LJMU announces Honorary Fellowships for July Graduation

Graduation ceremony - 2018 Honorary Fellows Announced

The prestigious titles are awarded to those who have made an outstanding contribution to society, or an outstanding achievement by an individual in a given field, resonating with the ethos of the University and the city of Liverpool.

The Fellowship is not a reflection of academic distinction and it carries no formal duties. It represents an opportunity to recognise and honour, in public, people who then continue their association with LJMU through a variety of activities with our students and staff.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill said: “The Honorary Fellows each represent a diversity of professions and an impact of achievements that truly reflects our modern, pioneering university. They are chosen as they are an inspiration to both our students and staff and I look forward to their participation in the life of the University through our Fellowship.”

This July we will welcome the following distinguished individuals:

Steve Burrows CBE

In recognition of outstanding achievement in engineering

A graduate from the Liverpool Polytechnic in 1982 where he studied for his first degree in Civil Engineering. Steve Burrows is now based in San Francisco and has over 30 years’ experience in engineering buildings around the world.

He has led the engineering team on many significant projects, including Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA; the Beijing Olympic Stadium (the Birdsnest); Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business; and the City of Manchester Stadium in the UK, Manchester Arena and Allianz Arena in Munich. Steve also has experience in forensic engineering and structural assessment of damaged buildings and made assessments after bombings in Manchester in 1996 and in Nairobi, Kenya in 1998.

A committed ambassador for his profession, Steve also regularly presents engineering programmes on the Science and National Geographic TV channels and most recent in the IMAX movie Dream Big - Engineering our World.

Jane Cordell

In recognition of outstanding contribution to disabled rights and promotion

Jane is a Director of Result CIC (a Community Interest Company), the 2015 National Diversity Award Winner - which specialises in providing training and coaching for people with disabilities or impairments.

Jane is listed on the Power 100 list of the UK's most influential people with a disability or impairment. Jane received four awards for her work as the first senior deaf diplomat in Poland, for supporting its disability rights legislative reform. Jane graduated with a degree in English from Cambridge University and became deaf in her mid-twenties. She then took an MEd at the Open University. Her career encompasses professional music, teaching and lecturing, editorial work, diplomacy, charity governance, including Chairing DaDaFest (Deaf and Disability arts), coaching, equality campaigning and social entrepreneurship. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2016.

Dr Steve Garnett

In recognition of outstanding achievement in the use of technology in social change

Liverpool-born Steve Garnett has had one of the most distinguished careers of any European executive in the software industry and has been a member of the executive management team of three software start-ups that have each turned into some of the most successful software companies in history.

Steve started his career joining Oracle Corporation prior to its IPO in 1986. He held various technical and sales positions including Director of UK sales, Vice President European Marketing & Alliances and was the youngest member of the European management team.

Steve was at Oracle Corporation for 12 years as the company grew to become the world’s second largest software company. He joined Siebel Systems in 1996 as Vice President of Europe and a member of the founders circle. From 100 employees, the company grew in eight years to become the world’s fifth largest software company with 8,000 employees and a $60 billion market capitalization at its peak.

In 2003, Steve joined his former Oracle executive colleague Marc Benioff to head Europe operations and be part of the executive team at Salesforce.com. He helped take Salesforce.com public in 2004 and it now stands with a market capitalization approaching $100 billion, making it the fastest growing Enterprise software company in history. Steve was also named in a Daily Telegraph survey as one of the 50 most influential Britons in technology.

Steve has a degree in mathematics, a doctorate in theoretical physics from the University of Manchester and holds a number of professional affiliations and board positions.

Neena Gill CBE

For outstanding contribution to public service

Neena Gill CBE MEP is currently in her third term as Labour MEP for the West Midlands, having previously served in 1999 - 2009 terms. She was the first British-Asian female to be elected in the UK and in the European Union in 1999. Prior to becoming an MEP, she was the youngest CEO of two pioneering housing organisations for a period expanding 13 years. This was due to recognition of her work as a prominent campaigner in the 1980s on homelessness, housing and social equality issues. Neena was the catalyst behind National Housing Federation addressing inequality within housing organisations that culminated in good practice guides on Race, Women and Homelessness.

Neena was a political campaigner throughout her undergraduate years, both as member of the Students Union Executive and as a Students’ Union sabbatical officer at Liverpool John Moores University. Her present work in the European Parliament, covers Economic and Monetary affairs, fighting for Tax justice, and addressing many Foreign Affairs concerns in particular human rights and democracy issues. Previously in the European Parliament, she served on Legal, Budgetary, and Industry Committees.

She has served on many tiers within the Labour Party and has also held many different positions in the European Parliament and EPLP over the three terms as Parliamentarian.

In her years out of office (2009 - 2014) Gill worked as the Vice-President for Corporate Affairs (Europe, and Asia Pacific) for SAS, a leading global technology multinational.

Neena was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours. On 9 January 2017, she was awarded a Pravasi Bharatiya Samman award for contributions to public service by the President of India.

Natalie Gross

In recognition of outstanding achievement in the digital industry

A graduate from Liverpool John Moores University, Natalie is recognised as one of the top three influential digital professionals in the UK (eConsultancy Top 100, 2016).

She is Managing Partner of TH_NK, one of the UK’s most respected independent digital agencies. Joining in April 2017, she is responsible for driving a new vision and growth strategy for the business.

