The Honorary Awards Committee will meet in February to consider nominations for honorary degrees, and we would like to invite alumni to nominate candidates. We would like to recognise people who have made outstanding contributions and shown dedicated service to:
- Academic Excellence and Scholarship
- The University or its communities
- Arts, Music and Sport
- Public Service and Interest
Nomination forms can be downloaded here. It is important to remember that nominations must not be discussed with the nominee.
Completed forms should be emailed to the Secretary of the Honorary Awards Committee, Jeannette Strachan, University Registrar and Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday, December 1st.
During our summer graduation ceremonies, we recognised the contributions of the following Honorary Graduates: Indhu Rubasingham, MBE; Baroness Cumberlege; Valerie Wood; Dr Tracy Borman; Sir Peter Bazalgete; Gregory Doran; Sir John Sorrell; Ms Helen Sharman, OBE; Steinunn Thorarinsdottir; Dame Hazel Genn, DBE, QC; Tony Hall – Lord Hall of Birkenhead.
In the summer ceremonies we were particularly keen to recognise contributions to the arts and culture, due to the Hull being City of Culture 2017, and below you can read the biographies of some of this year’s Honorary graduates.
Indhu Rubasingham, MBE
Born in Sheffield, Indhu graduated from the University of Hull in 1992 with a BA (Hons) in Drama. She worked as a freelance theatre director for over twenty years, across the UK and internationally in the US, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Uganda and India. In 2012 she became the Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre. Her inaugural production was the multi-award winning Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti (Evening Standard Award and Critics’ Circle Award), which transferred to New York in April 2014 and London’s Garrick Theatre in January 2016 as part of the Kenneth Brannagh plays at the Garrick season. Her production of Handbagged won an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre, before transferring to the West End and subsequent National Tour in 2015. It was also nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2015 and her production of The Invisible Hand was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre in 2017.
Indhu was awarded an MBE in 2017.
Dame Hazel Genn, DBE, QC
Professor Dame Hazel Genn is Dean of Laws, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies and co-director of the UCL Judicial Institute in the Faculty of Laws at University College London, where she is also an Honorary Fellow. She has been appointed to numerous public service roles concerned with the justice system. In January 2006, she was appointed an Inaugural Commissioner to the England and Wales Judicial Appointments Commission (established under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005) and served on the Commission from 2006-2011. Dame Hazel was also a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life 2003-2007 and in April 2009 she was appointed to the Secretary of State’s Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity.
She has been a Fellow of the British Academy since 2000, a member of its Council 2001-2004, was Vice President and also served as Chair of its Communications and Publications Committee from 2008-2011. In 2005 she was awarded the US Law and Society International Prize for distinguished scholarship. In recognition of her contribution to the justice system, Dame Hazel was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2000, and appointed DBE in 2006. In 2008 she was elected Honorary Master of the Bench of Gray’s Inn.
Lord Tony Hall
Tony Hall -Lord Hall of Birkenhead- was appointed Director-General of the BBC in 2012. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and before that Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC. He joined the BBC as a new trainee in 1973 and held senior roles on programmes including World at One, the Six O’Clock News and Newsnight. He has also served as a non-executive director of Channel Four.
In 2009 he was asked by the Government and the Mayor of London to set up and chair the Cultural Olympiad Board and joined the board for the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games. He was awarded a CBE in 2006 and was made a life peer in 2010. He sits on the crossbenches in the House of Lords.
Ms Helen Sharman OBE
Helen Sharman is a British scientist and astronaut, who became the first Briton in space in 1991 when she launched on a Soyuz spacecraft to spend 8 days orbiting the Earth. She has not returned to space, although she says that, like every other astronaut, she would love to be up there again, experiencing the weightlessness, the camaraderie and the views.
Helen started professional life with a degree in Chemistry from the University of Sheffield and worked in research and development for GEC before moving to Mars Confectionery, where she became a Research Technologist for chocolate and ice cream. Helen also has an MA in Central and South East European Studies from University College London. More recently, Helen managed the Surface and Nanoanalysis research group at the National Physical Laboratory and, subsequently, she managed technical support for Science, Engineering and Computing at Kingston University, London. Helen’s current employment is with Imperial College London, where she is the Operations Manager for the Chemistry Department.
Helen is the President of the Institute of Science and Technology.
Valerie Wood was born is Castleford but now lives in Beverley. She has written 22 novels, all set in and around Hull and the East Riding. Her first novel, The Hungry Tide, published in 1993 won the Catherine Cookson Prize for Romantic Fiction.
In 2012 The Val Wood Trail was launched to promote tourism and library services in Hull and the East Riding. The Val Wood Prize followed in 2013 and the creative writing competition has continued to run annually in co-operation with Hull Central Library. Val’s catalogue of books were named among the top loaned titles in UK libraries on BBC Radio 4s Open Book show and Val and her work were also the subject of a feature on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row in 2015 and the BBC documentary Books That Made Britain in 2016.
When she is not writing, Val supports a number of charities including HERIB where she holds the position of Vice President. She is also patron of Home Start and Butterflies Memory Loss Support Group and was a volunteer at the Talking Magazine for the Blind for almost 30 years.
Sir John Sorrell
John Sorrell is co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation and co-founder and trustee of the Saturday Club Trust. He has served as a UK Business Ambassador since 2009, appointed by successive Prime Ministers to help promote Britain’s Creative Industries abroad. He is chairman of the University of the Arts London, Europe’s leading specialist art and design university.
John is co-founder and chairman of the London Design Festival, now in its 15th year. He recently co-founded the London Design Biennale which took place for the first time in 2016, with 37 countries exhibiting at Somerset House, London. He is founder and chairman of the Creative Industries Federation, the independent voice for the UK’s Creative Industries. He is advisor to the Mayor of London on Brexit and London’s Creative Sector.
John was awarded the Royal Society of Arts Bicentenary Medal in 1998 and has Honorary Fellowships from the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Royal Academy of Engineering, Falmouth University and Plymouth College of Art. He holds Honorary Doctorates from De Montfort University, Greenwich University, the London Institute (now University of the Arts London), Middlesex University, Huddersfield University and London Metropolitan University. John was appointed CBE in 1996 and was awarded a Knighthood in the 2008 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Creative Industries.