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Campaigners, cricketer, broadcasters and business leaders to collect honorary degrees from NTU

Nottingham Trent University has announced the recipients of this year’s honorary degrees, which will be presented during the summer graduation ceremonies, from 15-26 July.

Gurmit Kaur and James Taylor

Hucknall-born Paris Lees is a writer, broadcaster and passionate campaigner for the equal rights of trans people. Her work has appeared everywhere from the Guardian to the Telegraph, and she is both Channel 4 and Radio 1’s first transgender presenter. Her first book, a literary memoir based on her experiences growing up in Nottingham, is due to be published next Spring by Penguin.

She co-founded All About Trans, a project to introduce media professionals to young trans people in a bid to combat ignorance and improve media coverage and in 2013, the Independent on Sunday named her the most influential person in Britain’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Dame Judith Hackitt DBE is Chair of manufacturing trade body Make UK (formerly EEF) and was previously the Chair of the Health and Safety Executive. She was made a Dame in the 2015/6 New Year Honours for services to health and safety and engineering – in particular for being a role model for young women.

Pat Barker is a Booker Prize-winning author who has published fifteen novels and has been made a CBE for services to literature.

It is always a pleasure to award honorary degrees to those who embody the ethos of NTU

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor, Nottingham Trent University

Also receiving honorary degrees are former Nottinghamshire and England cricketer James Taylor, who is now a national selector for the England team and Community Cohesion Coordinator for Nottinghamshire Police Gurmit Kaur, who was awarded an MBE for her service to policing in 2016 and, after her retirement in 2017, has continued to serve the community as a Special Inspector.

Donal Woods is a BAFTA and EMMY-award winning Production Designer who has worked on the likes of Downton Abbey and is an industry consultant to the BA (Hons) Design for Film & Television course. William Ivory is a writer for TV, film and theatre, as well as a visiting Professor at NTU. Jonathan Church CBE has over 28 years’ experience working in theatre, notably he was Artistic Director of Chichester Festival for 10 years and is currently the Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s Summer Season. In 2015, he established Jonathan Church Productions to produce and manage productions in the West End, on tour and internationally.

Other recipients include Barrister Martin Hunter, Professor Emeritus of International Dispute Resolution at NTU and Simon Gilby, Chief Executive, Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and former member of the Board of Governors at NTU.

Richard Bullock OBE, former Chair of the Board of Governors at NTU, Head of Legal Practice at national law firm Freeths LLP, and Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire will also receive an honorary degree.

Notable NTU alumni are also among those who will receive honorary degrees, including Sean Bowles, who is Managing Director at Morgan Sindall, Vice-Chancellor of Charles Sturt University, Australia, Professor Andrew Vann and David Pearson CBE, current Chair of the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Health and Care System. David also recently retired as Corporate Director for Adult Social Care and Health and Deputy Chief Executive at Nottinghamshire County Council.

Jack Saunders

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “It is always a pleasure to award honorary degrees to those who embody the ethos of NTU, many of whom have direct links to our University or the county in which we are anchored. I am looking forward to hearing this year’s recipients as they inspire our graduating students with their words.”

The University's award for Outstanding Alumni will be presented to award-winning entrepreneur Daniel Hill, BBC Radio 1 DJ Jack Saunders and TV producer Mike Rayment.

Daniel is a serial entrepreneur, investor, property developer, speaker and writer. He graduated in 2009 with a BA (Hons) in Business Studies and in 2014 was invited to become the Entrepreneur in Residence at Nottingham Business School. More recently, he accepted a three-year seat on the CEE Corporate Advisory Board to consult the academic sector on the application of entrepreneurship in practice.

Jack Saunders graduated in 2014 with a Ba(Hons) Broadcast Journalism. While at NTU, Jack became Station Manager of our student radio station Fly FM, helping it scoop nine nominations, five golds and one bronze at the Student Radio Awards – our best ever haul. He has presented shows on Kerrang! and joined BBC Radio 1 last summer, playing rock and alternative music from emerging artists.

Mike Rayment, who graduated in 2006 with a BA (Hons) in International Relations and Global Politics, is a freelance TV producer who has worked on some of Britain’s best-loved shows, including The Apprentice, Would I Lie to You? and Have I Got News For You.

  • Notes for editors

    A full list of dates when honorary graduates will receive their degrees is set out below. If you wish to interview/photograph any of the recipients on these days, please contact Kirsty by July 1.

    Monday 15 July am NLS Professor Martin Hunter
    Tuesday 16 July am NBS Richard Bullock OBE DL
    Tuesday 16 July pm NBS Simon Gilby
    Wednesday 17 July am SSS Special Inspector Gurmit Kaur MBE
    Thursday 18 July am SSS Paris Lees
    Thursday 18 July pm SSS David Pearson CBE
    Friday 19 July am SSS (NIoE) James Taylor
    Monday 22 July am A&D Donal Woods
    Monday 22 July pm A&D Jonathan Church CBE
    Tuesday 23 July am ADBE Sean Bowles
    Tuesday 23 July pm ADBE Professor Andrew Vann
    Wednesday 24 July am A&H Patricia (Pat) Barker
    Wednesday 24 July pm A&H William (Billy) Ivory
    Thursday 25 July am SST Dame Judith Hackitt DBE

    Outstanding Alumni – July 2019

    Monday 15 July pm NLS Daniel Hill
    Friday 19 July pm SSS (NIoE) Jack Saunders
    Friday 26 July pm ARES Mike Rayment

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities , containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won The Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Published on 3 June 2019
  • Category: Press office