A leading Chinese scientist, three significant theatre figures (including a Harry Potter and Doctor Who actor) and a leading Guardian journalist and broadcaster, are just five of the people who will receive honorary degrees from the University of Warwick at its 2019 summer graduation ceremonies in July.
The University’s summer graduations will take place throughout the period Tuesday 16th – Wednesday 24th July 2018 (excluding the weekend) and they will be held in the Butterworth Hall in Warwick Arts Centre.
Biographies of all of those who will receive honorary degrees follow below, along with the title of the degree they will receive. Details of media opportunities for each honorary grad and will be released nearer the time.
Tuesday 16th July Morning
Shabir Randeree (Hon LLD)
Tuesday 16th July Afternoon
Janet Holmes (Hon DLitt)
Wednesday 17th July Morning
Professor Chunli Bai (Hon DSc)
Wednesday 17th July Afternoon
Born Barikor (Hon DSc)
Thursday 18th July Morning
Alex Cotton (Hon DSc)
Thursday 18th July Afternoon
Currently no Honorary Graduate
Friday 19th July Morning
Steven Hollis (Hon DLitt)
Friday 19th July Afternoon
Andrew Haldane (Hon DSc)
Monday 22nd July Morning
Rakie Ayola (Hon DLitt)
Monday 22nd July Afternoon
Currently no Honorary Graduate
Tuesday 23rd July Morning
Lucy Neal (Hon DLitt)
Rose Fenton (Hon DLitt)
Tuesday 23rd July Afternoon
Gary Younge (Hon DLitt)
Wednesday 24th July Morning
Currently no Honorary Graduate
Wednesday 24th July Afternoon
Roy Chung (Hon DSc)
Rakie Ayola – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Rakie Ayola began her acting and performing life and career roles in the Orbit Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Theatre, South Glamorgan Youth Choir and the National Youth Theatre of Wales. She then attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying for a three-year acting diploma.
Her career in the theatre has seen her perform in a number of classical and modern plays including: Twelfth Night and Hamlet (Ophelia) for Birmingham Rep, Goneril in King Lear for the Royal Exchange Theatre/Tawala Theatre Company , Twelfth Night (Olivia) at Bristol Old Vic, the title role of Dido, Queen of Carthage at the Globe Theatre, Strange Fruit (Vivien) for The Bush Theatre, The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Night-time (Siobhan/Narrator) for the National Theatre at Apollo Theatre.
In science fiction and fantasy she has played significant roles across theatre, film and TV thrilling at least three totally different huge fan audiences. In the Doctor Who episode Midnight it is she, rather than the Doctor, who saves the day, sacrificing herself to save a group of tourists on a shuttle from a monster, shaming everyone left on board the vehicle including the Doctor. In the Judge Dredd movie she played the Chief Judge, and of course her portrayal of Hermione Granger-Weasley as the new Minister for Magic in the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which in December 2017 won her the BroadwayWorld UK award for Best Long-running West End Show Performer (Female).
In 2001, Ayola founded a production company and directed a short film entitled Persephone’s Playground. She presented the film at the Cannes film festival, using it as part of her campaign for increased black representation in theatre, films and television.
Rakie has worked closely with Warwick’s Professor Tony Howard on a Multicultural Shakespeare Project and a British Black and Asian Shakespeare research programme and has also produced a multicultural/educational film of Twelfth Night working with Warwick’s Professor Carol Rutter.
Ayola’s first film appearance was in the 1993 film Great Moments in Aviation, written by Jeanette Winterson, in which she starred alongside Jonathan Pryce and John Hurt, and she has had roles in the films The i Inside and Sahara.
Ayola’s first high-profile television role was in the ITV drama Soldier Soldier, in which she starred throughout its third series in 1993 as soldier’s wife Bernie Roberts. She also appeared regularly in Holby City (for which she was shortlisted for the ‘Female Performance in TV’ award in both the 2006 and 2008 Screen Nation Awards), and in 2009 starred in the CBBC musical comedy My Almost Famous Family. Her other TV appearances have included roles in: EastEnders, Sea of Souls, Canterbury Tales, Brexit: The Uncivil War, Shetland, Vera, Flowers, No Offence, Midsomer Murders, Waking the Dead, Silent Witness, Black Mirror, The Armando Iannucci Shows, Tiger Bay, and Being April. In 2001, she became a presenter of the BBC Wales arts programme Double Yellow, alongside poet Owen Sheers and performance artist Mark Rees.
Professor Chunli Bai – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)
Professor Chunli Bai is a leading research chemist and an expert in nanoscience. He is President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and Chairman of the Presidium of the Academic Divisions of CAS.
