This month over 4,500 University of Birmingham students will graduate from 16 degree ceremonies held in the University’s Great Hall.  The ceremonies, held between the 10 - 17th July, will see students graduate in good company as they are joined by the University’s honorary graduands which include George Davies and Sir Michael Lyons. 

The full list of honorary graduands is as follows:

Friday 10 July,

10.30am – Sir Michael Lyons, Doctor of Laws

Sir Michael Lyons is Chairman of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the BBC, and of the English Cities Fund.  He was formally Deputy Chairman and Acting Chairman of the Audit Commission.  From 2001-2006 he was Professor of Public Policy at the University of Birmingham and Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies until 2004.  He was knighted in 2000 for services to local government after serving as the Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and Wolverhampton Borough Council.

1.45pm – Mr Sandy Jones, Doctor of the University

Sandy Jones is the chief executive of The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), the body that plays a major role in all aspects of the sport, including training its 7,500 plus members, advising the government and running The Ryder Cup.  He  is also Chairman of The PGA of Europe, the organisation that comprises the PGAs of 30 European countries. He has been at the forefront of golf administration since 1980 and previously worked in industry as a computer systems analyst.

4.30pm – Mr George Davies, Doctor of the University

George Davies is the fashion visionary who founded ‘Next’ in 1982 and saw him awarded Guardian Young Businessman of the Year in 1985.  In 1990 he launched ‘George at Asda’ and Per Una for Marks & Spencer in 2001.  George was an ambassador for Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture and in 2007 became involved in ‘Wounded for Us’, a charity supporting wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.  In 2008 George was honoured as a ‘Member of the Vascular Society’, the first time a non-medic has received this accolade. 

Monday 13 July

10.30am – Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Doctor of Medicine

Sir Bruce Keogh is Medical Director of the National Health Service in England.  He is responsible for clinical quality, safety and strategy, undergraduate and postgraduate education of doctors, dentists and pharmacists and postgraduate training of clinical scientists.  He is also responsible for the medicines supply chain to the UK, including policy around the pharmaceutical industry, drug pricing, prescriptions and the role of pharmacy.  He is International Director of the US Society of Thoracic Surgeons and was knighted for services to medicine in 2003.

1.45pm – Mr Derek McMinn, Doctor of Medicine

Derek McMinn qualified in Medicine from St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School in 1977.  After completing his training he became a specialist in joint replacement and revision surgery for failed joint replacements.  During the early 1990s as its Medical Staff Committee Chairman, Derek played a major part in averting the threat of closure of Birmingham’s Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.  At this time he also developed the resurfacing hip arthroplasty for which he is best known.  His pioneering of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, alongside Ronan Treacy, has revolutionised the management of hip arthritis in young and active patients.

4.30pm – Mr Ronan Treacy, Doctor of Medicine

Ronan Treacy graduated from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1983 and in 1989 was appointed as specialist registrar to the Birmingham and West Midlands Orthopaedic Training Programme.  He became focussed on Joint Replacement Surgery and later won The Laming Evans Award from The Royal College of Surgeons.  He was appointed to the consultant staff at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in 1994 and ran Orthopaedic Training for the West Midlands from 1995 - 2000.  His pioneering of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing, alongside Derek McMinn, has revolutionised the management of hip arthritis in young and active patients.

4.30pm – Mr Dan Jones, Alumnus of the Year

Dan Jones graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2001 with a BA in Media, Culture and Society, and then embarked on a MPhil in History as Presented on Film and Television.  He joined Birmingham’s Maverick Television in 2002 focussing on new media and drama productions for Channel 4.  He then became a Producer on Channel 4’s web project 4Talent and launched 4Talent magazine, remaining Editor-in-Chief until 2008.  At 25 Dan picked up his first BAFTA with a second following in 2009.  He has been Head of New Media at Maverick since 2005.

