Honorary Fellows 2007
John Agyekum Kufuor
For services to democracy
John Kufuor was a founder of Ghana’s New Patriotic Party and in 2000 ran his second campaign for Presidency. Despite gaining the most votes he did not have a majority, however he won a later runoff election and in 2001 began his first term as President. His inauguration marked the first peaceful transfer of power between democratically-elected governments since Ghanaian independence in 1957. He spent his first year in office concentrating his efforts on the national economy.
Though unemployment and inflation remained high, the national currency stabilised, and investment in the country increased. After being re- elected in 2004 with over 52% of the vote, he visited many countries to build stronger ties with the international community. He stepped down from office upon the end of his second term. He served as Chair of the African Union from 2007 to 2008.
Stephen Binns MBE
For outstanding contribution to history
Community historian Stephen is one of Liverpool’s most outstanding ambassadors for the city’s heritage and tourism industry. His now legendary tours began in 1990 and he has since acquired a formidable knowledge of the city’s history. His work was first recognised by LJMU in 2003 when he was presented with a bust of his hero, William Ewart Gladstone. A year later he received an MBE in recognition of his contribution to heritage.
Read the oration for Stephen Binns.
Rebecca Burke-Sharples CBE
For services to nursing and healthcare management
Rebecca’s career in the NHS spans several decades. During the early 1990’s she made a significant contribution to the national policy focusing on nursing standards for paediatric intensive care in the report Bridge to the Future. In 1997, Rebecca was asked to be a member of the panel that undertook the inquiry at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the then largest, independent public inquiry undertaken by the NHS.
Read the oration for Rebecca Burke-Sharples.
Sir David Clarke
For services to the legal profession and in particular the criminal justice system in Liverpool
Sir David has been involved in a number of high profile cases, one of which saw him in the role of Leading Counsel for the Inquiry into the Guildford and Woolwich Pub bombings. This investigative role involved the scrutiny of fellow professionals and a major miscarriage of justice.
Appointed Circuit Court Judge in Merseyside, Sir David was then elected Honorary Recorder of Liverpool in 1997, the second oldest office in the City after the Mayor. The role provides the link between judges and the court managers, with the responsibility for the smooth running of the courts. He was appointed as a High Court Judge in 2003.
Read the oration for Sir David Clarke.
For services to supported housing and mental health services
Matthew is founder and former Chief Executive of the Alternative Group, a Huyton-based charity offering community-based care, support, housing and training for people with severe learning disabilities and enduring mental health needs. A former teacher and social worker, Matthew’s career has been driven by his commitment to improving the lives of people marginalised by contemporary society.
Read the oration for Matthew Clarke.
For outstanding contribution to the building and construction industry
LJMU alumnus and former Trustee, Brian Corfe is a former Director of the Takenaka Corporation, the world’s fifth largest design and construction group. Closer to home, his influence extends across Merseyside, through his involvement with Balfour Beatty and as President of the Liverpool Branch of the Building Employers Confederation and former Director of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.
In 2003 he established LJMU’s Brian Corfe and Birchen House Group Prizes for the most improved final year students in architecture, real estate management, construction management and civil engineering.
Read the oration for Brian Corfe.
Paul Heathcote MBE
For services to the food industry
At the age of 29 Paul opened his eponymous restaurant in Longridge, Preston. Within two years he had been awarded his first Michelin and Egon Ronay stars along with The Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year. Within a week of the restaurant’s second anniversary, he was nominated Newcomer of the Year in the Catey Awards. In the same year the Charles Heidsieck Champagne Guide voted Paul Heathcote’s as ‘one of the best restaurants in the world.’
The 1994 Egon Ronay Guide awarded Paul Chef of the Year and Michelin gave him a second star, an accolade bestowed on only eight restaurants in the UK. Paul has two restaurants; his original Olive Press Preston serving Italian grills, pizza and pasta, and Heathcotes Brasserie cooking French and British cuisine.
Read the oration for Paul Heathcote.
Rt Revd Dr Rupert Hoare
For outstanding contribution to inter-faith relations in Liverpool
The former Dean of the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral is one of Liverpool’s most prominent religious figures. He served as Dean from February 2000 until retiring in 2007. He played a key role in the development of the Cathedral’s new visitor centre and in drawing together many different groups from across the city, the community and even internationally.
His life-long work in large cities has given him a keen interest in urban regeneration, exemplified by his leadership role in the former Liverpool Partnership Group.
Read the oration for Rt Revd Dr Rupert Hoare.
