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Rio Olympics stars among honorary degree recipients

Two gold medal winners in this year’s Rio Olympics are among those to receive honorary degrees from Nottingham Trent University this week.

Two gold medal winners in this year’s Rio Olympics are among those to receive honorary degrees from Nottingham Trent University this week.

GB Hockey Team players and NTU graduates Crista Cullen and Hannah Macleod - will collect their honorary degrees at the ceremony on Friday, December 9 at the Royal Concert Hall.

Former international cricket and Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club player Graeme Swann will also receive recognition on the day, along with Nottingham-born comedian and screen writer, Henry Normal.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “Our ceremonies are a fantastic opportunity to congratulate graduating students on their hard work and to inspire them in their careers going forward. Our honorary graduates – all of whom have strong connections to the city or the University – demonstrate the results of ambition and dedication and are all inspirations in their field.”

Hockey star Crista Cullen will receive her honorary degree in recognition of her contribution to sport. 

Crista graduated from NTU in 2007 with a 2:1 in business studies.

Widely recognised as one of the best hockey defenders in the world, she was instrumental in helping the GB Women’s Hockey Team pick up Gold in the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Crista’s teammate Dr Hannah Macleod will also receive an honorary degree in recognition of her contribution to sport. 

Hannah studied for her doctorate at NTU, which she gained in 2009. 

She became inspired by sport at the age of eight, while watching Linford Christie and Sally Gunnell compete at the 1992 Olympic Games. 

Hannah has over 150 caps with England and Great Britain. 

Hannah also competed at the London 2012 Olympics and she now runs her own nutrition consultancy service for athletes, business and schools.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters is comedian Henry Normal, in recognition of his contribution to the arts, poetry, television and film. 

Born and bred in Nottingham, his substantial involvement in British television includes co-writing The Royle Family and producing Alan Partridge, Gavin and Stacey and The Mighty Boosh. 

As well as this, Henry produced the four-time Oscar-nominated Philomena. 

Since setting up television production company, Baby Cow Productions in 1999 with Steven Coogan, Henry has been a multi BAFTA award winner. 

He is also the patron of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature.

Former international England cricketer Graeme Swann will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts in recognition of his significant contribution to cricket on an international stage.

Graeme started his sporting career as a teenager in his home county of Northampton. 

He became a member of the England junior team, that won the under 19 World Cup in 1998. 

The following year he was given a place on the England squad. 

Graeme moved to Nottingham in 2005 and in 2007 he took 45 wickets for the Trent Bridge outfit and scored 516 runs. 

He made his debut in a full test match for England in 2008 in India, and took two wickets in his first over – becoming only the second player in the history of test cricket to achieve this. 

Graeme was a key member of the England team that won the World Twenty20 Championships in 2010 and he went on to become one of England’s greatest spin bowlers, with 255 wickets in 60 test matches. 

Graeme also played a significant role in the Ashes victories for England against Australia in 2009 and 2011. 

He retired from cricket in 2013 and is now a pundit on television and radio.

During the ceremonies on December 9, international artist Jon Burgerman will receive his award after being named as Nottingham Trent University’s Alumnus of the Year. 

Jon graduated from NTU’s School of Art and Design in 2001 with a first class honours. 

A global leader in the 'doodle' art style, Jon has exhibited his work internationally and features in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum and Science Museum, London. 

In 2008 he released a book called Pens Are My Friends.

Now living in New York, Jon exhibited his work in the White House in 2015 and he received a personal thank you letter from Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden.


  • Notes for editors

    Nottingham Trent University's five-year strategic plan Creating the University of the Future has five main ambitions: Creating Opportunity, Valuing Ideas, Enriching Society, Connecting Globally, and Empowering People

    The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education was awarded to Nottingham Trent University in November 2015. It is the highest national honour for a UK university and recognises the institution's world-class research. Pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage, enable safer production of powdered infant formula, and combat food fraud, led to the prestigious award.

Rio Olympics stars among honorary degree recipients

Published on 7 December 2016
  • Category: Press office

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