University of Leicester honorary degrees: summer 2012

Posted by pt91 at Jun 06, 2012 12:30 PM |
The University of Leicester is awarding 11 honorary degrees at its degree congregations this summer between 10 July and 13 July.

Images of all the honorands available from

They include distinguished people from public, cultural, business and professional fields:

• Rex Bloomstein, noted film and documentary maker

• Margaret Lovell, sculptor

• Sir David Samworth CBE, DL, President and former Chairman and co-founder of Samworth Brothers Limited

• Michael Shattock, former Registrar, University of Warwick

• Philip Dodd, former University of Leicester lecturer and an award-winning broadcaster and Chairman of Made in China, an agency developing cultural, educational business relationships between the UK and China.

• John Florance , BBC Radio Leicester’s Faith Producer

• Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE, first Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency in Leicester and first Director for England of the National Lottery Charities Board as well as the first Chief Executive of the Law Society.

• Julie Anne Etchingham, Presenter, ITV News at Ten, ITV Tonight Programme

• Frances Patterson Q.C., Public Law Commissioner for England and Wales.

• Lord Justice Goldring , Lord Justice of Appeal, Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales

• Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, said: “I am delighted that the University of Leicester will be awarding Honorary Degrees this summer to individuals who are highly distinguished in a wide range of areas including law, the arts, business, education and the natural and life sciences.  It is a pleasure to continue to build our relationships with leaders in their field, many of whom have long-standing connections with the University, the City and the County.   They are all very excellent role models and we look forward to bestowing our awards upon them.”

The ceremonies will take place at De Montfort Hall, Leicester.


Rex Bloomstein


Doctor of Letters


Tuesday 10 July 2012, 3.00 p.m.

Rex Bloomstein began his career as a documentary director with the BBC in 1970. His work later exposed the realities of prison life and addressed aspects of the British penal system previously closed to public scrutiny. Films such as 'The Sentence', 'Release', 'Prisoners' Wives', 'Parole', 'Lifers' and 'Strangeways' which won two British Academy Awards in 1980: best documentary series and best single documentary.

Rex Bloomstein went on to produce and direct a number of acclaimed historical studies for television: 'Traitors to Hitler', 'Martin Luther King - the Legacy' and 'Attack on the Liberty'.

Many have also been committed to exploring the Holocaust. 'Auschwitz and the Allies' examined what the Allies knew of the greatest death camp in history, while 'the Gathering' witnessed in Jerusalem in 1981, the largest ever gathering of Holocaust survivors from all over the world. 'The Longest Hatred', a trilogy charting the unique history of Anti-Semitism and its manifestation in modern society, broadcast in 1989 and to over 20 countries worldwide; 'Liberation' the stories of Allied soldiers who were the first to enter the Nazi Concentration Camps and 'KZ', an award winning film described as 'the first post-modern Holocaust documentary'. This first feature length film for cinema, released in 2005, explored the legacy of Austria's Mauthausen concentration camp and its impact on visitors and residents today.

In 1997 the 12th London Jewish Film Festival screened Rex Bloomstein's films in a day-long retrospective.

Another major concentration of work has been human rights. This began with a two-hour film in 1984. 'Human Rights', explored the global struggle against human rights violations. The film that followed, 'Torture', was an examination of how this tragic phenomenon continues in contemporary society. To mark the 40th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1988, he conceived a new series for BBC 2 called 'Prisoners of Conscience' which ran for 5 years. Eminent presenters, from the arts, politics and science told the stories of innocent people imprisoned in different countries and urged the audience to campaign for their release. A further series, 'Human Rights, Human Wrongs', a week of 10-minute programmes with themes such as genocide, censorship and slavery followed, and ran for a further five years and again featured distinguished presenters. 'Roots of Evil' a major three-part series (1997) explored why acts of terror and destruction seem endemic in the human condition.

In 2001, Rex Bloomstein continued the theme of crime and punishment, when BBC2's Timewatch commissioned 'Strangeways Revisited'. Another retrospective exploration was 'Lifer - Living With Murder' broadcast in 2003, which looked at life sentence prisoners filmed twenty years previously. This was followed in 2005 by 'Kids Behind Bars'.

