Image of the Liverpool Cathedral

Honorary Fellows 2014

Deborah Aydon

For outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts

Executive Director Deborah is one half of the team which has run Liverpool’s much-loved Everyman and Playhouse theatres for over a decade. 

Together with Gemma Bodinetz, she has helped to rebuilt the theatres’ national and international reputation through a consistently-acclaimed programme which features artists of the highest calibre as well as new commissions, collaborations and transfers. 

The development of talent has been central to this programme, and the theatres’ youth and outreach programmes are viewed as national exemplars. The Everyman re-opened in early 2014 to rave reviews after a huge re-build and subsequently received the RIBA Stirling Prize 2014, RIBA National Award and the RIBA North West Award.

You can read the oration for Deborah Aydon presented by Roger Phillips here

John Bishop

For outstanding contribution to the arts and the promotion of social causes

John is a Liverpool comedian and actor, known for his charity work. He was working as a sales rep until 2006 when he left his job to become a full-time comedian. Within three years he was playing to sold-out arenas. As part of his charity work, John raised £4.2m for Sport Relief 2012 when he cycled, rowed and ran from Paris to London, with training support from LJMU’s Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science, Greg Whyte. 

John has also competed in numerous charity football matches including Soccer Aid and in 2014, he once again took part in Sport Relief as a team captain for the Clash of the Titans event where he competed against Sebastian Coe and his team. In 2014 he also donated £96,000 to the Hillsborough Family Support Group after being moved by personal statements delivered by the victims’ families at their inquests.

You can read the oration for John Bishop presented by Professor Greg Whyte here

Gemma Bodinetz

For outstanding contribution to the dramatic arts 

Artistic Director Gemma is one half of the team which has run Liverpool’s much-loved Everyman and Playhouse theatres for over a decade. 

Together with Deborah Aydon, she has helped to rebuilt the theatres’ national and international reputation through a consistently-acclaimed programme which features artists of the highest calibre as well as new commissions, collaborations and transfers. 

The development of talent has been central to this programme, and the theatres’ youth and outreach programmes are viewed as national exemplars. The Everyman re-opened in early 2014 to rave reviews after a huge re-build and subsequently received the RIBA Stirling Prize 2014, RIBA National Award and the RIBA North West Award.

You can read the oration for Gemma Bodinetz presented by Roger Phillips here

Jonathan Falkingham MBE

For services to entrepreneurship and regeneration

Jonathan is Creative Director and co-founder of award-winning property company Urban Splash. Founded in Liverpool, the company now operates nationally and has gained over 350 awards for design, architecture and urban renewal. Jonathan has a longstanding commitment to good architecture; he is a former lecturer at LJMU and the University of Liverpool, a Trustee of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and in 2013 he was awarded an MBE for services to architecture and regeneration. 

He founded Urban Splash in 1993 with LJMU Honorary Fellow Tom Bloxham MBE, a partnership which transformed some of Liverpool’s key areas; most notably Ropewalks and the former Bryant and May factory in Speke, now home to a multitude of businesses. Showing his adaptability for design, he regenerated a 17th century farmhouse to create his new home which was awarded a RIBA Excellence Award in 2005 and shortlisted for the RIBA/ Manser Medal.

You can read the oration for Jonathan Falkingham presented by Tom Bloxham here

Karen Gallagher MBE

For outstanding services to dance

Karen is the Artistic Director of MDI, one of the UK’s leading strategic dance organisations, whose mission is ‘inspiring people through dance.’ Based in Liverpool, MDI supports dance artists through a professional development programme and aims to reach people who might not traditionally get involved in dance, including people living with asthma and dementia. Karen is known for her dedicated and outstanding work in the field of dance in Merseyside and was awarded an MBE for her services to dance in 2012.

You can read the oration for Karen Gallagher presented by Dr Edward Harcourt here

Darren Henley OBE

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to arts and culture

Darren is the Managing Director of Classic FM. His two independent government reviews into music and cultural education resulted in the creation of England’s first National Plan for Music Education, new networks of Music Education Hubs and Heritage Schools, the BFI Film Academy and the new National Youth Dance Company.

Darren has worked with LJMU through its partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to broadcast Classic FM live from the University, as part of the Liverpool International Music Festival, opening up exciting cultural experiences for its students and the city.

You can read the oration for Darren Henley presented by Vasily Petrenko here

Rodney Holmes

For services to the regeneration of the Liverpool City Region

As Retail Projects Director with Grosvenor, Rodney was responsible for the £1 billion Liverpool ONE regeneration project which, since it opened during Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year in 2008, has won numerous national and international awards, including being shortlisted for the 2009 RIBA Stirling Prize. 

After retiring from Grosvenor, he chaired the economic development agency The Mersey Partnership, where he oversaw its merger into the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). He is a member of the LEP Advisory Council, a trustee of the Everyman and Playhouse Theatres Trust, director of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board and director of The North West Fund.