Prior to TH_NK, she spent a decade leading Amaze as Managing Partner and since 2011 as CEO. Her tenure culminated in agency rankings of 2nd in the Drum Digital Census 2016 and 11th in the eConsultancy Top 100 Digital Agencies 2016, and a client portfolio that included Toyota, Unilever, Emirates and ASICS.

Alongside her Executive commitments, Natalie is actively involved in the UK’s digital and marketing communities. She is a Fellow of the CIM and has spent the last five years as an elected member of BIMA (Britain’s leading digital membership community) Board, becoming President in November 2016. Natalie is also a Trustee of WWF-UK (appointed June 2012).

Natalie is an industry spokesperson and mentor, with a specific focus on Digital Talent and Skills and Women in leadership.

Lady Edwina Grosvenor

For outstanding contribution to public life and campaigning

Lady Edwina Grosvenor is a philanthropist and criminal justice campaigner. She has worked in and around the prison service since she was 18. Edwina studied Criminology and Sociology at Northumbria University and Criminal Behaviour at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. 

She has worked in Styal prison (female prison in Manchester) and for many different organisations which work with inmates all over the country including work for the Bishop of Liverpool in the House of Lords supporting his role as the Bishop to Prisons. She is an Ambassador of the No Way Trust which educates school children to the realities of prison life, crime and consequence. She also sits on the advisory board to the Oxford University Criminology faculty.

She helped to start the Clink restaurant chain in 2010 and has been a trustee of it since 2011. The restaurants are fine dining establishments built both inside and outside the prison walls that train inmates in catering and hospitality to give them a better chance of employment after release and she is the founder of One Small Thing which is pioneering a culture shift within the prison system by training officers across all the women's prisons in this country and some men's prisons to put an understanding of trauma at the heart of all they do.

Daniel Libeskind

For outstanding contribution to international architecture. 

A Polish-American Architect, with a global reputation for cultural architecture including the Imperial War Museum North, The Jewish Museum Berlin and Ground Zero.  Daniel visited LJMU in 2016, to address an event in support of children’s charities in Syria and Israel.

Paul Lewis CBE

In recognition of outstanding achievement in music

Paul Lewis is recognised as the leading English classical pianist. Paul's father worked at the Liverpool Docks and his mother was a local council worker; there were no musicians in his family background. He began by playing the cello, the only instrument for which his school could offer him tuition. At the age of 14 he was accepted by Chetham's School of Music in Manchester, where his piano studies blossomed. He then studied with Joan Havill at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel.

He appears regularly as soloist with the world's great orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony, NHK Symphony, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, and the Royal Concertgebouw, Cleveland, Tonhalle Zurich, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Philharmonia, and Mahler Chamber Orchestras. 

His numerous awards have included the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Instrumentalist of the Year, two Edison awards, three Gramophone awards, the Diapason D'or de l'Annee, the Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and the South Bank Show Classical Music award.  Paul also has a multi-award winning discography for Harmonia Mundi.

He is co-Artistic Director of Midsummer Music, an annual chamber music festival held in Buckinghamshire, UK, and the Leeds International Piano Competition.

Angela Samata

For outstanding contribution to public campaigning and understanding of mental health issues

Angela Samata, Merseyside Woman of the Year 2015, arts professional and presenter of BBC1’s BAFTA Nominated Life After Suicide. 

Angela Samata is an inspirational public figure who has made an outstanding contribution on a local, national and international level to progressing understanding and de-stigmatisation of mental health and suicide prevention.

Co-author of the NHS70 Parliamentary Award-winning See Say Signpost training, Angela was Chair of the Survivors of the Bereaved by Suicide, a nationwide charity offering a unique and distinct free service with online, face to face and telephone support to bereaved adults across the UK. Under her Chairmanship and together with a 10-strong Board and 150 volunteers, the number of support groups more than doubled, with over 65 free support groups currently throughout the UK, offering support to over 7,000 people bereaved by suicide each year. Angela led the Liverpool support group for seven years and currently sits on the All Party Parliamentary Group looking at Suicide Prevention in England and Wales.

Sir John Sorrell CBE and Lady Frances Sorrell

For outstanding contribution to social empowerment and education campaigning

The Sorrell Foundation was set up in 1999 by Frances and John Sorrell with the aim of inspiring creativity in young people. It believes that creativity can change people’s lives and make the world a better place.

The Sorrell Foundation develops pioneering educational models, which bring together schools, teachers, schoolchildren, universities, colleges, tutors, students and professionals. The common aim is to help young people unlock their creativity, gain new skills and explore their potential for further and higher education and future careers. Young people are given a creative voice – the Foundation asks them what they think and values their response.

The educational charity works alongside, but outside, the formal education system. It has worked with more than 100,000 young people across the UK on initiatives such as joinedupdesignforschools, the Young Design Programme, myplace and Design Out Crime. Over the last eight years, the Foundation has developed the National Saturday Club model and set up a new charity – the Saturday Club Trust – to take it forward.  LJMU currently runs two Saturday clubs, focusing on arts and writing.

Frances and John started their lives in design and creativity at the age of 14 when, in different parts of London, they were given the opportunity to attend Saturday morning classes at their local colleges of art and design. This experience was a revelation that paved the way for full-time study and their careers in design. It was also the prime motivation for the formation of the Sorrell Foundation.


Summer graduation 2024


Madeleine celebrates taking every opportunity at LJMU


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