Actor Tamsin Greig, the European Commission's UK Head of Representation Jacqueline Minor and social policy expert Sir John Hills are among those receiving honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham this year.

Seven honorary graduates will join more than 5,000 students collecting their degrees at a series of 20 ceremonies in the University’s iconic Great Hall – running until 14 July. They include:

Tamsin Greig
  • Tamsin Greig – Doctor of the University

(Thursday 7 July, 4:30pm)

Tamsin Greig is an award-winning stage, film, television and radio actor. She won an Olivier Award and Critics Circle Award for her performance as Beatrice in Marianne Elliott’s RSC production of ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. She is known for her work on television in iconic shows Love Soup, Episodes and Green Wing. Tamsin is a Public Figure for the international relief and development Charity ‘Tearfund’, and is a mentor with the University of Birmingham Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme. 

  • Jacqueline Minor – Doctor of Law

(Thursday 7 July, 10:30am)

After graduating from the University of Birmingham, Jacqueline Minor spent five years lecturing in law at the University of Leicester. She joined the staff of the European Court of Justice in 1984 and later became a law clerk to two British judges, Lord Slynn and Sir David Edward. Jacqueline subsequently moved to the European Commission working on various aspects of the Single Market, most recently as Director for Consumer Policy. She was appointed Head of the Commission's Representation shortly after the Prime Minister promised a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. 

  • Professor Sir John Hills – Doctor of Letters

(Friday 8July, 10:30am)

John Hills is Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. After his Birmingham MSocSc he worked at the House of Commons, Institute for Fiscal Studies and in Zimbabwe, joining LSE in 1986. He was on the Pensions Commission and chaired the National Equality Panel. Recent books include Social Policy in a Cold Climate and Good Times, Bad Times: The welfare myth of them and us

  • Professor Catherine Hall – Doctor of Letters

(Tuesday 12 July, 10:30am)

Catherine Hall is Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London. Her research focuses on re-thinking the relation between Britain and its empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Catherine was Principal Investigator of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded project ‘Legacies of British Slave Ownership. Her recent book, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain (2012) looks at the significance of father and son in defining the parameters of nation, and empire, in the early nineteenth century. 

  • Professor Jane Guyer – Doctor of Letters

(Tuesday 12 July, 4:30pm)

Jane Guyer is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University in the United States. A graduate of the London School of Economics (BA 1965) and Rochester (PhD 1972), she taught at Harvard, Boston and Northwestern Universities. At Northwestern University, she directed the Program of African Studies between 1994 and 2001. Her research in Africa focused on livelihoods - production and money - and resulted in several books, edited collections and articles. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2008. 

  • Professor Cedric Shackleton  – Doctor of Science

(Wednesday 13 July, 1:45pm)

Cedric Shackleton obtained his BSc from St Andrews and his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 1969. In 1968 he did post-doc at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm learning the then-new technique of gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry. He has collaborated with Birmingham colleagues for many years, focusing on development of metabolomic approaches to diagnosis of adrenal cancer and disorders of adrenal steroid synthesis. In 2010 was given the Schroepfer medal for Steroid and Sterol research by the American Oil Chemists association. 

  • Stephen Bridges – Doctor of the University

(Thursday 14 July, 10:30am)

Stephen Bridges accepted his post as Consul General in Chicago, Illinois in August 2013. Formerly, he was in London leading on workforce issues for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. From 2007 to 2011 he was in the private sector working with renewable energy and natural resources companies. In his 30 year diplomatic career Stephen has served the UK Government in both Africa and Asia, including British Ambassador to Cambodia, and Acting and Deputy High Commissioner, Consul General, and Trade & Investment Director to Bangladesh. 

Also, Charlotte Hill will receive Alumna of the Year and Dr Yasser Abu Jamei will be awarded International Alumnus of the Year. 


For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312

Notes to Editors

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.