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University of Hull honours cultural elite

Leading lights from the cultural world will receive honorary degrees from the University of Hull this week.  

Some of the country’s foremost cultural leaders and creators have been selected to receive their honours in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the arts from the University of Hull during the city’s year as the UK’s capital of culture. 

Over 3,800 new graduates and their families will attend the special ceremonies over the week, which are led by the University’s Chancellor, The Rt Hon. Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone. Graduating alongside our students, with honorary degrees will be: 

  • the 16th Director General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall of Birkenhead CBE 
  • Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Gregory Doran 
  • Internationally acclaimed sculptor, Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir 
  • Sir John Sorrell CBE – co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation which aims to inspire creativity in young people 
  • alumna and Artistic Director of the Tricycle Theatre, Ms Indhu Rubasingha MBE  
  • Beverley-based award-winning novelist, Valerie Wood 
  • Acclaimed author and historian, Dr Tracy Borman 
  • Sir Peter Bazalgette - Chairman of ITV and former Chair of Arts Council England 

Highfliers from industry, science and politics are also being recognised with honorary degrees including: 

  • the first Briton in space, astronaut and scientist, Helen Sharman OBE 

  • Baroness Julia Cumberlege CBE DL, the former Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health 

  • One of the leading authorities on social justice, Professor Dame Hazel Genn, DBE QC 

We congratulate the thousands of students who are graduating this week during Hull’s very special year and wish them all the best as they head towards their bright futures.   Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull

Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull said:

"We congratulate the thousands of students who are graduating this week during Hull’s very special year and wish them all the best as they head towards their bright futures.  

"This week’s graduates and honorary graduates join our global alumni community which already includes many successful and high-profile people working in the arts such as Darren Henley, OBE, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray, Chair of Hull 2017 Rosie Millard, comedian Lucy Beaumont and award-winning directors such as Marianne Elliot and the late Anthony Minghella to name just a few."

The University of Hull is a Principal Partner in Hull’s UK City of Culture and is playing a significant role in producing and hosting some of the spectacular events that form part of the City of Culture programme. University of Hull students, graduates and staff are at the heart of the programming with conferences, concerts and festivals showcasing their talent. In addition, as the exclusive academic research partner we leading the evaluation of the year’s impact on the city. 

The University of Hull has a strong track record in employability with 96% of our students progressing into work or further study within six months of graduating 

The degree ceremonies are taking place at Hull City Hall from 10 to 14 July, 2017. 

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