University of Hertfordshire graduation ceremonies begin

THE University of Hertfordshire’s annual graduation ceremonies have begun today (Tuesday) at St Albans Abbey.

More than 4,300 new graduates, their proud parents and friends have been invited to celebrate their academic success.

And 16 pillars of the community will also be rewarded with honorary degrees and fellowships for outstanding contribution to academic disciplines, charity, professions or public service.

Among those picking up the prestigious honours are Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, who lives in Cuffley, and Welwyn charity stalwart Jean Pickering, who runs the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund.

Philip Waters, secretary and registrar at the Hatfield-based uni, said: “For the university this is always a special time of year.

“These ceremonies are the ultimate recognition the university can award its students following all their hard work.

“This year our honorary awards are recognising one of the UK’s most respected business leaders Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco and some of the county’s great and good.”

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Honorary awards and fellowships will be awarded to:

Sir Terry Leahy, the CEO of Tesco, for his exceptional achievements as one of Britain’s most successful business leaders.

Phillip Friend OBE, the founder of Phil & Friends and chairman of RADAR. A hugely influential figure in both the voluntary sector and business world on disability and diversity issues.

Professor Peter Noyce CBE, in recognition of the support he gives to the university and for his outstanding contribution to science teaching and practice of pharmacy.

Peter Farmer, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the university’s board of governors.

Professor Neil Buxton, the university’s first vice-chancellor. It is to his credit the university was able to expand and diversify while maintaining teaching quality and research standing.

Lord Dholakia OBE, role model and ambassador for advancing community relations and social policy in the UK and abroad.

Maggie Jackson, director of coaching for the Mavericks, the Superleague netball club. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to coach education and development

Professor Keith Wilson, was the former director of research at the university. In recognition of his loyalty and commitment over nearly 40 years, and his sustained contribution to the development of research at the university.

Karin Hale for showing great dedication to the university’s developments and activity in the voluntary sector over many years.

Jonathan Steele, an outstanding journalist covering foreign affairs for The Guardian for four decades. In recognition of his remarkable contribution as a foreign correspondent.

Jean Pickering, currently works to provide promising young talent in the local community the support they need to reach their potential. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to sport in the county of Hertfordshire.

Gemma Metheringham, the creative driving force behind the Karen Millen designer label. For her outstanding contribution to the creative industries and support for the fashion designers of the future.

Dr Edward Eastwood, is curator of the Clinton-Baker Pinetum at Bayfordbury Park. To honour his outstanding vision and commitment to Hertfordshire’s cultural heritage.

Caroline Tapster, chief executive ofof Hertfordshire County Council. In recognition of her outstanding contribution to local government over the past 30 years.

Andrew Watkinson, an accomplished musician and highly-respected specialist in the field of baroque music. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to music.

Andr�s Duany, an award-winning architect and urban planner. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to new urbanism and his work for the Hertfordshire community.

The honours are being presented by the university’s chancellor, Lord Salisbury, pro-chancellor Jo Connell, vice-chancellor Tim Wilson and deputy vice-chancellors Terry Neville and Graham Galbraith.

The ceremonies run until Friday.

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