Lady Ann Fender DL (posthumous)

Lady Ann was a member of the Council of Lichfield Cathedral and Deputy Chair of Staffordshire University's Board of Governors. A well respected figure in Staffordshire business and industry circles, Lady Ann served as a member of the University's Board of Governors for over ten years.

Lady Ann - who died following a short illness last year - began her career at Ridgway Potteries in the 1960s where she worked as assistant to the marketing manager.

During a 20 year employment with pottery giant Royal Doulton, she rose to become its Corporate Communications Director, building exceptional contacts and playing a major role in the worldwide promotion of the brand.

She remained there until 1997 and used her experience and insight to help bring a better understanding of industry by MP's as a member of the Board of Management of the Industry and Parliament Trust of which she was a Fellow.

Outside of industry, Lady Ann was also well known – serving three years as Chairman of Beth Johnson Housing Association (2004-2007). She was also a non-executive director of North Staffordshire and South Cheshire Radio (Signal), a Tax Commissioner and a Stoke-on-Trent magistrate.

At the time of her death, Lady Ann was a member of the Council of Lichfield Cathedral, a Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and a Trustee of the Commemorative Collectors Society Museum. She also served the University's Board of Governors as Deputy Chair since 2009 and her award is in recognition of her unstinting service to Staffordshire University; for her friendship and support and to acknowledge her greater contribution to the county of Staffordshire.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Gunn said: "I found Ann to be a great critical friend. She made a real difference to the University and is sadly missed. However we are delighted to be bestowing this honour in her memory."

Her widower, Sir Brian Fender said: "Ann much valued her role as a Governor. A recent graduate herself of the Open University, she believed very strongly in the value of Higher Education and particularly in the focus on people and excellence promoted by Staffordshire University."

I am extremely proud to receive this honorary degree on Ann's behalf. A posthumous award is a special tribute. She was a friend to many in all walks of life and was always committed to helping others without thought of reward. She would however have treasured, as I do, this recognition.

Sir Brian Fender

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