In 2008, a second feature documentary 'An Independent Mind' examined one of our most fundamental human rights: freedom of expression. It featured eight stories from around the world.

This led in 2010 to 'This Prison Where I Live', Rex Bloomstein's latest film which campaigned against the imprisonment of Zarganar, Burma's greatest living comedian. Zarganar is now free.

Rex Bloomstein said: “ To have become a Visiting Fellow and contributed to an excellent Department of Criminology at Leicester has indeed been gratifying, however the award of an Honorary Doctorate gives me particular pleasure –especially for someone who failed his 11-Plus!”

Margaret Lovell


Doctor of Letters


Tuesday 10 July 2012, 3.00 p.m.

With a career spanning over five decades and with no signs of slowing down, Margaret Lovell has taken deceptively simple forms of nature, and translated them into abstract works of bronze, slate, stone or granite.  Using what she observes around her, the resulting sculptures take on a form, a thought, or a movement frozen in time.  Highly polished surfaces contrast with saturated patina, and the finished piece is an expression of nature at its most basic element.  In addition to the selection of sculptural statements culled from the vast array nature affords, Margaret’s work possesses a symmetry and rhythm that is uniquely her own.

Says Margaret, “The beauty I see around me is my inspiration, whether it comes from the unfurling of a leaf, to the sinuous glide of a fish, to the undulating movement of grass in a field; all elements become an idea which then develops into a resulting 3D form.  Elements of the sea, or of the wind, or the play of contrast between shadow and light, especially the use of negative space within sculpture, all create a rich and fascinating world to explore.”

Upon hearing she is to be awarded an Honorary Degree Margaret Lovell said: “I was shocked and surprised and found it difficult to believe!  After a while, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude that such an honour was being offered, whilst all I was doing was just quietly getting on with what I love doing --- making sculpture.

“My first connection with Leicester was as a young sculptor, being included in an exhibition in the mid/late 1960’s.  At that time, I was very thrilled that Leicestershire Education Committee purchased one of my prints.  More recently, I have been invited to exhibit in the Harold Martin Botanical Gardens of the University of Leicester.  This gave me the opportunity to show some larger-scale bronze, and slate, sculptures in the natural settings of the gardens.  These sculpture displays gave me insight into the very impressive contribution the University is making to the arts, giving sculptors the opportunity to show their work in beautiful surroundings, and all very professionally organized and presented.

“But more importantly, I have been moved by the appreciation of the local public who walk around the exhibition, people who may never consider visiting an art gallery, but who enjoy the informality of the sculpture in the gardens.  Last year, one man told me he visits every day, and always sees something new.  What an awesome and immeasurable influence the University is making to art and the community, and I feel both honoured and humbled to be a very small part of it.”

Sir David Samworth CBE DL


Doctor of Laws


Wednesday 11 July 2012, 11.00 a.m.

Sir David Samworth is President and former Chairman and co-founder of Samworth Brothers Limited, a major food manufacturer supplying the quality retail market and also owners of the Ginsters and Dickinson & Morris brands.   David has sponsored three Academies in the East Midlands, in Leicester and in Mansfield with the Dioceses of the Church of England, and in Nottingham with the University of Nottingham.   He is a former High Sheriff of Leicestershire, a Deputy Lieutenant, and through the Samworth Foundation supports many charitable organisations both locally and abroad.

Sir David Samworth said:  “I am both honoured and delighted to be awarded an Honorary Degree by the University of Leicester as it is a major seat of learning and research in the county where I live and a large part of Samworth Brothers Limited is based.

Sir David said: “The University contributes through research to many areas of life which affect our understanding of how to improve the world we live in.   Education is one of the most important elements of the development of the individual to enhance both their own lives and those with whom they live and work.   The University of Leicester also makes a positive contribution to the multi-cultural city of Leicester, and to the wider community, both national and international, from which it is drawn.”

Michael Shattock


Doctor of Letters


Wednesday 11 July 2012, 11.00 a.m.

