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Honorary graduates - summer 2014

Each year, Hull students graduate alongside remarkable individuals who are recognised for their contributions in a range of fields and activities.

Honorary doctoral degrees credit exceptional and outstanding personal achievement, stature and distinction. A continuing relationship with the University is expected and that hongrads will act as ambassadors, promoting its image and interests.

Click a name below for further information...

  1. Sheridan Smith – Ceremony 1 »

    •  Sheridan SmithDoctor of the University, honoris causa
      Monday 14 July 2014, 1.30pm


      Sheridan Smith is a multi-award winning actress with a career in television, film and theatre spanning more than a decade. Sheridan made her television debut in 1999 alongside Phil Jupitus and Alistair McGowan in the ITV comedy Dark Ages, followed by an appearance in the hugely popular BBC series The Royle Family. But it was her starring role in the sitcom Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps that brought her to the public’s attention. Other major comedy appearances include the award-winning Gavin and Stacey, Love Soup and Benidorm.

      But while comedy may have been the launch pad, Sheridan has received plaudits for her more dramatic television roles. In 2013, she was named Best Actress at the BAFTA TV Awards for her part in the acclaimed Mrs Biggs, while other television highlights include The Scapegoat, Dates and the much talked about The 7:39, in which she starred alongside David Morrissey and Olivia Colman.

      Following her stage debut as Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods, Sheridan has received a host of awards for her work in the theatre. She was nominated for an Olivier Award for her starring role in the Little Shop of Horrors before scooping the actual prize, along with a WhatsOnStage.com award, for Best Actress in the hit West End production, Legally Blonde, The Musical. Her performance as Doris in Trevor Nunn’s Flare Path earned her another Olivier Award along with an Evening Standard Theatre Award, while her portrayal of the anti-heroine in Hedda Gabler at the Old Vic was rewarded with the 2013 WhatsOnStage.com Best Actress Award. The performance led the Evening Standard to hail her as ‘the greatest theatre star of her generation’. Sheridan is also no stranger to the big screen, featuring in the films Hysteria and the gritty UK thriller Tower Block. More recently, Dustin Hoffman asked her to join the cast of Quartet alongside several big-name stars of British film, theatre and television including Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Pauline Collins and Billy Connelly. Her most recent work includes a starring role in ITV’s three part biopic of Cilla Black, simply entitled Cilla.
  2. Katherine Bellingham – Ceremony 2 »

    •  Katherine BellinghamDoctor of Science, honoris causa
      Monday 14 July 2014, 4.30pm


      Kate Bellingham spent her first 18 years in Pocklington, East Yorkshire and attended The Mount School in York. She has had what is best described as a ‘portfolio’ career. With a degree in physics, MSc in electronics and Qualified Teacher Status, she has worked as a computer programmer, broadcast engineer, TV and radio presenter (including BBC’s ‘Tomorrow’s World’), maths teacher, National Careers Coordinator for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), host and speaker at corporate events, and is currently Director of STEM Innovation for the Gazelle Colleges Group. Kate is patron of WISE, President of Young Engineers, President of the University of Hertfordshire Alumni Association and a volunteer STEM Ambassador.

      An active member of her local amateur theatre company both on and off stage, Kate also performs with local choirs and opera groups. She has recently appeared in Guys and Dolls, Humble Boy and Verdi’s Macbeth. Kate is a passionate lifelong learner; some people take a career break when they start a family, Kate took an MSc in Electronic Communication Systems. She recently restarted singing lessons, and passed her Grade 8 Singing in 2012. Kate is married to an engineer and they live in Hertfordshire with their two teenage children.
  3. Professor Christopher Secombes – Ceremony 3 »

    •  Professor Christopher SecombesDoctor of Science, honoris causa
      Tuesday 15 July 2014, 10.30am


      Chris Secombes was born in London and brought up in Hertfordshire. He obtained a degree in Zoology at the University of Leeds before moving to Hull to undertake PhD studies in fish immunology, a subject he continues to pursue. Following a period at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands on a NATO fellowship, he was appointed to a position at the University of Aberdeen, where he has worked ever since.

      In 2003, he established the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, and has been instrumental in securing its position as global leader for fish health research, supporting the growing aquaculture industry in the UK. He has published more than 350 research papers in his field.