For outstanding contribution to the building and construction industry
As a leading Financial Services Consultant, Tom has worked with many large banks, retailers and governments around the world advocating the development of improved customer services. In 1996, he developed the world’s first supermarket bank for Sainsbury, a format since copied by many leading brands.
Acting on his advice, the Department for Work and Pensions introduced a user-friendly telephone service for customers while many former Eastern Bloc regimes restructured their central banking services to adopt more western-style operations.
Read the oration for Tom Jenkins.
Dr Brian May CBE
For services to the public understanding of science
With a musical career spanning four decades, Brian May, a founding member of Queen, is a world-renowned guitarist, songwriter, musical director and producer. Before his musical career went stratospheric, Brian was an accomplished astronomy student.
His interest in the stars never waned and he co-authored Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, with Sir Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott. He completed his PhD in 2007 and became Chancellor of LJMU in 2008, completing his term in office in 2013. He was appointed a CBE in 2005 for services to the music industry and charity work.
Read the oration for Dr Brian May.
For services to the performing arts
David has starred in some of the best TV dramas of recent times, including the Bafta-nominated State of Play, Blackpool and The Driver. Born in Liverpool, his passion for acting was fuelled by The Everyman Youth Theatre and his big break came at the age of 17 when he starred in Willy Russell’s television series, One Summer.
After graduating from RADA, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre before swapping the stage for roles on screen. He has appeared in numerous films, such as Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Hilary and Jackie and The Reaping. He has directed and co-produced numerous television dramas and films and is co-founder of Tubedale Films, a Liverpool and London-based production company.
Read the oration for David Morrissey.
For services to sport
After his performances in Athens 2004, Steve became one of the most successful British swimmers of all time. He finished ahead of Michael Phelps in the semi-final of the 200m Butterfly race, becoming one of only three people in the world to beat him. In the final Steve finished in Bronze Medal position with a British and Commonwealth record time. Steve was also the GB Swimming Team captain. As well as his Olympic Medal Steve has also won World and European Championship Medals and three Commonwealth Medals.
Steve enjoys huge success with his business, Total Swimming, through which he shares his knowledge and supports young swimmers which he uses to support the Olympic stars of the future. Following its success, Steve has been able to set up Total Gymnastics with LJMU Honorary fellow Beth Tweddle under the same remit and this continues to grow in strength.
Read the oration for Steve Parry.
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales
For services to charity, education and the environment
His Royal Highness is President of The Prince’s Charities. This group of not-for-profit organisations is the largest multi-cause charitable enterprise in the United Kingdom, raising over £100 million annually. The organisations are active across a broad range of areas including education and young people, environmental sustainability, the built environment and responsible business and enterprise.
The charities reflect The Prince of Wales’s long-term and innovative perspective, and seek to address areas of previously unmet need. These interests are also reflected in the list of more than 400 other organisations supported by Prince Charles. His interest in fields such as the built environment, global sustainability, youth opportunity, education and faith have been elaborated over many years in a large number of speeches and articles.
Sir John Skehel
For services to medicine
Sir John, a Visiting Professor in LJMU’s School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, spent decades researching the influenza virus. As the Director of the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research, he led the team that first deciphered the molecular detail of how the flu virus latches on to and infects a cell, and subsequently how the virus evolves to stay one step ahead of the immune system.
More recently, Sir John led a team of scientists in mapping the structure of the flu strain responsible for the 1918 pandemic, which globally killed more than 20 million people. This knowledge could provide valuable clues in determining whether new variants of the virus have killer potential.
Read the oration for Sir John Skehel.
Malcolm Walker CBE
For services to business and industry
Malcolm is co-founder of the Iceland food retailing business. Since the first shop was opened in 1970, the company has expanded to over 650 stores throughout the UK. In 1984, it became a public company through one of the most successful flotations ever seen on the London Stock Exchange. Under his leadership, the company became synonymous with innovation and value-added customer service, exemplified by its free national home delivery service, and wide range of products, such as its own label range free of GM ingredients.
Read the oration for Malcolm Walker.
Commodore Rod Walker
For services to Liverpool John Moores University
Rod retired as LJMU Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors in 2007 having served as Governor for 12 years. A past chair of Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology, he served as High Sheriff of Merseyside from 1993 to 1994. He served in the Royal Naval Reserve from 1957 to 1993 from HMS Eaglet, becoming Commanding Officer 1986, and retired as Commodore RNR in 1993.
Read the oration for Commodore Rod Walker.