Students from the Liverpool School of Art and Design and the Liverpool Screen School celebrated their success in the morning ceremonies, while the School of Humanities and Social Science and the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies were recognised in the afternoon procession.
Natalie Gross received an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of outstanding achievement in the digital industry.
A graduate from Liverpool John Moores University 25 years ago, 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. 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.
In her address to the audience Natalie reflected that: “The University has been a big part of my life since I arrived in the city in 1990. The desire to make a difference from my student days has stayed with me.
She continued; “We should look forward with great hope to the opportunities new technologies give us". She called on the new graduates today to: “take a deep breath and savour (their) achievement.”
During the afternoon ceremony, Neena Gill MEP CBE received a Honorary Fellowship for her outstanding contribution to public service.
She is currently in her third term as Labour MEP for the West Midlands. She was the first British-Asian female to be elected in the U.K. 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. In this time, she was a prominent campaigner in the 1980’s on homelessness, housing and social equality issues. She was the catalyst behind National Housing Federation addressing inequality within housing organisations that culminated in good practice guides on Race, Women and Homelessness.
Neena Gill was a political campaigner throughout her under-graduate 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 has also served on Legal, Budgetary, and Industry Committees.
Gill was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours.
In her address to the audience, Neena advised the new graduates to: “See everything as an opportunity and every moment as a chance to learn.