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Honorary graduates

We award honorary degrees to people who can inspire our students and graduates and who have achieved distinction in a field relevant to our University.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2022

Honorary degrees awarded in 2021

Nihad Alihodzic is Head of the Declaration Assessment Team for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Robert Barrow MBE DL was the CEO and Chairman of SurfControl, a pioneering software development company he founded.
Darren Birt is a director of FHL Cloud Solutions, an award-winning provider of NetSuite, and a partner at RSM UK.
Paul Farmer OBE has been the Managing Director of Wade Ceramics for over 20 years.
David Gage MBE DL was a member of the Staffordshire University Board of Governors for 10 years, including Chair for 4 years.
Jeremy Lefroy was MP for Stafford from 2010 to 2019, when he championed vital local services and job creation.
Professor Mark Radford CBE PhD RN is the Chief Nurse for Health Education England and Deputy Chief Nursing Officer.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, no honorary degrees were awarded in 2020.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2019

Director and Head of Design at MAKE International, an expert ceramicist with over three decades of experience.
Daniel Flynn is the Chief Executive of YMCA North Staffordshire.
Kieron Gillen is an award-winning comic book writer and former computer games journalist.
Julie Harrington is the Chief Executive of British Cycling and former Group Operations Director at the Football Association.
Alun Rogers is Co-Founder and Director of risual, a Microsoft technology business based in Stafford.
Olwyn Silvester is an Emmy and BAFTA award winning producer and MD of Bedlam, an independent production company.
Angela Smith is a former British and world squash champion, founder of WISPA, and chair of Stoke City FC's Supporters Council.
Martin Tideswell is Editor-in-Chief of The Sentinel, StokeonTrentLive, the Staffordshire Newsletter and Post & Times series.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2018

Sinéad Butters MBE is the Group Chief Executive of Aspire Housing, which incorporates PM Training and Realise charity.
Kate Davies OBE is NHS England’s National Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Referral Centres.
Kevin Godley is a musician and drummer for rock band 10cc, and a music video director who has worked with a multitude of bands.
Gareth Higgins MBE is the Group Managing Director of KMF; Precision sheet metal fabrication and engineering solutions.
Dr Tristram Hunt is the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum; Former MP and former Shadow Secretary of State for Education.
Deborah McAndrew is co-founder and Creative Director at Stoke-on-Trent based Claybody Theatre Company and former guest lecturer.
Dr Alastair Williamson is Associate Clinical Lead at WMPSC and Consultant Anaesthetist at Good Hope Hospital.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2017

Dame Laura Kenny DBE is the most successful British female Olympian ever, winning five gold medals at three Olympic Games.
Nigel Meadows is Senior Coroner for Manchester and former Coroner for Plymouth and South West Devon.
Carol and Kevin Shanahan founded Synectics Solutions together over 25 years ago and now with an annual turnover in excess of £18m.
Dr Ruth Thompson had a vibrant career: 30-years civil service, Director-General for HE, Governor of Staffordshire University.
Ruby Wax OBE is a comedian, writer, and mental health campaigner.
Sarah Willingham is an entrepreneur, investor and finance expert from Stoke-on-Trent, and a Dragon on BBC2 TV show Dragons’ Den.
Levison Wood is an author, explorer, photographer, former British army officer and journalist.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2016

Kirsty Bertarelli is a songwriter, singer, model and former Miss UK, wife of businessman Ernesto Bertarelli, and mother to three.
Steve Burgin was Vice President for GE Power in Europe and now a Pro Chancellor of Staffordshire University.
John Caudwell is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and lead businessman; Co-founder of Phones4U and Founder of Caudwell Chlidren.
Mike Gamble is European Territory Manager for leading games and technology creator Epic Games.
Charlotte Higgins is chief culture writer for The Guardian and a member of the editorial board.
Fred Hughes is a Stoke-on-Trent writer and historian, a former politician, a retired police officer and ex-soldier.
Ros Kerslake OBE was Chief Executive of The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, and now Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Clive Myrie is a television news journalist, BBC World Affairs Correspondent and Presenter on BBC News.
Theo Paphitis runs a business empire spanning retail, property, finance and more; Spent nine series on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2015