He is also: President of the Alliance of International Science Organizations in the Belt and Road Region (ANSO); President of The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), and the Honorary President of the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS).
Professor Chunli Bai graduated from the Department of Chemistry, Peking University in 1978 and received his MSc and PhD degrees from CAS Institute of Chemistry in 1981 and 1985, respectively. From 1985 to 1987, he worked at California Institute of Technology in US as a visiting scholar. Upon returning to China in 1987, he continued his research at CAS Institute of Chemistry. From 1991 to 1992, he worked as a visiting professor at Tohoku University in Japan.
In 1996, he was appointed as Vice President of CAS; in 2004, he was appointed as Executive Vice President of CAS (full ministerial level).
His research areas include organic molecular crystal structure, EXAFS (Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure), molecular nanostructure, and scanning tunnelling microscopy. He has been elected member or foreign member of world-known academies of sciences or engineering in approximately 20 countries and territories, including; CAS, the World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries (TWAS), National Academy of Sciences of US, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of UK, the European Academy of Sciences, and the Russian Academy of Sciences.
He also serves as the Honorary President of the Chinese Society of Micro-Nano Technology, the Chief Scientist for the National Steering Committee for Nanoscience and Technology, Vice Chairman of Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, Vice Chairman of the National Committee for Science & Technology Awards, and member of the National Leading Group for Science and Technology Education. Moreover, he is the Editor-in-Chief of the journals National Science Review and Nanoscale.
Born Barikor – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)
Born Barikor is the founder and CEO of Our Parks, launched in 2013, which brings group exercise classes, led by experienced, fully qualified instructors, to city parks in 18 London boroughs in partnership with local authorities and it has expanded into Central Bedfordshire,planningto be in every major city in England.
He grew up in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets – one of the poorest areas in the country. Observing poverty and deprivation on a daily basis fuelled his burning desire to provide exercise for free, while his passion for sport – he is a former athlete who trained with Hackney-born, four-time British high jump champion Dalton Grant – was another motivating factor behind his dream to devise a pioneering programme that he could pitch to local authorities. His goal was to establish a programme that offered easy access to exercise for everyone in the community, resulting in fitter and healthier residents. Born said:
‘When I worked as a community sports officer I couldn’t afford to go to the gym,’ says Born. ‘I would cycle 26 miles a day to work because I couldn’t afford the travel and, I thought, something needs to change.
‘What about those people who haven’t got the money to pay for private gym membership or to go regularly to leisure centres? There aren’t any opportunities for them to get fit. A lot of people with no money have gone jogging around the park by themselves but it is a hard thing to stay motivated.
‘So it had to be free, but free and not rubbish. A lot of people think that if it doesn’t cost anything then it must be a waste of time. I wanted them to keep coming back but, most importantly, to make them want to be advocates and champions of the programme and spread the word.’
‘Growing up in Tower Hamlets, sport for me not only changed my outlook on life, it enabled me to meet some great people,’ explains Born.
‘I jumped as a child with Dalton Grant. He made sure I kept going to training, and stayed clear of all the things people growing up on an estate would be involved in.
‘When I think back on it, that was my first experience of appreciating what sport gave me, which was the chance to travel away from East London, up to Sheffield, Manchester or wherever, compete and meet new people. Having that opportunity through sport was a powerful motivation for me.’
Our Parks is now fully established in London and is now moving to other cities including Glasgow and Cambridge. Approximately 55,000 weekly users are using the free service and 500 coaches currently work for Our Parks. The University of Warwick partnered with Our Parks in 2017 to bring the same initiative to the Warwick campus. The University’s vision is to have the most active campus community by 2020 which includes developing initiatives that encourage students and staff to be active. The Our Parks sessions that are delivered twice per week are helping deliver that vision.
Born is also a Board Member of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) – the national governing body for Higher Education (HE) sport in the UK.
Roy Chung – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)
Dr Roy Chung is the Co-founder and Non-Executive Director of Techtronic Industries Company Limited (TTI). While starting his career as a warehouse keeper, he continued his studies in evening schools. He later studied and researched at the University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group and was awarded an MSc in Engineering and Business Management (1991-95) and a Doctorate in Engineering (2007-10) from the University of Warwick. Following this he was appointed as an Industrial Professor by the University of Warwick.
In 1985, Dr Chung, with his business partner Mr Horst Pudwill, co-founded TTI which produced rechargeable power tools. Under their capable leadership, TTI started with an annual turnover of a few million Hong Kong dollars to over HK$40 billion in 2017. It is now a multi-national enterprise and one of the market leaders in power equipment which owns numerous global brands. In 2011, he retired from the executive role in TTI.