Tuesday 14 July

1.45pm – Dr Mohamed Ibrahim, Doctor of Engineering

Dr Mo Ibrahim is a global expert in mobile communications with a distinguished academic and business career.  In 1998 Dr Ibrahim founded Celtel International to build and operate mobile networks in Africa.  In 2006 Dr Ibrahim established the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to support African leadership – stimulating debate around, and improving the quality of, governance in Africa.  Dr Ibrahim is also Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Ltd., an investment company focused on opportunities in Africa.  In 2008 he was listed by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

4.30pm – Mr Paul Manning, Alumnus of the Year

Paul Manning (BSc Geology, 1996) is a professional cyclist who won the gold medal in Team Pursuit Cycling at the Beijing Olympics.  Paul and his team-mates Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins reached the finals of the Team Pursuit competition in style, setting a new world record in their semi-final ride against Russia. In the final against the Danish team they then shaved a further two seconds off that time, overlapping their opponents in the process.  He can add Olympic gold to bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the World Championship title in 2005.

Wednesday 15 July

10.30am – Professor Michael Sterling, Doctor of Engineering

Michael Sterling was appointed Vice-Chancellor at the University of Birmingham in 200l, having previously spent 11 years as Vice-Chancellor at Brunel University.   He retired in April this year which, after 19 years, makes him the longest-serving University Vice-Chancellor in the UK.  He previously held senior academic posts at the Universities of Sheffield and Durham, as well as operating successfully as a consultant and entrepreneur in the private sector.  He is a former Chairman of the Russell Group is also a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology. 

1.45pm – Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton, Doctor of Letters

Baroness Campbell is a Commissioner and Disability Committee Chair at the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.  She is an independent health and social care policy advisor and Chair of the Office for Disability Issues (ODI) Independent Living Review Expert Panel.  She has been a Commissioner of the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) since its inception in 2000.  She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2006 and in 2007 became a cross-bench member of the House of Lords.

Thursday 16 July

10.30am – Dr Anthony Hayward, Doctor of Science

Tony Hayward studied geology at the University of Birmingham and took his PhD in Edinburgh.  He joined BP in 1982 as a rig geologist in the North Sea and after a number of roles became President of BP exploration in Venezuela.  After appointments as Treasurer and Vice-President Tony was appointed Group Chief Executive of BP p.l.c. in 2007.  He is a member of the Business Council for Britain, Chair of GLOBE CEO Forum for Climate Change and a Trustee of the Emirates Foundation.

1.45pm – Rt Revd David Urquhart, Doctor of Divinity

David Urquhart was appointed Bishop of Birmingham in 2006.  After being educated at Rugby and Ealing College Business School David went on to work as a volunteer in Uganda and then joined BP and worked in various commercial roles for ten years before training for the ministry at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.  He was curate at St Nicholas, Kingston upon Hull from 1984 to 1987, Team Vicar of Drypool from 1987 to 1992, and from 1992 to 2000 Vicar of Holy Trinity, Coventry.  He was the Suffragan Bishop of Birkenhead from 2000 until his appointment as Bishop.  In 2005 he was made Prelate of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michel and St George.

4.30pm – Mrs Tessa King-Farlow, Doctor of Music

Tessa King-Farlow moved to Birmingham in 1967 and her first job in the city was at the Midlands Arts Centre (MAC).  She studied English Language at the University of Birmingham as a mature student in the 1970s and was a magistrate at Birmingham’s Central Court for 20 years.  In 2001 she became High Sheriff of the West Midlands.  Tessa has served on the boards of many of Birmingham’s major arts institutions including the MAC, Birmingham Opera Company and the Ikon Gallery.  She became the Chair of Birmingham Royal Ballet in 2005, retiring in March this year.

Friday 17 July

10.30am – Mr Felix Kottmann, Doctor of the University

Felix Kottmann has over 25 years experience in Asset Management, Investment Advisory and in Pension Fund Consulting for both Swiss and European institutional investors and pension funds.  In 2001 he founded Kottmann Advisory AG and now works as a consultant for top class institutional investor clientele, limiting the maximum number of clients to 20.  He also sits as an external member in several Swiss and international investment committees for pension funds, institutional investors and universities. 


Notes to Editors

There will be an opportunity to photograph the honorary graduands in the 15 minutes prior to each degree ceremony.  Please telephone the press office for accreditation.

For further information;

University of Birmingham Press Office contacts:

Kate Chapple, tel. 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164, Ben Hill, tel 0121 414 5134 or 07789 921163; Anna Mitchell tel 0121 515 6029 or 07920 593946