Brian May and Sam Davys named in New Year Honours List

LJMU’s Honorary Fellow, Brian May and former JMSU President, Sam Davys, make 2023 Honours List. 

Over 1,100 people from across the UK are recognised in King Charles’ first New Year Honours List, including former LJMU Chancellor, Honorary Fellow and Lead Guitarist of Queen, Dr Brian May. 

LJMU graduate and former John Moores Students’ Union President, Sam Davys, is also the youngest on this year's list, and receives an MBE for her services to young people. 

Sir Brian May 

Sir Brian May, whose full title is now Sir Dr Brian Harold May, CBE, is to receive the Knighthood for his services to music and charity. 

Sir Brian has a long-standing relationship with LJMU. In 2007 he received an Honorary Fellowship from LJMU, not only for his outstanding achievements in music, as one the world’s leading guitarists and songwriters, but for popularising astronomy.  

Prior to world fame in rock band Queen, Sir Brian was studying for a PhD in astrophysics. Following the band’s success and over 30 years later, he completed his PhD in 2007, at Imperial College London.  

In 2008-2013, he became Chancellor at Liverpool John Moores University, the fourth to be appointed to the honorary position.  

Following the announcement of his Knighthood, Sir Brian has thanked fans and well-wishers for their messages of congratulations, he said:  

“I'm very thrilled and very touched by the love that's coming from you and the support. I will do my very best to be worthy.” 

Sam Davys, MBE 

Talk Talk, Equality and Future Talent Manager, Sam Davys, is to receive an MBE for services to digital inclusion. 

At just 30, Sam is the youngest recipient on this year’s list. The LJMU alum graduated in 2013 with a BA (Hons) in Dance Practices and went on to become Vice President, and then President of John Moores Students Union (JMSU). She also completed a CIPD at the university in HR Management in 2016. 

She receives the MBE for her work with Talk Talk’s Kickstart program, during the pandemic, whereby the DWP provided funding to employers to create jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit. 

Congratulations from LJMU 

LJMU Vice- Chancellor, Professor Mark Power, said: 

“On behalf of everyone at LJMU, I’d like to offer our congratulations to Sir Brian May and Sam Davys, MBE, for their recognition on the New Year Honours List 2023. 

“A former LJMU Chancellor/Queen legend, to be knighted by a King, is an amazing achievement and so well deserved. Sir Brian made a huge impact as Chancellor at LJMU and continues to be an inspiration across the globe, especially when it comes to Astrophysics and Music.  

“For Sam, I had the pleasure of working with her during her time as JMSU President and still keep in touch. Her thoughtful leadership and focus, means it is no surprise that she has gone on to achieve greatness and we are immensely proud of her, especially as the youngest person to be honoured on this year’s list.” 



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