      In 2001, he became head of the Zoology Department, and then Head of the School of Biological Sciences, a position he held for nine years. In 2004, he was appointed to the Established Chair of Zoology at Aberdeen, and in 2014 to the Regius Chair of Natural History. He is a past President of the International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology, and in 2013 was given honorary life membership of the International Society of Fish & Shellfish Immunology. In 1998, he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Biology, and in 2007 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE). In the same year he was awarded the RSE Alexander Ninian Bruce prize for ‘his outstanding contribution to our understanding of the immune system of fish, particularly salmonids’.
  4. Kevin O’Hare – Ceremony 4 »

    •  Kevin O’HareDoctor of the University, honoris causa
      Tuesday 15 July 2014, 1.30pm


      Kevin O’Hare was born in Yorkshire. Having started dancing at an early age, he trained at The Royal Ballet School from the age of 11 and, through an exchange programme, at the Royal Danish Ballet. On graduating, he joined Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet under the direction of Peter Wright and was promoted to Principal in 1990 at the same time as the company relocated to Birmingham, becoming Birmingham Royal Ballet.

      Performing across the UK and worldwide, he danced all the leading classical roles including Siegfried, Florimund, Albrecht and Romeo (in the first performance of Kenneth MacMillan’s new production of Romeo and Juliet for BRB), and created the role of Amynta in David Bintley’s fulllength Sylvia. He also danced in major works by Ashton, Balanchine, Cranko, MacMillan, Van Manen, Tharp and Tudor. During his performing career he worked with Frederick Ashton, Ninette de Valois, Kenneth MacMillan, David Bintley and Peter Wright, among others, as well as creating many roles.

      He has made guest appearances with companies all over the world, and produced many galas and choreographic evenings. He retired from dancing in 2000 to work with the RSC, training in company management. He returned to BRB as Company Manager in 2001 and joined The Royal Ballet as Company Manager in 2004. He was appointed Administrative Director in 2009 and Director in July 2012.
  5. The Reverend Ronald Corp OBE – Ceremony 5 »

    •  The Reverend Ronald Corp OBEDoctor of Music, honoris causa
      Tuesday 15 July 2014, 4.30pm


      Ronald Corp is the founder and Artistic Director of the New London Orchestra and the New London Children’s Choir, and also Musical Director of the London Chorus and the Highgate Choral Society. He has worked widely with British Orchestras and the BBC Singers and further afield with orchestras in Europe and with the Cape Philharmonic. Among an extensive discography with the NLO are award-winning Hyperion discs of British Light Music Classics and an acclaimed recording of Rutland Boughton’s opera, The Queen of Cornwall. Other recordings include music by Virgil Thomson, Satie, Milhaud and John Foulds.

      His compositions include large and small choral works (including the cantata And all the trumpets sounded and the unaccompanied choral work Dhammapada), a children’s opera The Ice Mountain, three string quartets, The Yellow Wallpaper, a piano concerto, a symphony and two extended song cycles with instrumental accompaniment Songs of the Elder Sisters and Lullaby for a Lost Soul, all of which are on disc. His experience and expertise in choral directing are crystallised in the textbook, The Choral Singer's Companion.

      He is Deputy Chairman of the charity Help Musicians, Vice-President of the Sullivan Society and a patron of the Oundle International Festival, the Chantry Dance Company and the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music. He was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours List 2012.
  6. Professor Nigel Smith – Ceremony 7 »

    •  Professor Nigel SmithDoctor of Letters, honoris causa
      Wednesday 16 July 2014, 1.30pm


      Nigel Smith is William and Annie S. Paton Foundation Professor of Ancient and Modern Literature at Princeton University. He was previously at Oxford University and is a graduate of the University of Hull (English and History, 1980). He has taught and published mostly on 17th-century literature and his work is interdisciplinary by inclination and training. Much of his time in the last 25 years has been invested in the study of Andrew Marvell (1621–78), poet, politician, Holderness native and MP for Hull. He is the author of Andrew Marvell: The Chameleon (2010) and edited the Longman Annotated English Poets edition of Andrew Marvell's Poems (2003).

      His other major works are Is Milton better than Shakespeare? (2008), Literature and Revolution in England, 1640–1660 (1994) and Perfection Proclaimed: Language and Literature in English Radical Religion, 1640–1660 (1989). The State and Literary Production in Early Modern Europe (forthcoming) compares English with literatures in other European languages in the context of political transformation, 1500–1700. He is also writing a book about the relationship between words and music, which grows in part from song writing, with Paul Muldoon and the musical collective Wayside Shrines.

