Alumni invited to nominate candidates for Honorary Degrees

The Honorary Awards Committee will be meeting 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:

  1. Academic Excellence and Scholarship
  2. The University or its communities
  3. Education
  4. Arts, Music and Sport
  5. Science
  6. Health
  7. Business
  8. 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 no later than Friday, 10 August.

Below are examples of some recent recipients of honorary degrees:

Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson was General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union before entering Parliament as Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle in 1997. He served as Home Secretary from June 2009 to May 2010. Before that, he filled a wide variety of cabinet positions in both the Blair and Brown governments, including Health Secretary and Education Secretary. Until 20 January 2011 he was Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. His childhood memoir ‘This Boy’ was published by Bantam Press on 9th May 2013. It won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and the Orwell Prize, Britain’s top political writing award.  His second volume of memoirs, ‘Please Mr Postman’, was published in September 2014 and won the National Book Club award for Best Biography.  Alan was named as the head of Labour’s EU referendum campaign in June 2015.  The third volume of his memoirs ‘The Long and Winding Road’ was published in September 2016.

Denise Wilson OBE

Denise Wilson is Chief Executive of the Davies Review for Women on Boards in the UK, which leads the national, business focused task force and voluntary framework for increasing the number of women on FTSE 350 Boards. She is also a Non Executive Director of Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, Chair of the Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee member. She is Chair of the Royal Academy of Arts Friends Board, a Trustee on All Churches Trust and executive coach to business leaders in the corporate and charitable sectors and other charitable work in support of women and young people.

Denise’s 30-year corporate career began in Financial Services before moving into the Oil and Gas industry, where she served in an executive capacity at National Grid plc, BG Group and British Gas plc. and is a graduate of Modern Languages.

Sean McAllister

Sean McAllister is a documentary filmmaker, director and producer, known for A Syrian Love Story (2015), The Reluctant Revolutionary (2012) and Japan: A Story of Love and Hate (2008).

City of Culture year saw him return to his hometown of Hull as the creative director for  ‘Made in Hull’ the opening ceremony of the City of Culture celebrations. Again, returning to his roots, Sean’s most recent documentary film, A Northern Soul (2018), reflected on Hull’s year in the spotlight and sought to gauge the impact and opportunities that City of Culture offered to local people with less opportunity, time and financial security.

Zanny Minton Beddoes

After graduating from Oxford, Zanny Minton Beddoes was recruited as an adviser to the Minister of Finance in Poland, in 1992, as part of a small group headed by Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Harvard. She then spent two years as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked on macroeconomic adjustment programmes in Africa and the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe.

Through this work, she joined The Economist in 1994 as the magazine’s correspondent for emerging markets, based in London. She became the Economics editor in 1996, overseeing global economics coverage from Washington DC, and later moved to Business Affairs editor, responsible for business, finance and science. She began as the 17th and first female Editor-in-Chief on 2 February 2015

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.

James Graham

Since graduating from Drama in 2003, James has established himself as a significant figure in the landscape of contemporary British Theatre, with sell out shows in the West End receiving great critical acclaim. His plays focus on significant political and cultural moments in recent British history, such as the fall of the Callaghan Government in 1979 (This House) or Rupert Murdoch changing the shape of British media with his takeover of The Sun newspaper (Ink), which he uses to comment on our present. This year he was listed at number 10 in the Stage 100 list of the most influential people working in theatre, and he won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy for his play Labour of Love.

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.





One thought on “Alumni invited to nominate candidates for Honorary Degrees

  1. Nominate Maureen Lipman CBE:
    Actress, comedian, supporter of Burma and Israel. Has been a good promoter of Hull and its communities


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