Michael Shattock, OBE, MA Oxon was educated at Reading School and St Catherines College, Oxford where he read Modern History. He holds honorary degrees from Aberdeen, Reading and Warwick universities. He held posts at the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and the Universities of Leeds and Bradford being seconded for 1966 and for  1969 to be Assistant Registrar and in 1969 Registrar, of University College, now University of  Nairobi where he founded a Medical and an Agricultural school. First appointed to the University of Warwick in 1969 he was Registrar  1983-1999 and was closely associated with the development and success of the University. On retirement from Warwick he was invited to take a Visiting Professorship in the Centre for Higher Education Studies, Institute of Education, University of London where, with Professor Gareth Williams he founded the MBA in Higher Education Management, which in 2012 celebrated  its first 10 years and is still the only MBA programme  in the higher education field world wide

He is widely published in higher education with some 80 articles in refereed journals and chapters in books. His major books are The UGC and the Management of British Universities (1994), The Creation of a University System  (Ed)(1996), Managing Successful Universities (2003 and 2010), Managing Good Governance in Higher Education (2006) and, to be published in October 2012, Making Policy in British Higher Education 1945-2011. He has also served as Editor of the Higher Education Quarterly, Minerva and OECD’s Higher Education Management and Policy

Michael Shattock is also well known for high profile inquiries and advisory work in higher education notably the rescue of University College, now Cardiff University from bankruptcy (1987), the review of the governance and management of Cambridge in the light of the Capsa affair (2002), reviews of the European University Institute in Florence, the University of the West Indies and of the University of Ghana and the chairmanship of the OECD Review of Irish higher Education (2003).

Michael Shattock said: “I am deeply honoured by receiving an honorary degree from the University of Leicester which I have felt strongly associated with through my wife since her appointment initially as lecturer in the University and latterly as Director of the Victorian Studies Centre and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, since the 1970s. It has been a great pleasure to see the progress of the University under the leadership of Professor Sir Robert Burgess, a close colleague at Warwick, and to see the appointments of the Registrar, the recently retired Director of Finance and the Director of the International Office  from my stable at Warwick and the Academic Registrar from my MBA programme in London.”

Philip Dodd


Doctor of Letters


Wednesday 11 July 2012,  3.00 p.m.

Philip Dodd is an award-winning broadcaster and Chairman of Made in China ( , an agency developing cultural, educational business relationships between the UK and China. From 1997 to 2004 he was director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and his other posts have included editorship of the cinema magazine Sight & Sound, deputy editorship of the New Statesman and various academic positions, from lecturer at the University of Leicester to Visiting Professorships at King’s College, London, and  at University of the Arts, London. His writing on national identity for the thinktank Demos has been credited with helping to shape the Cool Britannia strategy of the mid 90s. He also served on the Power Enquiry into the future of democracy in the UK, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy.

He is acknowledged to be one of the first individuals in Britain to recognise the importance of contemporary China. He staged exhibitions in Beijing and Shanghai in 1998, to accompany the first visit to China of Mr Blair., staged a month long event at the ICA in London in 1999, entitled ‘Beijing London’. He is the Senior Consultant to ART HK,  is advising on a major new design museum in Shenzhen and he has recently launched a club for Chinese students in Britain.

In the last 25 years he has worked in various capacities for the BBC – first as consultant to Alan Yentob, then Head of Music and Arts, BBC Television to his present role as weekly presenter of Radio 3’s Nightwaves

He said: “I served as University Lecturer in the Department of English from 1976 to 1989. I am touched – especially now that my own life has taken a ‘global’ term - that I should return to a city in the middle of England, which has its own global networks.”

John Florance


Doctor of Laws


Wednesday 11 July 2012,  3.00 p.m.

John Florance has been involved in programmes on BBC Radio Leicester for over 30 years and he has been a tutor at the University of Leicester Arts Centre, Embrace Arts.

