University of Birmingham Honorary Graduands for July 2013
Stand-up comedian, writer and actor, Chris Addison, Polish-English Holocaust survivor, Kitty Hart-Moxon and founder of Moshi Monsters, Michael Acton Smith are amongst those who will be given honorary degrees at the University of Birmingham graduation ceremonies in July 2013.
A total of 17 honorary graduands and more than 5,000 students will collect their degrees at 18 ceremonies in the University’s iconic Great Hall (3rd – 11th July).
Honorary graduates joining the students include:
Professor Pritam B.Sharma - Doctor of Engineering (Wednesday 3 July, 1.45pm)
Professor Sharma is the founder Vice Chancellor of Delhi Technological University, and Founder Vice Chancellor of Rajiv Gandhi Technology University, Bhopal. With a Doctorate from the University of Birmingham, and a Gold medallist Mechanical Engineering Graduate of Vikram University, Professor Sharma has made distinguished contributions to the advancement of frontiers of knowledge in the areas of Green Energy Technologies and Knowledge and Innovation Management.
Anji Hunter - Doctor of the University (Wednesday 3 July, 4.30pm)
Anji Hunter started her career as political assistant to newly elected MP Tony Blair, later becoming Director of Government Relations for Blair’s government in 1997. At the time she was described as “the most influential non-elected person in Downing Street”. Anji then went on to become Group Director of Communications at BP and in October 2011 took on the role of Director of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering.
Dr Christine Braddock CBE - Doctor of the University (Thursday 4 July, 10.30am)
Christine is the Principal and Chief Executive of the Birmingham Metropolitan College Group, and has nearly thirty years’ experience in senior leadership of FE colleges. Christine was made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours in recognition of her work in the Further Education sector and became the High Sheriff of the West Midlands in March 2013.
Professor Jinghai Li - Doctor of Engineering (Thursday 4 July, 1.45pm)
Professor Jinghai Li graduated from the Harbin Institute of Technology in 1982 and obtained his Ph.D from the CAS Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) in Beijing in 1987. Following his post-doctoral research he returned to China in 1990 and served as Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Vice Director and Director of IPE in succession. In February 2004, he was appointed Vice President of CAS.
Dr Keith Palmer - Doctor of the University (Thursday 4 July, 4.30pm)
Keith Palmer is the founder and Chairman of CEPA and has over thirty years’ experience advising the public and private sectors on economic and financial issues. Keith is also currently Chairman of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and InfraCo, both public private partnerships in international development; and a Senior Associate at the King’s Fund, the UK leading independent health charity.
Ms Kay Alexander - Doctor of the University (Friday 5 July, 10.30am)
Kay Alexander started work for BBC Radio 4 at Pebble Mill in Birmingham in the 1970s; this led her to a career which spanned almost 40 years on BBC Midlands Today news. Kay was the first woman to be Chair of the Birmingham Assay Office and is a former Director of the Birmingham Hippodrome and a Patron of Acorns Children’s Hospice.
Lord Hall of Birkenhead - Doctor of Letters (Friday 5 July, 1.45pm)
Anthony William Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead, CBE is the Director-General of the BBC. He assumed this position in April 2013 after being Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House between 2001 and 2013. For the last three years he has chaired the board for the Cultural Olympiad, the four-year programme of cultural events that climaxed with the London 2012 festival last year.
Mr Chris Addison - Doctor of the University (Friday 5 July, 4.30pm)
Chris Addison graduated from the University of Birmingham in 1994. He has since been involved with the world famous Edinburgh Fringe festival eleven times, performing stand-up comedy and in 2004 was nominated for the prestigious Perrier award for comedy for his show,’ Civilisation’. Chris is best known for his current role as a regular panellist on Mock the Week.
Dr Matthew Clark - Alumnus of the Year (Monday 8 July, 10.30am)
Dr Matthew Clark graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2002 with a Sport and Exercise Sciences degree, before going on to study medicine at Cambridge University. During his studies he undertook an elective at the Ola During Children’s Hospital in Sierra Leone. His experiences in Sierra Leone drove Matthew to become the co-founder of the Welbodi Partnership, a UK-registered Charity.
