Lifetime Contribution award to Professor John Benyon

Posted by pt91 at Dec 08, 2015 10:45 AM |
Political Studies Association honours Leicester academic for longstanding support
Lifetime Contribution award to Professor John Benyon

Professor John Benyon receives his award from Professor John Tonge.

The Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom has honoured Professor John Benyon from the University of Leicester by presenting him with a Lifetime Contribution award. The presentation took place in front of a large audience including academics, politicians, and journalists, at the Association’s annual Awards Ceremony and Dinner in central London.

The award recognises Professor Benyon’s role in the growth and development of the study of politics in the UK for over a quarter of a century. He served on the Executive Committee from 1987 and as Treasurer from 1992 until 2015. During his period in charge the Association’s income and expenditure grew nearly twenty-fold and the reserves rose from £67,000 to £1.5 million.

The citation for the award said that John Benyon’s ‘role has been pivotal to the modernising and professionalising’ of the Association and it praised ‘his foresight, strategic thinking and acute attention to detail’. ‘His shrewd custodianship’ of the finances ‘allowed the Association to grow and prosper’. The judges said that the Political Studies Association ‘owes Professor Benyon a huge amount for the time, energy and diligence he offered for more than two decades of unstinting service’. The Association was now hugely stronger than when he joined.

The Chair of the Political Studies Association, Professor Matthew Flinders (Sheffield) spoke of John Benyon’s dedicated service, incredible support and sage advice. In his acceptance speech, John Benyon said how much he had enjoyed serving as Treasurer and working alongside such eminent political scientists. Saying how grateful he was, and how touched he felt by the tributes, Professor Benyon pointed out to fellow award-winner George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the Political Studies Association had run a surplus every year except one since 1992!

Professor Benyon said that the Political Studies Association of the UK is thriving and alongside it the study of politics in British universities is flourishing. This contrasted with the apparently high levels of cynicism amongst the public about national politics, politicians and journalists – in short, the Westminster village. He said: ‘it seems that there is a greater need than ever for healthy and vibrant political studies in our country’.

In addition to George Osborne, other award winners included Harriet Harman MP, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, James Landale (BBC) and Sandi Toksvig.

Thanking the Political Studies Association for his award, John Benyon said: "It really is a great honour to receive this lifetime achievement award and I am very grateful for it and for all the complimentary things everyone has said about me and my work. I have enjoyed working over the many years with many knowledgeable and able academics in developing and promoting political studies."

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