Anglia Ruskin prepares to honour its graduates

Published: 26 September 2017 at 12:00

Students dressed in graduation robes sat together in an audience

Successful students to be joined at ceremonies by notable figures with local connections

Two gold medallists, a leading economist, a revolutionary educator and one of the world’s foremost scholars in children’s literature will receive honorary degrees in front of successful students during graduation ceremonies at Anglia Ruskin University. 

Over 4,500 students will receive their degrees watched by family, friends and lecturers in 26 ceremonies taking place in Peterborough, Cambridge and Chelmsford during October.

Each year, Anglia Ruskin University recognises special guests for their achievements in their respective fields and contribution to society, in order to inspire those students crossing the stage to strive for excellence in their own careers.

This year, five honorary degrees will be given out to the following recipients:

Alex Dowsett is an Essex-born professional cyclist – a British, Commonwealth and European time trial champion, and former holder of the prestigious “Hour Record” – he is the only able-bodied elite sportsperson in the world with haemophilia. 

A former member of Chelmsford Swimming Club and the Maldon & District Cycling Club, Alex will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Science at Chelmsford Cathedral on Wednesday, 11 October.

Dr Andrew Sentance CBE, who will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, was a leading member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee during the Global Financial Crisis. 

A distinguished business economist, he has also been Chief Economist at British Airways and a founder member of the Treasury’s Panel of Independent Forecasters. He was made a CBE in the 2012 New Year’s Honours List, and in 2016 became chair of the Essex Economic Commission.

Dr Sentance will receive his award on Thursday, 12 October in Chelmsford.

Max Whitlock MBE is a Basildon-based double Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast. Max, who is also a three-time European champion and three-time Commonwealth champion, will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Science in Cambridge on Tuesday, 17 October.

Max’s dedication and success have helped raise the profile of gymnastics with young people throughout the UK. His efforts were rewarded with an MBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.

Professor Maria Tatar is an American academic, author, teacher, and currently the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages and Literature, and Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. She is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost scholars on folk and fairy tales, and children’s literature.

She enjoys close links with Anglia Ruskin, having met and provided encouragement to a number of postgraduate students on a visit to Cambridge in 2016. She will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Arts at Cambridge Corn Exchange on Wednesday, 18 October.

Christine Counsell lectured for 20 years at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education and is the leading figure in the field of history teaching in the UK. Currently the Director of Education at the Inspiration Trust, she has maintained a close relationship with Anglia Ruskin throughout her career. She will receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Education in Cambridge on Friday, 20 October.

The celebrations will begin at Peterborough Cathedral on Tuesday, 3 October, followed by ceremonies at Chelmsford Cathedral from Monday, 9 October until Friday, 13 October. Graduations will continue at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange during the week commencing 16 October.

Professor Iain Martin, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said: 

“We are extremely excited to be going into our annual graduation ceremonies – it is a tremendous pleasure for all at Anglia Ruskin University to see our students cross the stage and be rewarded for their hard work and success over the course of their degrees.
“All our graduates should be very proud of what they have achieved. The atmosphere around campus and indeed our cities during this time is always a joy to be a part of.
“It is also our privilege to welcome five exceptional individuals to receive honorary degrees in front of our students. They have all achieved excellence in their respective fields and will serve as a terrific inspiration to our graduates.”