He was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star (GBS) and Bronze Bauhinia Star (BBS) by the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2017 and 2011 respectively. He was also appointed as Justice of Peace in 2005 and won the Young Industrialists Awards of Hong Kong in 1997. In 2014, he was further awarded the title of Hong Kong Industrialist of the Year.
He is Chairman of Vocational Training Council in Hong Kong (and he holds an honorary fellowship from the Vocational Training Council) and was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star Medal for his distinguished service to the public and community, and for his significant contributions to vocational and professional education.
He has also served as President of the Boys’ and Girls’ Club Association of Hong Kong, Honorary President of the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Chairman of the Task Force on Promotion of Vocational and Professional Education and Training (VPET), Education Bureau, and the Mandatory Provident Fund Industry Schemes Committee. He is also a member of Human Resources Planning Commission, Committee on Innovation, Technology and Re-industrialisation, and Director of Nano and Advanced Materials Institute Limited. He was Executive Committee Chairman of the Outward Bound of Hong Kong, and is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Paediatric Foundation. He is also the Founder of Bright Future Charitable Foundation that sponsors education institutions to support education and scientific research.
Alexandra Cotton, MBE – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)
Alex is a mental health nurse in Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS trust. In 2018 she was made a Member of the British Empire (services to mental health, 2018); and awarded the Coventry Mental Health Star award, in the West Midlands Mental Health Commission Thrive Awards – both in significant part for her work as the driving force behind the successful and innovative ‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ campaign, which targets men at sports events in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Since its launch in 2016, project volunteers have attended a range of sporting events across Coventry and Warwickshire, and the campaign has gained active support from a wide range of organisations including Coventry City Football Club and Wasps Rugby Club.
The campaign works to break down the barriers that can prevent men seeking support with their mental health, and to build positive community links to help people, particularly men, look after their own mental health.
‘It Takes Balls to Talk’ is an innovative partnership between Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Coventry and Warwickshire Mind. It is working in partnership with Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, the Samaritans and sporting venues such as Wasps Rugby Football Club, Coventry Blaze Ice Hockey Club, and Coventry City Football Club. “It Takes Balls to Talk” is one the leading campaigns for promoting positive mental health in the local region. The campaign can frequently be seen at local major sporting events across Coventry and Warwickshire and the University of Warwick has also hosted Alex and her colleagues on the University of Warwick campus over the past couple of years, including during this year’s Warwick ‘Welcome Week’.
Rose Fenton – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Rose Fenton is a Graduate of the University of Warwick BA English and Drama following her graduation she joined with fellow Warwick Graduate Lucy Neal in co-founding LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre) in 1980 (with the first festival running in 1981). She was its Co – Director for 25 years, producing, presenting and commissioning contemporary artists from around the world, forging connections between artists and Londoners across the city, and between London and the world. During that time LIFT pioneered a number of ground breaking learning programmes involving artists, young people, educationalists and individuals from the business, public and voluntary sectors. Lucy Neal will also receive a Warwick honorary degree in the same ceremony as Rose
Following LIFT she worked as an international freelance producer and arts adviser (2005 – 11) on projects worldwide including with Tipping Point, an organisation connecting artists and scientists to energise the creative response to climate change; with the European Festivals Association as a founding member of the international Atelier for Young Festival Managers; and on the pan- European Festivals in Transition (FIT), an initiative by eight festivals to develop the role of international theatre festivals within the cultural landscape of an evolving Europe. Rose was also co-author of the Arts Culture and Creativity Strategy for the Olympic Park in London following the Olympic Games in 2012.
From 2011 – 2016 she was the Director Free Word, an arts organisation exploring the power and politics of words, hosting international residencies and cultural events to address urgent contemporary issues, bringing together writers, artists and activists to spark critical conversations about society, culture and politics.
Rose is co- author with Lucy Neal of the book The Turning Word, Stories from the London International Festival of Theatre which was published by the Gulbenkian Foundation in 2005. She is currently writing a book on lives lived as Europeans based on her personal experiences traveling, living and working across Europe over the past 55 years, a time of immense change in our continent.
Rose is on the Board of a number of arts organisations including Aerowaves – Dance Across Europe, The European House of Culture, and the live literature producer and independent publisher, Penned in the Margins. In 2005 she was awarded an OBE for services to drama.
Andrew G Haldane – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)
Andrew G Haldane is the Chief Economist at the Bank of England. He is a member of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee and Chair of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Council. Among other positions, he is Honorary Professor at University of Nottingham, a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a Governor of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
He has authored around 200 articles and 4 books. He is the founder and trustee of ‘Pro Bono Economics’, a charity which brokers economists into charitable projects, a trustee of National Numeracy and Patron of the charities Reach and Speakers for Schools. During his time with the Bank he also had a secondment to work at the International Monetary Fund.