      He lives in Princeton, NJ and New York, but frequently visits his home country.
  7. Professor Kerry Turner CBE – Ceremony 7 »

    •  Professor Kerry Turner CBEDoctor of Science, honoris causa
      Thursday 17 July 2014, 10.30am


      Kerry Turner was born in South Wales and attended Aberdare Grammar School. He studied Economics at Swansea and the University of Leicester and qualified with a Cert Ed at Cardiff University. His first job was teaching Economics at John Leggott College, North Lincolnshire before going on to higher education posts at Coventry University, the University of Leicester, University College London, and the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.

      Since the mid 1970s, he has sought to develop the interdisciplinary interface between environmental/ecological economics and the natural sciences (writing more than 300 publications), and investigating a range of issues from waste management and pollution control to climate change and marine and coastal management (in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Hull). He has also helped to establish several ESRC funded research centres, and was Director of the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment at UEA for 16 years.

      He has combined his academic career with other work in the public and private sectors. He was a Board Member of the National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency) and Chair of the Broads National Park Equivalent Authority, as well serving on and chairing numerous international and national environmental policy committees, most recently as Co-Chair of the National Ecosystem Assessment initiative (2013‒14). In 2000 he was awarded a CBE for services to sustainable development.
  8. Darren Henley OBE – Ceremony 9 »

    •  Darren Henley OBEDoctor of Letters, honoris causa
      Thursday 17July 2014, 1.30pm


      Darren Henley is the Managing Director of Global Radio's national classical music station, Classic FM. The author of two independent government reviews into music and cultural education and 25 books about classical music, he chairs the government’s Cultural Education Board and the Mayor of London’s Music Education Advisory Group. He is a member of the governing body of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a Vice President of the Canterbury Festival.

      Darren studied politics at the University of Hull, graduating 20 years ago. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, of the Radio Academy and of the London College of Music; an Honorary Fellow of Canterbury Christ Church University and of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance; an Honorary Member of the Royal Northern College of Music and of the Incorporated Society of Musicians; and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

      His radio work has been honoured by the Radio Academy Awards, the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, the New York International Radio Festival, the Grammy Awards, the Classic Brit Awards, the Royal Philharmonic Society and the United Nations. The recipient of the Sir Charles Groves Prize for 'his outstanding contribution to British music', he was appointed an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to music.
  9. Dr Peter Morgan, MBE – Ceremony 12 / Scarborough Ceremony 2 »

    •  Dr Peter Morgan, MBEDoctor of Science, honoris causa
      Friday 18 July 2014, 2.30pm


      Peter Roger Morgan was born in 1943 Wellingborough, UK. He graduated from the University of Hull with a BSc in Zoology in 1964 and a PhD in Marine Biology in 1968. On leaving Hull in 1968, Dr Morgan spent two years as a Research Fellow in Limnology at University of Malawi. In 1972 he began work as Medical Research Officer and Advisor for the Ministry of Health at the Blair Research Laboratory, Zimbabwe, a position he held for 20 years. In 1993 he took up his current post of Director of Aquamor, Pvt. Ltd, a not for profit company working in the rural water supply and sanitation sector in Zimbabwe.

      Dr Morgan has developed many innovations linked to environmental and public health, which now serve millions of people in the African sub-region and elsewhere. These include the Blair VIP toilet (known internationally as the VIP), the Blair Pump, Bucket Pump and the ‘B’ Type Bush Pump, which has been the national standard hand pump in Zimbabwe since 1989. He researched and initiated the Upgraded Family Well ‘self-supply’ programme in Zimbabwe, and his further studies in ecological sanitation led to simplified methods of recycling human excreta, including toilet systems known as the Arborloo and Fossa alterna.

      Dr Morgan has also received a number of prestigious awards. He was awarded the Zimbabwe Scientific Association Gold Medal in 1983, and three years later received the International Inventors Award, Stockholm. In 1991 he became an MBE for his major contribution to the field of water sanitation and drinking water supply in developing countries. Six years later he received the Paul Harris Fellow, presented by The Rotary Foundation, and in 2009 was presented with the Water AfricaSan Award for Technical Innovation in Sanitation from the African Ministers' Council.

      More recently, Dr Morgan received the 2012 Rural Water Supply Network Award for Lifetime Services to Rural Water Supply, and in 2013 he was named the Stockholm Water Prize Laureate for his work protecting the health and lives of millions of people through improved sanitation and water technologies.

      Dr Morgan is married with two children. His interests include sailing, photography and DIY.
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