Honorary Fellows 2017
Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to charity and community engagement in Liverpool
Denise is the Deputy Chief Executive of Everton Football Club and an alumna of LJMU. Denise was awarded an MBE in 2014 for Services to the Community of Merseyside.
For his sustained, outstanding contribution to supporting the homeless and charity services in Liverpool
David Carter is the Chief Executive of the Whitechapel Centre, which has supported rough sleepers, people living in temporary accommodation and those at risk of becoming homeless for 20 years. The Centre was awarded the Freedom of the City in 2016 and is currently one of LJMU's corporate charities.
In his acceptance speech, David said: “I am absolutely delighted and thrilled with this honour. I was fortunate as a student to be able to explore the link between homelessness and crime though a work placement that not only helped my decision to work for the homeless but also gave me a career pathway.
Read the oration for David Carter.
Zia Chaudhry MBE
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to community and interfaith relations
The Liverpool barrister is former Chair of Merseyside Council of Faiths and Founder of the 'Just your Average Muslim project', as well as the Spirit of Cordoba project, which promotes understanding and raises awareness of Muslim history, culture and achievements. Zia was awarded an MBE for services for interfaith relations in 2015.
Addressing the graduates he said:
“I firmly believe that the greatest minds should be curing cancer, not creating conflicts…and…those who seek division are arguably on the back foot, their backtracking due in no small part to young, educated, invigorated citizens who think that it’s time to change things, and change them for the better. Those citizens are you.”
Read the oration for Zia Chaudhry MBE.
Dr Larry DeNardis
For outstanding achievement in creating transatlantic academic opportunities
“It is with great pleasure to have this honour bestowed on me and to my wife to be here with me. It is true that this 35 year friendship has led to a strong partnership between SCSU and LJMU – a partnership that will benefit countless students at both institutions for decades to come."
Read the oration for Dr Larry DeNardis.
Kevin Fearon and Gillian Miller
For their outstanding contribution to the regeneration of popular arts and culture in Liverpool
Husband and wife duo, Gillian Miller and Kevin Fearon - joint Chief Executives of the Royal Court Theatre were awarded Fellowships for their outstanding contribution to the regeneration of popular arts and culture in Liverpool.
Mark Featherstone-Witty RNOM OBE
For outstanding achievement in the creation and development of performing arts education
Mark was awarded his Fellowship for outstanding achievement in the creation and development of performing arts education. His citation was presented by Gemma Bodinetz, LJMU Honorary Fellow and Executive Director at the Liverpool Everyman.
In his acceptance speech, Mark Featherstone-Witty paid tribute to the special relationship he has with LJMU:
“This is a great day for me because it gives me the chance to thank this great Metropolitan institution… They helped me and Sir Paul (McCartney) when we came up with the idea of LIPA, to understand the world of education. LJMU also validate what we teach so the university has stayed with us through our journey as well. Nigel (Weatherill) has become an honoured friend.. .we have navigated the difficult worked of higher education together so he is a true friend, just like the university has been to LIPA.”
Canon Ruth Gould MBE
For outstanding achievement in developing arts and culture in the arts sector locally, nationally and internationally
Ruth received the Fellowship for outstanding achievement in developing arts and culture in the arts sector locally, nationally and internationally. Reflecting on when she found out about the Fellowship while recovering from a serious illness, she said: “It’s such a privilege to receive this honour… My life has been a rollercoaster and up until two weeks ago I wasn’t sure I’d recover, whilst I was off I reflected on what I’d achieved in my life… a lot was unexpected, for example this honour, which I found out I was receiving while in hospital and was so uplifting.”
Read the oration for Canon Ruth Gould MBE.
For outstanding contribution to literature
Speaking at the Ceremony, she expressed her pleasure at returning to the city of her birth and told the graduates, “Art is not created in the vacuum of imagination…we need people…we need memories…Liverpool has been my imaginative rock.” She also spoke of the tremendous architecture of the city and the expressive culture and language. Additionally, Linda talked about how Liverpool gave refuge to her grandparents and how important this was to her family, and how she has explored identity and belonging in her writing. She concluded by saying to the students, “The spirit of Liverpool will stay with you for the rest of your lives.”
Read the oration for Linda Grant.
Dr Ulrich Hoppe
For outstanding contribution to European business cooperation
“I feel truly honoured having been given this HF by LJMU today and we have had strong links with LJMU for a decade. As someone who has grown up in a port city, I feel a strong affiliation with Liverpool…Cities like ours are outward looking, modern as well as having strong civic experience that comes with the challenges of being at sea…”
Read the oration for Dr Ulrich Hoppe.
Lou McGrath OBE
For his sustained and outstanding achievements in campaigning and awareness raising
Lou McGrath is the co-founder of the UK charity, Mines Advisory Group (MAG) that conducts humanitarian clearance of landmines and unexploded munitions. He was a founding member of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines which received the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. Born in Liverpool, Lou has dedicated his life to improving the lives of those living in regions blighted by war, since founding MAG in 1989. His work has saved the lives of countless inhabitants of war zones worldwide. He received the OBE in 2007 for his work in landmine clearance.
On accepting his Fellowship, Lou McGrath said: “I am so honoured to receive this award, especially as I was born here in the city of Liverpool. LJMU has done the city proud and I often hear its experts comment in the media or hear about its outstanding research.”
Read the oration for Lou McGrath.
For outstanding achievement in elite sports
“LJMU is such an incredible university - I studied economics here and was one of the first sports' scholars and this was so important to helping me to develop my skills both on and off the track. It is so good to be back in the city of Liverpool - this is a fantastic achievement for me and it's especially nice to be back after getting the Olympic medal 12 months ago - the one thing I always wanted. I've had many ups and downs during my career so the best advice I could give to the graduates here today is to dream big, go out and achieve and continue to be inspired by people like me."
Read the oration for Anykia Onuora.
Datuk Dr Noel Robert
For outstanding contribution to international education focusing primarily on the lower income group in Malaysia
Principal and Director of YPC International College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Datuk Dr. Noel Robert was awarded his Fellowship for outstanding contribution to international education focusing primarily on the lower income group in Malaysia. LJMU's partnership with YPC was ten years old last year, marked by a visit from the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor.
During his acceptance speech, Dr Robert said:
“I am truly humbled to receive this honour. I wish to share it with my colleagues at YPC college, as this is all about team work and this is a shared effort.”
Read the oration for Datuk Dr Noel Robert.
Professor Roger Webster
For outstanding contribution to arts and cultural education
Professor Webster, who has recently written a History of the University, a book focusing on the origins of Liverpool John Moores University, stated that he was “very humbled” to receive a Fellowship. He spoke warmly of LJMU staff and students as some of the “most connected, inspiring, caring and entertaining people I’ve come across.” He also referred to the “DNA of Liverpool”, and how at the heart if this is the city’s ability to innovate and deal with the pressures of a changing world, something the graduates could take forward from their time here.
“The skills, knowledge and experiences you gained here will serve you throughout your lives…this is a very empowering moment and you have all crossed a line successfully and can now put theory into practice..."
Read the oration for Professor Roger Webster.
The Right Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox
For his outstanding contribution to inter-faith relations and community in Liverpool
The Right Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox, recently installed Bishop of Sheffield and previously Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, was awarded his Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to inter-faith relations and community in Liverpool.