He came to Leicester as a Sixth Form College teacher in the late seventies. In 2002 he published a book called Getting Started in Radio and has also published an anthology of poetry in 2003. He has also presented countless programmes on BBC Radios 2, 3 and 4. He is a warden at Leicester Cathedral and a committed teacher for the Workers Education Association. He holds a PhD for his work on 20th century theatre.

John Florance, who is presently BBC Radio Leicester’s Faith Producer, said: “I am thrilled by this great honour. It also reflects the work BBC Radio Leicester has done since 1967 in providing a focus for the city and county and holding our politicians, local and national, to account. The University of Leicester has always meant a great deal to me. I have taught and lectured, used the marvellous library and attended countless meetings and lectures there. That Leicester has such a splendid centre of academic excellence is one of the many things that makes the city such a good place in which to live.’

Rt Hon Dame Janet Paraskeva DBE


Doctor of Laws


Thursday 12 July 2012 11.00 a.m.

Janet Paraskeva began her career as a teacher of Biology, Maths and Physics and went on to work for a number of years in Youth and Community work establishing the National Youth agency in Leicester, becoming its first Chief Executive and creating the European Confederation of Youth Club Organisations. She worked as an education Inspector for the Inner London Education Authority and was also HM Inspector of Schools. She was the first Director for England of the National Lottery Charities Board and went on to be the first Chief Executive of the Law Society restoring its reputation as a regulator and separating its representative role.

Other previous roles include membership of the National Crime Prevention Board and then the Youth Justice Board, the Fosse Community Health Trust, the Consumer Council for Water and the Board of Leicester University.  More recently she has been a non-executive director on the board of the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and Chair of the Child Exploitation and On-line Centre (CEOP) .From  January 2006 to December 2010 she was the First Civil Service Commissioner, regulating entry to the Civil Service and adherence to its values. As well as serving on Panel of the Detainee Inquiry, Janet is the first Chair of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Chair of the Olympic Lottery Distributor and the Chair of the development charity Plan UK. She was appointed to the Privy Council in 2010 in order to sit on the Panel of the Detainee Enquiry into the Government's complicity in torture.

Dame Janet Paraskeva said: “I first came to work in Leicester in 1979 at what is now the National Youth Agency. I found it  such an interesting and exiting city that I recommended it as the location for the first England  office for the National Lottery Charities board when it was established in 1995. Centrally  situated, Leicester was considered to be the best location with the best transport links for the team coordinating the work across the 9 regions of England.  While living in the Leicestershire countryside in Old Dalby, I served as a Magistrate in the city  for 7 years and was for a time a Governor of the Wyggeston School, a member of the Finance  and General purposes Committee of the University, on whose Court I remain a member and a  non executive member of the Fosse Community Health Trust.

“I am honoured to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws by the University and hope that it  will help me to maintain my links with a city with which I feel a close allegiance.”

Julie Anne Etchingham


Doctor of Laws


Thursday 12 July 2012, 3.00 p.m.

Julie Etchingham, married to Nick Gardner, 2 sons

·         Born Leicester 1969

·         Attended Leicester Martyrs RC Comp. Leicester

·         BA Hons Cantab in English, Newnham College, Cambridge


·         Student work BBC Radio Leicester 1986-88

·         BBC News trainee 1992

·         Reporter, BBC Midlands Today, 1992-94

·         Presenter, BBC Newsround, 1994-97

·         Reporter/Presenter, BBC Breakfast News, 1997-2002

·         Presenter, Sky News, 2002-2008

·         Presenter, ITV News at Ten, ITV Tonight Programme, 2008 – date

o   RTS Presenter of the Year 2010

o   First woman to host election night programme

o   Has covered last three US elections

o   Has interviewed past four prime ministers, Hilary Clinton, Condoleeza Rice, President Zadari, Princes William and Harry

o   Has reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Asian Tsunami, the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami, the Papal visit to the UK, Hong Kong Handover, the Oscars, the Royal Wedding.

She said: “It’s an enormous honour to receive the honorary degree from the University of Leicester. Not only is it a wonderful university with a great reputation, but it’s in my home town, which makes it truly special. It’s always lovely to come back home to Leicester, where I grew up and my parents both live. It’s also where my husband took his degree, so the University already has a special place in our family.”