Dr Russell Bromley's vibrant career path has ranged from fMOD, NPL, ICL, Gylling (Sweden) and Cambridge Electronic Industries plc.
Rev Steve Chalke MBE is an author, TV and radio presenter, businessman, social entrepreneur and ordained Baptist Minister.
Simon Clarke's career took him from agriculture, to a major property business and an appointment as High Sheriff of Staffordshire.
Liz Earle is a bestselling author, broadcaster, ethical entrepreneur, and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing.
Theresa Heskins is the Artistic Director of Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre and a writer for BBC Radio.
Mick has been Vice President of Sony CE's UK studios and Studio Director of London Studio, BigBIG Studio and Evolution Studios.
Owen Jones is known for his work as a political commentator, broadcaster, author, campaigner and columnist.
Ian Mackinnon is a Creative Director / Executive Producer and co-founder of Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd; Creations seen worldwide.
Mackinnon & Saunders is one of the world’s leading companies in character development and stop-motion puppet-making
Chris is a branding expert and founder of the Totally Locally movement, and The Good Company.
Peter Saunders is a Creative Director / Executive Producer and co-founder of Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd; Creations seen worldwide.
Patricia Wain is now Deputy Director of Nursing for South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
Peter Whelan was a playwright whose work has been performed by The Royal Shakespeare Company, the New Vic Theatre, and more.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2014

As Director of Amnesty International UK since 2000, Kate has been the prominent champion of worldwide campaigns.
Having joined Dudson in 1973, becoming Chief Executive in 1988, Ian now holds the position of Non-Executive Chairman.
Keith Hollins is the Executive Principal of four high schools in North Staffordshire and a National Leader of Education.
Kevin is a champion of UK ceramics and manufacturing having spent his entire career in the pottery industry.
Matthew Rice is a designer, painter, architectural writer, and co-founder of furniture design company David Linley Furniture

Honorary degrees awarded in 2013

Miriam Allen is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ireland’s leading film festival, The Galway Film Fleadh.
Peter started in the Fire and Rescue Service in 1982 where he began his 31 year career dedicated to making our communities safer.
Founder member of arts company B-Arts Hilary has devoted her life to empowering people through the arts.
Osman Kassim is an entrepreneur and education visionary in the development of Staffordshire University delivering HE in Sri Lanka.
Peter Rank has dedicated his life to the study and administration of Law and Justice, as an academic lawyer and barrister-at-law.
Andrew Triggs Hodge MBE is a retired British rower, a triple Olympic Gold Medallist and quadruple World Champion.
As Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments Group, Nick Varney has a global portfolio of the best known theme parks.
Born and raised in Leek, Queen of the Staffordshire Moorlands, Anna Watkins took her first rowing strokes towards Olympic Gold.
Current Chairman and CEO of Wrights Food Group, Peter Wright is developing the brand to be a major force in the food industry.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2012

Vijay Aggarwal is an entrepreneur and education visionary in the development of Staffordshire University delivering HE in India.
Denise Coates CBE is the founder and joint Chief Executive of the company Bet365; an entrepreneur and philanthropist.
From a career in law, author Hugh secured experience in business matters which became invaluable in his dealings with Moorcroft.
Alan Frankland has championed the development of counselling, psychotherapy and counselling psychology for nearly 40 years.
Dawn Gibbins MBE is a global businesswoman for services to manufacturing; and a keen philanthropist and visionary speaker.
Liz Jackson MBE an independent businesswoman, author and muse in the Modern Muse Project.
In 1989, Philip Salt became Chief Executive of Salts Healthcare, becoming 10th generation of the Salt family to take control.
Maggie Saxon is one of the country's most influential arts professionals contributing to the culture of Staffordshire.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2011