You can read the oration for Rodney Holmes presented by Professor Robin Leatherbarrow here

Paul McGann

In recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts

Paul is a Liverpool-born actor and a member of the legendary Liverpool family, ‘The McGann Brothers’ who have all established successful careers in acting. He studied at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and has enjoyed an illustrious career. Highlights include The Monocled Mutineer, appearing alongside Richard E.Grant in the student cult film Withnail and I, and becoming the eighth Dr Who

It was his role in The Monocled Mutineer which sparked Paul’s continuing interest in the Great War, and led him to meet soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Somme, including Harry Patch. He is the public face of LJMU’s Merseyside at War 1914-18 project, which provides local people with the chance to upload family war histories to an online archive.

You can read the oration for Paul McGann presented by Lynette Beardwood here

Ian Meadows OBE

Ian is the Chairman and Chief Executive of R S Clare & Co Ltd, Liverpool’s oldest manufacturer, founded in 1748. Over a career of 40 years in Liverpool, Ian has been involved in crime prevention, regeneration, trade associations and community affairs.

He has received a number of accolades including an OBE for services to industry and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. He was Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside in 2003 and Honorary Colonel in 2006.

You can read the Oration for Ian Meadows presented by Dame Lorna Muirhead here

Sir Jon Murphy

In recognition of his exceptional services to policing and community relations

Sir Jon Murphy is the former Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, playing a key role in the continued delivery of local policing and meeting the needs of the community. He has been commended on 14 occasions and was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in 2007 and knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to policing.

He has worked with the University to develop the annual LJMU Chief Constable Lecture series, providing a fly-on-the-wall account of life as a Chief Constable running one of the UK’s largest and most diverse police forces.

You can read the oration for Sir Jon Murphy presented by Roy Morris here

Tom Murphy

For outstanding contribution to art and design

A Liverpool artist, Tom has created more than 30 of Liverpool’s iconic sculptures. His work includes the Liverpool city centre Hillsborough Memorial, the Blitz Memorial, Noel Chavasse and the Liverpool VCs Memorial, Bill Shankly at Liverpool Football Club and Dixie Dean for Everton. 

A former lecturer, Tom’s work is known internationally, particularly his statue of John Lennon at Liverpool John Lennon Airport. He was also commissioned to produce two sculptures for LJMU of Chancellor Henry Cotton and Sir John Moores. Tom’s sculptures of Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock at Lime Street Station were joined in 2014 by a 30ft-long memorial frieze for The Liverpool Pals Regiment. Also an accomplished painter, Tom has painted several key Merseyside figures including the official retirement portrait of John Moores Jr.

You can read the oration for Tom Murphy presented by Professor Roger Webster here

Kate Richardson-Walsh

For outstanding contribution to sport

Kate is a triple Olympian, who has competed at the Sydney, Beijing and London Olympic Games. She has captained the England and Great Britain Hockey Team for ten years, securing a total of 313 caps. After the London Olympics, Kate was elected onto the British Olympic Association (BOA) Athletes’ Commission, created to bring the perspective and expertise of athletes to the many initiatives and programmes operated by the BOA. 

More recently she was elected onto the European Athletes Commission where her role is to represent the ‘athlete’s’ voice.’ Kate also gives regular inspirational talks to LJMU students on the importance of gaining the right professional skills to work within the highly competitive sports sector.

You can read the oration for Kate Richardson-Walsh presented by Professor Phil Vickerman here

Sir Ken Robinson

For outstanding commitment to education

Sir Ken is a Liverpool-born author, speaker and international adviser on education in the arts to government, non-profit education and arts bodies. He was director of the Arts in Schools project (1985–89) which worked with over 2,000 teachers, artists and influenced the formulation of the National Curriculum in England. 

He was chairman of All Our Futures: Creativity, Culture and Education, the report of the National Advisory Committee for Creative and Cultural Education and the central figure in developing Unlocking Creativity, the strategy for creativity in education and business in the peace process in Northern Ireland. A popular speaker at TED conferences, he has given three presentations on the role of creativity in education, viewed via the TED website over 20 million times. He speaks to audiences throughout the world on the creative challenges facing business and education in the new global economies. He was knighted in 2003 for services to education.

You can read the oration for Sir Ken Robinson presented by Dr Edward Harcourt here

Dominique Walker

In recognition of her work celebrating and empowering community diversity

Dominique is an LJMU graduate, serving police officer and sister of the late Anthony Walker. With her family she established the Anthony Walker Foundation (AWF), which works to prevent youth involvement in hate crime by working with young people across racial groups to enable them to feel secure in their identity and empowered to welcome and celebrate diversity in their communities. 

As Dominique climbs the ranks at the Merseyside Force, she has voiced her ambitions to become the country’s first black female chief constable, after seeing the positive way the force handled her brother’s murder case.

You can read the oration for Dominique Walker presented by Mark Power here