Alan Sugar’s right-hand woman and an Ironman World Record holder are amongst those who will be given honorary degrees at the University of Birmingham graduation ceremonies later this month.

Karren Brady, Chrissie Wellington and key figures from the voluntary, education and health sectors will join the thousands of students who will graduate to receive their honours.

Honorary Graduands are as follows:

Wednesday 15 December 2010

Christine Wellington
Christine Ann Wellington MBE, known as Chrissie Wellington, is a British triathlete who graduated from University of Birmingham (1995-1998) with a first class honours degree in BSc Geography. In 2007, less than a year after becoming a professional triathlete, Chrissie became the first British athlete to win the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii. She went on to achieve three consecutive victories at these Championships (2007, 2008, 2009) and she is currently undefeated at the Ironman distance. Chrissie also holds both the course record for the Ironman World Championships and the World Record for ironman-distance triathlon races. In two years she lowered the ironman-distance world record to 8 hours 19 minutes 13 seconds, a time more than 31 minutes faster than the record which had stood since 1994. In June 2010 Chrissie was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Jane Slowey (Alumna of the Year)
Jane Slowey has been Chief Executive of the Foyer Federation since 2004. She is Chair of Skills – Third Sector, a national charity that champions skills development among volunteers and paid staff in voluntary organizations, charities and social enterprises. Jane was formerly Vice Chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and spent six years as Chief Executive of Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC). She has also represented the voluntary and community sector as Vice Chair of the West Midlands Regional Assembly. Jane was an elected member of Birmingham City Council for eight years, representing Brandwood and Longbridge. She chaired the Community Affairs Committee, served on the Housing and Economic Development Committees and made a significant contribution to the development of the City Council’s devolution policy in the 1990s. Jane was awarded the CBE for services to disadvantaged young people in 2009.

Thursday 16 December 2010

Karren Brady
Karren Brady was Managing Director of Birmingham City Football Club from 1993 to 2009. She took over Birmingham City when in administration and in 1996 the club made an overall profit for the first time in modern history. In 1997 the club launched on the Stock market making Karren the youngest Managing Director of a PLC in the UK. In January 2010 she was appointed Vice Chairman of West Ham United FC. Karren has been voted Business Woman of the Year (2007), named as one of the top leadership role models in a national poll (2008), presented with the Spirit of Everywoman Award at the NatWest Everywoman Awards (2008) and included in the Sunday Telegraph’s ‘100 Most Powerful Women in Britain’ list (2010). Following appearances as one of Lord Sugar’s interrogators on ‘The Apprentice’, Karren has replaced Margaret Mountford as Sir Alan’s right-hand woman for Series 6.

Professor Dato’ Dr Hassan Said
Professor Dato’ Dr Hassan Said is currently the Vice-Chancellor and President of Taylor’s University. His field of specialization is Computer Aided Geometric Design. He introduced a new class of blending functions, namely the generalised Ball basis functions (sometimes referred to as Said basis functions). Prior to this appointment at the university he was the Director General, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. During this time he was appointed as a member of the Board of Directors at various local universities, he was also the Governing Board member of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization for the Regional Centre of Higher Education (SEAMEO – RIHED). Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Open University Malaysia and the Asia e–University and a Board Member of the Capital Market Development Fund (CMDF), Security Commission, Malaysia.

Friday 17 December 2010

Paul Sabapathy
Mr Paul Chandrasekharan Sabapathy CBE is Chairman of NHS Birmingham East and North and Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Midlands. He is also Vice-Chair of the NHS Confederation Primary Care Trust Network, a Trustee of the Bournville Village Trust, an ambassador of Advantage West Midlands and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Society of Medicine. He previously held senior positions with IMI Plc, retiring as Assistant Managing Director of IMI Titanium in 1996 when he became the Chief Executive of North Birmingham Community NHS Trust. He has been Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors at Birmingham City University and has also served as a member of various Higher Education Funding Council committees. He was awarded the OBE for services to urban regeneration in 1995 and a CBE for services to business and education in the West Midlands in 2004.


Notes to Editors
There will be an opportunity to photograph each honorary graduate in the 15 minutes prior to each degree ceremony. Please phone the Press Office for accreditation.

For further information
University of Birmingham Press Office:
Kate Chapple, tel. 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164
Ben Hill, tel, 0121 414 5134 or 07789 921163
Rachel Burrows, tel. 0121 414 6681 or 07789 921165

The University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a truly vibrant, global community and an internationally-renowned institution. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than four thousand international students from nearly 150 different countries.

The University is home to nearly 30,000 students. With more than 7,500 postgraduate students from across the world, Birmingham is one of the most popular universities for postgraduate study in the UK.

The University is the eighth largest employer in the Birmingham/Solihull sub-region and plays an integral role in the economic, social and cultural growth of local and regional communities; working closely with businesses and organisations, employing approximately 6,000 staff and providing 10,000 graduates annually.

The University contributes £662 million to the City of Birmingham and £779 million to the West Midlands region, with an annual income of more than £388.6 million.