Rob Pritchard a specialist within the business technology sector, encouraging others and developing technology.
Barry Purves is an Oscar and BAFtA nominated animator and director who has worked in television, movies and theatre.
Her Majesty’s Coroner for Stoke-on-trent and North Staffordshire, Ian Stewart Smith deals with just under 4,000 deaths a year.
Philip Stimpson is an entrepreneur, who has pioneered ground-breaking medical inventions and launched international businesses.
Previously at Hanley Economic Building Society, David Webster is now the Chief Executive Officer at Douglas Macmillan Hospice.
Tony Wray was head of one of the few Midlands FtSE 100 companies, Severn Trent Plc.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2010

Emma Bridgewater Ltd has become synonymous with the world-renowned Stoke-on-Trent pottery industry.
Gill Brown has been a champion of social inclusion for over 25 years.
BAFTA award winning independent producer Natasha Carlish is a key figure in the West Midlands film industry.
Mike Greenacre is a focused individual with over 45 years of wide and varied business experience, primarily in the Travel sector.
David Kidney has been representing the views of the people of Stafford for the past 13 years as a Member of Parliament.
Nikki King OBE is the first female Managing Director of a commercial vehicle manufacturer in the UK.
Hilary Lister was a record-breaking sailor who became the first quadriplegic person to sail solo across the English Channel.
Award winning photographer Eamonn McCabe has been capturing historic moments in sport, news and music for more than 40 years.
Entrepreneur Deborah Meaden has been running her own businesses and has lead to a starring role on the show, Dragons’ Den.
Gail Narinesingh established the Institute of Law and Academic Studies (ILAS) and is the senior lecturer and principal.
Sir Kevin Satchwell, his passion for teaching remains and continues pushing educational boundaries.
Sir Tim Smit KBE co-founded the Eden Project; horticultural haven housing the largest rainforest in captivity.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2009

Dr Maggie works within the world’s third largest space company Astrium, where she heads up the optical instruments group.
Jackie Ashley’s journalism career has spanned television, radio and newspapers.
Broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell DBE shot to fame in 1965 when she joined pioneering television programme Late Night Line Up.
Gordon Banks OBE, professional footballer who played as goal keeper during the 1966 England World Cup victory.
Champion of social justice Cordella Bart-Stewart started her career in law when black solicitors were almost unheard of in the UK.
Ardent wildlife campaigner Patricia Callaghan has been a nature enthusiast since before her early days at the BBC.
Previous Head of Technology for Television Production at the BBC; Bill Garrett.
Andrew Marr has been on the political frontline, reporting on the inner workings of Westminster as a correspondent in the 1980s.
Tony Pulis has had a lucrative career in the football sector as a player and manager, including in Stoke City Football Club.
One of British television’s best-known faces, Esther Rantzen CBE, has produced, written and hosted a variety of shows.
Nitin Sawhney is widely regarded as one of the most influential and versatile creative talents on the music scene.
His Honour Judge Simon Tonking DL has been practising law since the mid 1970s and has an exceptional career.
Jonathan Wilkes is devoutly proud of his home town and regularly returns to tread the boards during panto season.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2008

Actor turned director Ken Campbell performed in numerous television roles including In Sickness and in Health and Fawlty Towers.
Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust Chief Executive Neil Carr OBE is proud of the quality care provided in Staffordshire.
Pakistani-born entrepreneur Mo Chaudry has demonstrated that with hard work and determination anything is possible.
Stoke City Football Club chairman Peter Coates is enjoying his second spell at the club.
Scottish born poet Dame Carol Ann Duffy DBE has played a major role in bringing poetry to the masses with her innovative.
Ray Edensor is affectionately known throughout the region as ‘the Running Paramedic’.
BBC journalist Alan Johnston became one of the country’s most respected reporters covering the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip.
Soprano singer Denise Leigh’s dreams became reality when she was only 16.
Dr Mike Short CBE became the first Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Joanna is one of Britain’s leading experts in green living, and specialises in helping people understand environmental principles.

Honorary degrees awarded in -2007