Frances Patterson Q.C.


Doctor of Laws


Friday 13 July 2012, 11.00 a.m.

Frances is the Public Law Commissioner for England and Wales.

During her career at the Bar she specialised in planning, environmental and public law. She took silk in 1998. She became Head of Kings Chambers, in Manchester and Leeds, in 2004. She was made a Bencher of Middle Temple in 2005.

In practice she acted for housing developers, retailers including J Sainsbury and Tesco, the National Grid and BP, the University of York and other further education providers. She appeared at all the large Inquiries in the North West including those for the Manchester Second Runway and the Trafford Centre. 

She took up her post at the Law Commission in January 2010. She is currently leading projects on the reform of health care professionals, electoral law, wildlife, taxis and level crossings. She led the team at the Law Commission that produced the report on Adult Social Care on which the Government is due to respond in May 2012. 

She chaired an Independent Inquiry set up by a Strategic Health Authority into the death of a 5 year old girl who was stabbed by her mentally disturbed mother.

She sits as a Recorder of the Crown Court and as a Deputy High Court Judge

She is Consultant Editor of and contributor to Judicial Review: Law and Practice published by Jordans and Consultant Editor of Jordans Public Law Online.

She said:  “I am most honoured to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by my own University. When I left as a history graduate, more years ago than I care to recall, it is fair to say that no thought entered my mind that I would ever be back. The University now styles itself as elite without being elitist. The open access policies that are part of its strength now were evident then. I met a diverse group of people and made some of my closest friends. Without a doubt my time at the University contributed to my desire to make something of my life. My personal tutor, Professor Jack Simmonds, thought that I would be well suited to publishing and he nearly persuaded me. I went though to read for the Bar. Having done part of my pupillage in London I went up to Manchester where I practised for the next 30 years taking silk in 1998 and becoming Head of Chambers in 2004. My only contact with Leicester then was to advise Barratts on a large housing development by the river where there were problems with pylons interrupting the development layout! I was surprised upon arriving in London to take up my post with the Law Commission to be invited to what was then the second Alumni Dinner of Leicester graduates in London.  But a most enjoyable evening it was. After that I returned to Leicester to give a lecture in the Law Faculty and have seen a transformed University campus. It is evident that much investment and development has taken place and that under the current leadership the University is progressing with justified confidence into the 21st century. I am most grateful to be awarded this Honorary Degree.”

Lord Justice Goldring


Doctor of Laws


Friday 13 July 2012, 11.00 a.m.

Right Honourable Lord Justice Goldring; Knight 1999, PC 2008. A Lord Justice of Appeal since 2008; Senior Presiding Judge of England and Wales since 2010 (Deputy Senior Presiding Judge 2008-9); b November 1944 (Leicester); son of Joseph and Marianne Goldring; m 1970, Wendy Margaret Lancaster Bennett (now Vice Lord Lieutenant of Rutland); two sons.  Educ Hinckley Road (later Dovelands) Junior School; Wyggeston Grammar School; Exeter University (LLB. Called to the Bar (Lincolns Inn, 1969, Bencher 1996. QC 1987; a Recorder 1987-99; a judge of the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, 1999-2008; a Presiding Judge, Midland Circuit, 2002-5.  Commissioner of the Judicial Appointments Commission, 2006-8.

Sir Mark Walport FRS FMedSci


Doctor of Science


Friday 13 July 2012, 3.00 p.m.

Mark Walport is Director of the Wellcome Trust, which is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds. Before joining the Trust he was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.

He has been a member of the Prime Minister's Council for Science and Technology since 2004. He is also a member of the India UK CEO Forum, the UK India round Table and the advisory board of Infrastructure UK and a non-executive member of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He is a member of a number of international advisory bodies.

He has undertaken independent reviews for the UK Government on the use and sharing of personal information in the public and private sectors: 'Data Sharing Review' (2009) and secondary education: 'Science and Mathematics: Secondary Education for the 21st Century' (2010).

He received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to medical research and was elected as Fellow of The Royal Society in 2011.

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