University of Leicester Honorary Degree for Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Posted by pt91 at Jul 08, 2011 12:31 PM |

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 8 July 2011


Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Leicester


Archbishop Desmond Tutu is being honoured for his work in the field of race relations

University of Leicester Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “There can be no greater role model for our graduands from across the world than Archbishop Desmond Tutu.   His wisdom, courage and integrity are an inspiration to us all and we are delighted to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters on such a great global figure.

“Desmond Tutu is an inspirational person who adds much to our understanding of diversity and is a champion of equality.  He is an embodiment of the University’s position as being ‘elite without being elitist’.”


Friday July 15


Media should arrive no later than 1.45pm outside the De Montfort Hall foyer (parkside) where a Press Office representative will be standing with a Press signpost.

From here you will be escorted to the De Montfort Hall stage . You should be in situ on stage by 2pm.  We are expecting the Archbishop to arrive at approx 2.10pm

All interviews and photos are on the stage at De Montfort Hall.  Please be aware there will be background sound as students assemble to be seated

There will be 5mins photo opp (2.10pm-2.15pm) as Archbishop Desmond Tutu is robed with his ceremonial gown by Mrs Barbara Wright, the usher to the honorands.

Opportunities for interviews will occur between 2.15-2.30pm only.  The length of interview time available will depend on the number of media in situ but you should expect approx 3 mins per interview.  Every effort will be made to offer sequential interviews, but please be aware that if circumstances require, interviews may not be available sequentially and may have to be conducted conference style.

Media must leave the stage at 2.30pm


· Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be part of an academic procession onto the stage at 3pm. Ceremonial music (Fanfare by Erich Korengold and Brahms’ Gaudeamus Igitur) will play as they process and the National Anthem is played when the congregation is assembled on stage. The congregation will then be seated and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess will address the congregation.

· Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be seated on the stage while speeches are made and students receive their degrees

· At approximately 3.45pm, the Public Orator Professor Gordon Campbell will address the congregation ie he will make a speech about Archbishop Desmond Tutu

· Archbishop Tutu will be presented with his Degree by Vice-Chancellor  Professor Sir Robert Burgess

· At approximately 3.50pm Archbishop Desmond Tutu will address the congregation for up to 5 mins.  He will then be escorted back to his seat.

· Thereafter, the remainder of the students receive their degrees and Medical students pledge the Declaration of Geneva.

· At approximately 4.45pm the ceremony is expected to end and Archbishop Desmond Tutu will process off the stage and participate in official University photographs and signing of the degree book

· Approximately 5pm-5.15pm- further media picture opportunities


The University of Leicester degree ceremonies take place at De Montfort Hall, Leicester, LE1 7RU.

Please note a one-way system is in operation on University Road between London Road and Welford Road


Parking is very limited- a small number of spaces have been reserved for Press arriving for this ceremony. This is at Coach Drive which is accessed via Granville Road, Leicester.  If you require parking please email us ASAP on  with details of which media you represent and ,if possible, the vehicle registration. We will request a space be reserved for you and  will email you confirmation if space is reserved. The deadline for requesting spaces is Thursday July 14.

If you do not get an allotted  parking space, there is a pay-and-display at Victoria Park  which is adjacent to De Montfort Hall, Leicester.


Ather Mirza- 0116 252 3335;  mobile 07711 927821

Peter Thorley- 0116 252 2415; mobile 07810 856800 (for use on Friday July 15 only)


If you require an audio feed –please do this at least 30 minutes in advance of the ceremony. Liaise with Jon Shears at the De Montfort Hall.

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