Professor John Fisher CBE - Doctor of Engineering (Monday 8 July, 1.45pm)
Professor John Fisher is Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Leeds University and Director of the Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering. John’s flagship programme, ’50 active years after 50’, is investigating tissue-regeneration technology, that could allow people to be as active during their second half century as they were in their first. John was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2011.
Mrs Kitty Hart-Moxon OBE - Doctor of the University (Monday 8 July, 4.30pm)
Kitty Hart-Moxon was just twelve years old at the outbreak of the Second World War and fifteen when she and her mother were deported to Auschwitz. Amazingly she managed to survive the daily terror that she faced, and was eventually freed from the Salzwedel camp by American troops in 1945. Since then she has dedicated her life to raising awareness of the Holocaust.
Ms Barbara Gaines - Doctor of Letters (Tuesday 9 July, 1.45pm)
Barbara Gaines is the founder and artistic director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Barbara was awarded an OBE in recognition of her contributions strengthening British-American cultural relations. Barbara has been the recipient of many awards including the Public Humanities Award from Illinois Humanities Council, and honorary degrees from Dominican University and Lake Forest College.
Michael Acton Smith - Doctor of the University (Tuesday 9 July, 4.30pm)
Michael Acton Smith is CEO, Creative Director and founder of children’s entertainment company Mind Candy – the driving force behind global kids phenomenon Moshi Monsters, which has over 75 million users around the world and has expanded offline into bestselling toys, the number one selling kids magazine in the UK, a bestselling DS video game, a top 5 music album, books, membership cards and trading cards.
Sir Hossein Yassaie PhD - Doctor of the University (Wednesday 10 July, 1.45pm)
Sir Hossein Yassaie is the Chief Executive Officer for Imagination Technologies Group plc, a company which played an integral role in the development of the iPhone 5. Sir Hossein became a British national in 1984 and completed his A-levels in a record time of six months; he then studied at the University of Birmingham. Sir Hossein was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.
Professor Antony Gerald Hopkins - Doctor of Letters (Thursday 11 July, 10.30am)
Professor Antony Gerald Hopkins arrived at the University of Birmingham in 1963 as an Assistant Lecturer and undertook his Ph.D in 1964. Antony spent 25 years at the University of Birmingham. Antony’s prestigious career is full with honours including the Forkosch Prize in 1995, an American Historical Association Award for the ‘best book’ on British history or British imperial history published in 1993 or 1994.
The Chancellor’s Guild of Benefactors
Membership of the Chancellor’s Guild of benefactors is the highest University honour for donors and is open to those who make exceptional gifts to the institution. This year the Chancellor will welcome Dr Jack Templeton for the John Templeton Foundation and Sir Doug Ellis.
Dr Jack Templeton - Heather Templeton to attend on behalf of her father (Tuesday 9 July, 10.30am)
Dr. Jack Templeton is the President and Chairman of The John Templeton Foundation, and son of founder Sir John Templeton. Established in 1987 in Philadelphia, the Foundation supports research on subjects including evolution, creativity, forgiveness, love, and character. Their motto is "How little we know, how eager to learn", and the Foundation has funded research projects and charitable activities totaling over $715 million. The Foundation supports the Jubilee Centre for Character and Values in the School of Education at the University.
Sir Doug Ellis (Wednesday 10 July, 10.30am)
Sir Doug Ellis is a national figure and prominent Birmingham business man. He has dedicated his life to Aston Villa Football Club and to a range of business pursuits. Since his retirement in 2006, Sir Doug has focused his energy on charitable causes, including the NSPCC, Childline and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He has given in excess of £1 million to the University of Birmingham, helping to shape higher education at Birmingham for future generations.
Notes to editors
For media enquiries please contact Samantha Williams, University of Birmingham Press Office, +44 (0)121 414 6029