Thursday 22 July 2010

Stars of stage and screen among honorary graduates of Nottingham Trent University

Billy Connolly and Dame Judi Dench
Billy Connolly and Dame Judi Dench are among those to receive honorary degrees

Sir David Attenborough
Sir David Attenborough

Watch a video of Nottingham Trent University Chancellor, Sir Michael Parkinson, speaking about his choice of people to receive honorary degrees from the University. SWF icon

Sir David Attenborough, Billy Connolly and Dame Judi Dench are among a host of high profile figures to have collected honorary degrees at Nottingham Trent University's July Graduation and Award ceremonies.

Britain's best known natural history film-maker, Sir David Attenborough, has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSci) in recognition of his five-decade career as a naturalist and broadcaster. Sir David recently ensured his place in broadcasting history with the comprehensive Life series, made across 20 years, celebrating animals, plant life and environments from the Arctic to tropical jungles. His books, radio talks and personal appearances present a fresh way of seeing the human species in the wider global context.

An honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) has been conferred upon internationally acclaimed performer, Billy Connolly. His career, which began in the 1960's and spans comedy, acting, presenting and music, has seen him tour the world with his shows. Billy's performances include the BAFTA-nominated role of John Brown in the film Mrs Brown, while his documentary on Canada earned him a nomination for a National Television Award.

Regarded as one of Britain's national treasures, Dame Judi Dench has also received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of her extraordinary stage and screen career. Dame Judi is well known for her diverse range of film roles and critically acclaimed theatre and television performances. She was among the founding company of the Royal Shakespeare Company, helping to inaugurate the new Nottingham Playhouse, and has won a score of awards, including an Oscar, a Tony, seven Oliviers and 10 BAFTAs.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Falconer of Thoroton QC, internationally renowned barrister and legal and constitutional reformer, has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD). Lord Falconer's career includes more than 25 years as a commercial barrister and a decade as a member of the UK government. Serving in the Blair government from 1997-2007, and as Lord Chancellor and Secretary for Constitutional Affairs from 2003, he led moves to bring about historic changes in the administration of justice. As a result, he took up the new post of Secretary of State for Justice, bringing together courts, prisons and justice policy for the first time.

In recognition of his influence on contemporary thinking in public policy development over the past 20 years, an honorary degree of Doctor of Social Science (DSoc Sci) has been conferred upon Dr Geoff Mulgan. As an author, lecturer, researcher, broadcaster and adviser, Dr Mulgan has influenced thinking and policy making on issues such as health, education, justice, communication, the creative use of the web and many other areas of political, academic and public affairs.

Children's literature giant and former Children's Laureate (2007-2009), Michael Rosen, has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Education (DEd). During his career, spanning four decades, Michael became one of the first poets to tour UK schools. As an author he has produced more than 140 books and his poems, stories, scripts and other work have inspired children to read, write, perform, explore and develop their interests and talents as they grow up.

In a rare honour, a triple Doctor of Letters (DLitt) award has been conferred upon mother and sons, Mrs Marina Smith, Dr James Smith and Dr Stephen Smith, for their work in remembrance of the Holocaust. Dr Stephen Smith, executive director of the Shoah Foundation, of Los Angeles, and a member of the inter-governmental Taskforce on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research (ITF), co-founded the UK Holocaust Centre at Laxton, Nottinghamshire, with his brother James in 1995, with their mother becoming its first education director. The Holocaust Centre engages with pupils, teachers and researchers at all levels of education to raise awareness of not only the Holocaust of the Second World War, but more recent genocides such as those in Armenia, Cambodia and Rwanda. They also co-founded the Aegis Trust, which campaigns against crimes against humanity and genocide.

An honorary degree of Doctor of Art (DArt) has also been conferred upon Robert Stephen Rubin for his work in championing global business ethics. Since 1969, Stephen Rubin has been chairman of the UK's leading family-owned global brand management business in the sportswear and footwear sector, Pentland Group. He has been a constant promoter of corporate responsibility, conscious of human rights and eliminating child-labour and other exploitation. He was awarded an OBE in 2002 for his work in business and human rights.

In recognition of his leadership and progress in the criminal justice system, Governor of HMP Nottingham, Peter Wright, has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Social Science (DSoc Sci). With the aim of increasing public confidence in the criminal justice system and reducing the risk of people re-offending, Peter has worked to foster links between the professional and academic sectors, including a partnership between Nottingham Trent University and the Sex Offender Treatment Programme at HMP Whatton to develop innovations for wider application. He is also known for his enthusiastic and progressive approach to the housing, care and resettlement of offenders.

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