dead fashion company before a career change which sees the entrepreneurial couple creating some of the country’s’ most stunning and awe inspiring architecture.
Joanna Yarrow – One of Britain's leading experts in green living who specialises in helping people understand environmental principles.
Tuesday July 8 at 10.30am
Mike Short – Vice President of Research and Development at Telefonica O2 Europe, he is responsible for some of the most innovative and ground breaking mobile phone services of the last 20 years.
Tuesday July 8 at 2.30pm
Wing Commander Andy Green CBE – World’s fastest man after breaking the land speed record and becoming the first man to drive at the speed of sound.
Wednesday July 9 at 10.30am
Mo Chaudry – Among the top ten Asian business people in the Midlands, this former Staffordshire University graduate is Chairman of Waterworld.
Wednesday July 9 at 2.30pm
Denise Leigh – Blind local soprano singer whose singing talents became famous during her appearance on the 2001 Channel 4 reality TV programme Operatunity.
Thursday July 10 at 10.30am
Peter Coates – Stoke City Football Club Chairman and owner of Bet365 who is amongst the top 25 richest people in British football.
Sir Philip Craven MBE – Five-times Paralympian in wheelchair basketball and swimming before taking up his current role as President of the International Paralympic Committee
Thursday July 10 at 2.30pm
Ray Edensor – The running paramedic, as he is affectionately known, has raised over £250,000 for charity while running in his paramedic suit, completing gruelling challenges including 26 marathons in 26 days.
Neil Carr OBE – Chief Executive of the South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust who advises on training programmes for doctors, psychologists, nurses, health service managers and service-user groups.
Friday July 11 at 10.30am
Helen Tse – Author, lawyer, restaurateur, violinist and visiting speaker at Staffordshire University whose bestselling book has been released in 33 countries.
Carol Ann Duffy CBE – Celebrated poet who grew up in Stafford and who has become known throughout the UK for her innovative use of the English language and playwriting ability.
Alan Johnston – Experienced BBC journalist who came to the world’s attention when he was kidnapped for four months during his posting on the Gaza Strip
Friday July 12 at 2.30pm
Ken Campbell – Internationally renowned actor and director who joined Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre in 1967 and went on to form the Ken Campbell Roadshows and the Science Fiction theatre of Liverpool. He currently runs the School of Night theatre group.
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