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Key figures from the NHS, policing and the charity sector along with a leading entrepreneur are amongst those awarded honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham this year.

Nick Jenkins, founder of, Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust, Sir Brian Pomeroy, Chair of the CHASM Research Centre at the University and the Strategic Finance Committee and Sir Mark Rowley QPM, former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, all become Doctors of the University.

They will join 5,500 students in collecting their degrees at 22 degree congregations, across seven days, starting on Wednesday 4 July – Thursday 12 July 2018 in the University’s iconic Great Hall in Chancellor’s Square on campus.

Nick Jenkins graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BA (Hons) in Russian Language and Literature in 1990 and is the founder of After graduation, Nick spent eight years trading sugar in Moscow. In 1998 he returned to the UK to study for an MBA at Cranfield, after which he started, the personalised greeting card retailer. By 2011 the business had over 5 million customers. Nick now divides his time between the charity sector and investing in early stage businesses which led to him joining the panel of BBC2 Dragons’ Den in 2015.

Rt Hon Jacqui Smith is Chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust; Sandwell Children’s Trust; the Lunar Society; the Precious Trust and a Trustee of the Kings Fund. She was MP for Redditch between 1997 and 2010 and served as a Minister in the Education, Health, Industry and Equality portfolios and in the Cabinet as Chief Whip and the UK’s first woman Home Secretary. She works in Jordan on political development and is a media commentator on Sky, BBC and through her weekly podcast.

Sir Brian Pomeroy was the Senior Partner of Deloitte Consulting until 1999 when he took up a number of public, private and voluntary sector appointments. He has been Chair of the CHASM Research Centre at the University since its creation in 2010 and has recently been appointed as Chairman of Age UK, in addition to being Chair of its Strategic Finance Committee.

He was formerly Chairman of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce, Centrepoint, the European Public Health Foundation and Raleigh International, as well as Chair of the National Lottery Commission and the Gambling Commission. He served as a member of the Lloyd’s Charitable Trust and Money Advice Trust for whom he now acts as an Ambassador.

Sir Mark was, until his retirement this year, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and the National Police Lead for Counter Terrorism; one of the most senior police officers in the UK with a distinguished career and specialist national roles. He was knighted in the recent birthday honours for his service and in particular for his reassuring leadership during the 2017 terrorist attacks.

Prior to his appointment to the Met, he was Chief Constable of Surrey Police. Sir Mark began his policing career in 1987 ‘on the beat’ with West Midlands Police in Birmingham, and in 2011 was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service.

For more information, please contact Dominic Benson, Deputy Director of Communications, University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0) 121 414 5134, or contact the press office on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Graduation times and dates in brackets.

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