He joined the Bank of England in 1989 and rose to lead the International Finance Division and the Market Infrastructure Division. In 2005 he became responsible for the Systemic Risk Assessment Division within the Financial Stability department. In 2009 he became the Bank of England’s Executive Director of Financial Stability and in June 2014 he was appointed as the Bank’s Chief Economist.
Steve Hollis – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Steve has a wealth of experience within the professional and financial sector having had an illustrious career at KPMG spanning 30 years. Serving on KPMG’s Boards for the UK, Europe and EMA, as well as Chairman of KPMG’s Midlands practice, Steve was one of the firm’s senior partners, working with local and global companies. He advises and serves on the Boards of a number of private companies in the UK and USA and has extensive experience in cross border transactions.
Following retirement from KPMG, Steve currently holds the roles of: Chairman of Birmingham Metropolitan College, Chairman of the Board of Scottish American Capital LLP and PFHD Limited, Chairman to the Advisory Board of SORBUS, Chair of the Advisory Board of the University of Birmingham Business School and has recently relinquished his role as Chairman of Aston Villa Football Club. In 2014 he was appointed as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the County of the West Midlands.
He also served on Industrial Development Advisory Board 2002 – 2005, Sport England 2005 – 2007, 2010 -2017, and as Deputy Chairman of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
He regularly appears on lists of the most influential businessmen in the Midlands.
Lucy Neal – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Lucy Neal is a theatre maker and community activist, interested in how celebratory events act as a catalyst for change.
Like Rose Fenton above Lucy Neal is a graduate of the University of Warwick (BA English and Italian 1979). Following her graduation she joined with Rose Fenton in co-founding LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre) in 1980 with the first festival running in 1981. She sai: ‘I co-founded LIFT in 1980 with Rose after we both graduated from Warwick University. The idea was to create a London-based festival which would welcome artists and theatre-makers from all over the world.’
Rose Fenton will also receive a Warwick honorary degree in the same ceremony as Lucy.
Over the 25 years that Lucy and Rose Fenton were co-directors of LIFT, they contributed to a significant development in exposure to and perspectives on theatre both in London and more widely in the UK. Under their leadership, LIFT introduced British audiences to theatre from around the world; unearthed new companies and artists previously unknown to British audiences or (often) theatre practitioners; programmed work by artists who were censored or denied opportunities in their own countries; innovated in the form and remit of arts festivals; developed modes of engagement between artists and communities; and established a legacy by way of LIFT’s continuing success at time of writing.
She has been an active player in the grassroots Transition movement since 2008 and initiator of Transition Town Tooting.
Her recent book Playing for Time – Making Art As If the World Mattered, published in 2015 by Oberon Books, is co-written with over 60 artists and activists and has been described as ‘a hand book for life’; ‘a manifesto; a work of art’. Joining dots between the big stories of energy, food, finance and climate change it maps the collaborative arts practices emerging in response to global challenges.
Lucy is Happiness Associate of the Happy Museum Project, co-author of MMM’s Sustainable Ability and co-founder of The Case For Optimism. She is co-author with Rose Fenton of The Turning World – stories from the London International Festival of Theatre (Gulbenkian) and was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to drama.
Shabir Randeree – Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)
Shabir Randeree is Chairman of DCD Group and his background is in Finance, Commercial Real Estate, Venture Capital and Banking. He is the Deputy Chairman of Al Baraka Bank South Africa, the ex-Chairman of EIIB Bank plc, Founder-Director at both BankIslami (PAK) and Islamic Bank of a Britain plc (now Al Rayan Bank). He graduated in Finance from Kingston University and subsequently completed an MBA.
He sits on the board of Sussex Place Ventures, a pseudo incubator-fund. In the charitable and voluntary sector, Shabir is Chancellor of The University of East London (UEL), a Council member Trustee of The Prince’s Trust and Chair of Mosaic, founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. He has served on the UK Government’s Asia Task Force (11-14) and the Ethnic Minority Business Task Force ( 07-09 ) and a member on the UK Government’s Islamic Finance Task Force, launching the first Government Sukuk in July 2014.
