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Broadcasters, artists, business leaders and a Royal wedding musician to collect honorary degrees and awards from NTU

Nottingham Trent University has announced the recipients of its 2020 honorary degrees and awards, which will be presented during graduation ceremonies taking place from 1-9 September.

Alexandra Peace-Gadsby, 2020 NTU Honorary
Alexandra Peace-Gadsby, a 2020 NTU Honorary

Jeanie Finlay is a British Independent Film Award winner, who, over the past 15 years, has created a body of acclaimed feature documentaries for international cinema release and broadcast, including Emmy nominated Game of Thrones: The Last Watch and BIFA nominated Seahorse. She studied Contemporary Arts at NTU, and in 2008 she set up Glimmer Films with the aim of delivering ambitious, intimately told documentary films, made in the regions for a worldwide audience. In 2016 the company was named as one of the 50 most creative companies in England by Creative England and The Daily Telegraph. Jeanie was named by Sheffield Doc/Fest as an inspiration award winner, for her ability to inspire filmmakers and engage audiences around the world in documentary.

Andy Earl completed a Diploma in Creative Photography at NTU and is now an internationally renowned photographer. He has a portfolio ranging from pop artists such as Duran Duran, Madonna, Johnny Cash and Pink Floyd to creating stamps for the Royal Mail, US Post and Irish Post. He presented the BBC Programme The Photo Show and has exhibited and delivered keynote speeches across the world.

Michael Eaton is a dramatist known for award-winning TV dramas such as Why Lockerbie?, Shoot to Kill and Fellow Traveller which won Best Screenplay at the British Film Awards in 1989. He was awarded the MBE for Services to Film in the 1999 New Year’s Honours List and has also been a Visiting Professor in the School of Arts and Humanities.

Also receiving honorary degrees are David Lloyd, Chairman of Notts TV and accomplished figure in media with over 40 years’ experience both managing and presenting on commercial and BBC radio stations and Jack Kirkland, Chairman of Bowmer + Kirkland Group of Companies, one of the largest privately-owned construction and development groups in the UK. Jack was also Chair of Nottingham Contemporary between 2015 and 2020.

Professor Richard P. Evershed, Professor of Biogeochemistry, University of Bristol, and NTU graduate in BSc (Hons) Applied Chemistry was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2010 in recognition of his world-leading interdisciplinary research involving the application of biomolecular and isotope techniques to biogeochemistry, archaeology and palaeontology. Following the award of Royal Society of Chemistry’s Theophilus Redwood Lectureship in 2002 and Interdisciplinary Award in 2003 he received the Robert Boyle Prize in 2016 for his outstanding contributions to analytical science and in the same year the British Mass Spectrometry Society’s Aston Medal for his outstanding contributions to mass spectrometry.

His Honour Judge Dickinson QC is Recorder of Nottingham. He is the senior judge at Nottingham Crown Court. He was regarded as one of the leading criminal practitioners in the country. He was appointed an Honorary Professor at NTU in 2017 and is also a recipient of an honorary degree.

Other recipients include broadcaster Dean Jackson, a radio presenter at BBC Radio Nottingham who studied BEd (Hons) Education at NTU, and Chrissy Levett, Founder and CEO of Creative Conscience, a global not-for-profit organisation that encourages and rewards creative thinking for social justice and sustainability.

Alexandra Peace-Gadsby OBE graduated from NTU with a degree in Business Information Systems. She is an entrepreneur and volunteer who is a Director and joint founder of Fylo Entreprise Limited, as well as the Chair of Parentkind, a national charity promoting parental voice and participation in education. She is also a Trustee at Youth United Foundation; Chair of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust; Trustee of the Inspire and Achieve Foundation; and until recently was the Chief Commissioner of England at the Scout Association. In 2019 Alex was awarded an OBE for her services to Entrepreneurship and the Community in Newark.

Other NTU alumni who will receive honorary degrees include Marvin Cooke, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing at Toyota Motor Europe who began his career at Pirelli Tyre Company following his graduation from NTU with a degree in Electrical Engineering. Andy Parkinson graduated inBSc Sport (Science & Administration) and is the CEO of British Rowing and has held a number of positions in national and international sporting organisations including the first Chief Executive of UK Anti-Doping, managing and promoting clean sport in the UK and internationally.

Professor Edward Peck, Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham Trent University, said: “I am always proud to be able to award honorary degrees and awards to inspiring people who have made such an impact, including on our own University or local community.  This year, these awards are even more special as we recognise our collective achievements in light of such extraordinary circumstances, and we’re able to come together and celebrate once more.”

The University’s Awards for Outstanding Alumni will be presented to Diana Ali, Visual Artist, garden designer Sue Hayward, and a posthumous award for hockey player and aspiring chartered surveyor Thomas Wilson.

Diana graduated in 2001 in BA (Hons) Fine Art. She has exhibited and curated regionally, nationally and internationally. She is also a lecturer, freelance workshop leader and an arts educator, working to promote the arts and the importance of creating thinking. She is also a mentor on the BBC show The Big Painting Challenge, Life Drawing Live of which she was nominated for a BAFTA andChannel 4's Drawers off. Sue set up her garden design business on graduating from NTU in 2004 where she studied BSc (Hons) Landscape and Heritage following a career change. She has created gardens for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, for which she received two Gold Medals, as well as a Gold Award at the BBC Gardeners World Live. Her gardens were created for Motor Neurone Disease.

Tom graduated in BSc (Hons) Sports Science Management, studying but also playing top level hockey during his time at NTU. He secured employment with Lambert Smith Hampton and was on the way to becoming a chartered surveyor. Tragically, Tom died in December 2015, aged 22 following an accident at hockey training from a fatal blow to the head causing a haemorrhage. He is honoured for his outstanding services to the community and his selfless decision to become an organ donor.

This year’s NTSU Award is awarded to Sheku Rhys Kanneh-Mason MBE. Sheku became a household name after performing at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He initially garnered renown as the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician competition.

From Nottingham, Sheku began learning the cello from the age of six. He recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in London where he continues his studies with Hannah Roberts as a Bicentenary Fellow.

He performed at the BAFTA awards ceremony in 2017 and 2018, is the winner of Best Classical Artist at the Global Awards in 2020 and 2021 (the latter as part of the Kanneh-Mason family) and received the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists’ Award. Sheku was appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2020 New Year’s Honours List.

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Sarah McLeod, Corporate PR Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8735, or via email.

    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 over 35,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University injects £1.6bn into the UK economy. It has been the largest recruiter of UK undergraduates in each of the last four years. With an international student population of 4,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 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 and was awarded University of the Year in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2019.

Published on 23 August 2021
  • Category: Press office