Leading Lights To Be Honoured At Derby Graduation

9 December 2010

Arthur Keily

Arthur Keily

Hilary Mantel

Hilary Mantel

An Olympian, a critically acclaimed novelist and one of the country's most distinguished military officers will be among those receiving honorary degrees at the University of Derby's Awards Ceremonies in Derby.

Around 2,000 degree students will graduate from the University at the 2011 Awards Ceremonies on 21-22 January, in the Great Hall at Derby Assembly Rooms, in Derby city centre.

Each year the University invites inspirational people who have excelled in their field, and who have a connection to Derbyshire, to receive an honorary award and address the assembled students.

The seven honoraries who will be attending this January's Derby ceremonies are:

  • Arthur Keily (who will become Honorary Master of the University) - the veteran Derbyshire marathon runner competed in the 1960 Rome Olympics and is the former holder of numerous UK and world long distance running records. He has also written books on how to enjoy good health in later years and slow the aging process, raising funds for charity through their sale

  • Hilary Mantel (Honorary Doctor of Letters) - the author of the critically acclaimed novel Wolf Hall, which won the 2009 Man Booker Prize, and many other works is also a significant essayist and reviewer. She was born in Derbyshire

  • Neil McKay (Honorary Doctor of Letters) - the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award-winning writer produced TV dramas Dunkirk, See No Evil:The Moors Murders and Mo (about the late Mo Mowlam MP). He lives in Derbyshire and works to support other writers

  • Major General Garry Robison (Honorary Doctor of the University) - the Derby educated Royal Marine is the Corps' most senior serving officer and has commanded Royal Marines on operations all around the world; including troublespots such as Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan

  • Bob Laxton (Honorary Doctor of the University) - Derby born and bred, Bob Laxton served the city from 1979 to 1997 as a city councillor and then as MP for Derby North from 1997 until standing down in 2010

  • Professor Paul Hill (Honorary Doctor of Fine Art) - an influential photographer, and teacher on the subject, has been a resident of Derbyshire since 1974 and often uses its landscape in his photographic work. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society

  • Dr David Livesey (Honorary Doctor of the University) - an accomplished University administrator whose roles included Secretary General of the Faculties at the University of Cambridge and Secretary General of the League of European Research Universities; helping the latter promote the importance of research excellence. Dr Livesey was brought up in Derby.

Mr McKay, Ms Mantel, Professor Hill and Dr Livesey will receive their honorary awards during the ceremonies on  Friday 21 January. (Mr Laxton, Major General Robison and Mr Keily will receive their honorary awards during the ceremonies on Saturday 22 January.

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: "It is always a proud moment for me to see a new crop of graduates receive their degree after so much hard work.

"Similarly, I am delighted that we will also be rewarding such distinguished honoraries, who have devoted so much time and energy to rising to the top of their particular field. They are a credit to the county."

Major General Garry Robison
Major General Garry Robison
Neil McKay
Neil McKay
Bob Laxton
Bob Laxton
Professor Paul Hill (photo by Maria Falconer)
Professor Paul Hill (photo by Maria Falconer)
Dr David Livesey
Dr David Livesey
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For more information about the University's Awards Ceremonies see website www.derby.ac.uk/graduation.

For further information please contact Press and PR Officer Sean Kirby on 01332 591891 or 07876 476103, or email s.kirby@derby.ac.uk.

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