He is also Chair of Governors of the Westminster Academy school, Champion of the Three Faiths Forum (3FF) and ex co-chair and mentor for the YPO-LBS London Business School program ‘Growing Your Business’. In 2016 he also joined the International Board of YPO (Young Presidents Organisation) and was appointed a Trustee of The Woolf Institute, Cambridge. He acted as an Advisor to Baroness Scotland as Trade envoy to South Africa and is a Champion for the Youth EDV Council, End Domestic Violence Campaign. He was also a contributor to the Blueprint for Better Business initiative, founded by Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
In 2013 he was awarded a CBE in recognition of his services to both business and education, as well as for his philanthropic support of charitable causes. In 2014 Shabir also received the Excellence in Enterprise award, presented by the then Prime Minister at the Muslim News Awards UK in 2014.
Gary Younge – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Gary Younge is an award-winning author, broadcaster and columnist for The Guardian newspaper. He also writes a monthly column, Beneath the Radar, for the Nation magazine and is the Alfred Knobler Fellow for The Nation Institute.
He has written five books: Another Day in the Death of America, A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives; The Speech, The Story Behind Martin Luther King’s Dream; Who Are We?, And Should it Matter in the 21st century; Stranger in a Strange Land, Travels in the Disunited States, and No Place Like Home, A Black Briton’s Journey Through the Deep South. He has made several radio and television documentaries on subjects ranging from gay marriage to Brexit.
Born in Hertfordshire to Barbadian parents, he grew up in Stevenage until he was 17 when he went to Kassala, Sudan with Project Trust to teach English in a United Nations Eritrean refugee school. On his return he attended Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh where he studied French and Russian (Translating and interpreting).
In his final year at Heriot Watt he was awarded a bursary from The Guardian to study journalism at City University and started working at The Guardian in 1993. In 1996 he was awarded the Laurence Stern Fellowship, which sends a young British journalist to work at the Washington Post for three months.
After several years of reporting from all over Europe, Africa, the US and the Caribbean Gary was appointed The Guardian’s US correspondent in 2003, writing first from New York and then Chicago. In 2015 he returned to London where he became The Guardian’s editor-at-large.
He has been awarded several prizes for his journalism including: (Broadsheet) Feature Writer of the year at the Society of Editors 2018 Press Awards for a year-long series on knife crime, and Feature of the Year from the Amnesty Media Awards for an article in the same series; the James Aaronson Career Achievement Award from Hunter College, City University of New York in 2017; Comment Piece of the Year 2016 from The Comment Awards for an article about Obama’s legacy; the Sanford St. Martin Trust Radio Award Winner for excellence in religious reporting for a BBC documentary on gay marriage in the evangelical community; Foreign Commentator of the Year by The Comment Awards in 2015; the 2015 David Nyhan Prize for political journalism from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center; the James Cameron award in 2009 for the “combined moral vision and professional integrity” of his coverage of the Obama campaign; and from 2001 to 2003 he won Best Newspaper Journalist in Britain’s Ethnic Minority Media Awards three years in a row.
His books have also received considerable acclaim. In 2017 Another Day in the Death of America won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize from Columbia Journalism School and Nieman Foundation. In the US the same book was shortlisted for the Helen Berenstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism from New York Public Library and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award as well as longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non Fiction from the American Library Association. In Britain it was shortlisted for The Jhalak prize, The Orwell Prize for Books, The CWA Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction and The Bread and Rose Award. Who Are We? was shortlisted for the Bristol Festival of Ideas Prize. No Place Like Home was shortlisted for The Guardian’s first book award.
Currently a visiting professor at London South Bank University, he was appointed the Belle Zeller Visiting Professor for Public Policy and Social Administration at Brooklyn College (CUNY) from 2009-2011. In 2017 he became an Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University and in 2016 he was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Janet Holmes – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Janet Holmes graduated from Leeds University after specialising in Linguistics. She moved to an academic position at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1970. After a long and varied career, including periods as Head of School, Dean of Languages and Literature, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research, she is now Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Victoria University where she continues to undertake research on workplace discourse and language and gender. She is Associate Director of the Wellington Language in the Workplace project (see www.victoria.ac.nz/lwp/) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.
She has written or edited more than twenty books including Gendered Talk at Work, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, now in its fifth edition, Research Methods in Sociolinguistics (co-edited with Kirk Hazen), and the Blackwell Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality (co-edited with Miriam Meyerhoff and Susan Ehrlich). With her colleagues in the Language in the Workplace project (LWP), she has also published on leadership discourse, humour, and the relevance of gender and ethnicity in the workplace. Together with Meredith Marra and Bernadette Vine, she has authored a book Leadership, Discourse and Ethnicity (OUP), which examines effective leadership in Māori and Pākehā organisations. With her research team, she is currently investigating the discourse of those involved in the tourism industry and analysing the language used in eldercare facilities in order to assist those seeking work in these areas.