Honorands - 2019

The honorands for our Derby November 2019 ceremonies were:

Ceremony 1

Mervyn Allcock MBE – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Mervyn Allcock MBE, Honorand Nov 2019, HonMUniv
Photo: Alexa Stott

In 1989, after reading of the proposed demolition of Barrow Hill Roundhouse near Chesterfield, Mervyn Allcock formed an action group to save the unique building. He secured a preservation order 48 hours before demolition was due to commence in 1991 and the building re-opened in 1998. Mervyn is now General Manager of the Roundhouse centre, which is a highly successful commercial railway depot, museum and event venue.

The University wishes to recognise Mervyn’s achievement in re-opening and developing Barrow Hill Roundhouse and the national impact of his lifelong commitment to railways.

Dr Desmond King-Hele DSc FRS – Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt)

Dr Desmond King-Hele, Honorand Nov 2019, HonDLitt

Desmond is a distinguished space scientist as well as a noted historian and a published poet. He became the world’s leading authority on the life, work and influence of Dr Erasmus Darwin FRS of Lichfield and Derby. An Evolutionist long before his grandson Charles, Erasmus was regarded as both the country’s leading physician and its leading poet. A genuine polymath, he was also a botanist, scientist, inventor, and educationist.

The University wishes to recognise Desmond’s literary work, his poetry and especially his extensive scholarly work on Erasmus Darwin, who set in motion activities and institutions linked to the origins of the University of Derby.

Ceremony 2

Ann Treneman – Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt)

Ann Treneman - Honorand Nov 2019 - HonDLitt

Ann is a journalist, author, theatre critic and columnist. She has worked for The Times for the past 20 years, most recently as chief theatre critic and, before that, as parliamentary sketchwriter for 12 years. Ann has published four books and regularly appears at literary festivals and other events. She has won and been shortlisted for many awards and is the new President of Bromley House Library in Nottingham. Ann lives in Bakewell, Derbyshire.

The University wishes to recognise Ann’s outstanding career as a journalist, sketch artist and theatre critic and her contribution to the British media.

Ceremony 3

John Rivers CBE DL – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

John Rivers CBE DL, Honorand Nov 2019, HonDUniv

John has recently retired as Chair of the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust following more than 10 years of NHS service. John’s tenure saw the opening of the new Royal Derby Hospital, and the merger of Derby and Burton hospital trusts, creating one of the largest university teaching hospitals in the country. John is also a determined campaigner for wider recognition of Florence Nightingale’s connection with her Derbyshire home.

The University wishes to recognise John's impact on the region through the development of the NHS Foundation Trust and his commitment to the Florence Nightingale legacy in Derbyshire.

The honorand for our Buxton November 2019 ceremony was:

Ceremony 1

Adrian Farmer BEM – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Adrian Farmer, Honorand

Since 2004, Adrian has worked to protect and promote the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and educate people about its outstanding universal value. The site is the birthplace of the factory system and home to historic gems such as Sir Richard Arkwright’s Masson Mill, Cromford Mill and Strutt’s North Mill, Belper.

Adrian began his working life as a journalist and at the age of 23 became editor of the Belper News. For a centenary edition of the paper in 1996, he read the 100-year run of back issues and appreciated, for the first time, the historic significance of Belper and the Derwent Valley.

Adrian has since devoted hundreds of hours of his own time to teaching, writing, leading tours, managing events and campaigns, and engaging with authorities at a senior level in order to make change happen.

In 2012, he was Highly Commended by Visit Britain in their first Tourism Superstar Awards for services to Belper (specifically promotional work in the tourism sector). In 2018, he was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to Belper and volunteering.

The University wishes to recognise Adrian’s contribution to significantly raising the profile of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and bringing communities together in the region.

The honorands for our Derby July 2019 ceremonies were:

Ceremony 1

Brian Jones – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Brian Jones - Honorand

Brian has been Chief Executive Officer for the SENAD Group since 2006. Using his experience in special education with local authorities, the voluntary sector and independent sector, he has successfully led the group in designing and operating high quality education, therapy and care services for young people and adults with a variety of needs. The University wishes to recognise Brian’s work to promote and ensure equality of education provision for young people and adults.

Ceremony 2

Chris Hughes – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Chris Hughes - Honorand

Chris has been associated with the University since 2001 when he became a Trustee. His 17 years’ service has been critical in steering the University to its position today. He understands the importance of leadership through challenge and putting the students at the heart of everything. The University wishes to recognise Chris’s contribution and impact on the institution, its students and its staff during his tenure as a governor and Chair of the Governing Council.

Ceremony 3

Andy Sneap – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Andy Sneap - Honorand

Born in Belper, Derbyshire, Andy is a musician, songwriter, guitar player and record producer with over 100 albums to his name. He started out as a rock musician and has performed with bands including Sabbat and Judas Priest. But it is his work as a heavy metal music producer, working principally from his local Backstage Recording Studios, that has won Andy international acclaim. The University wishes to recognise Andy’s contribution to the local and international rock music industry.

Ceremony 4

Chris Shrigley – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Chris Shrigley - Honorand

Born in Derby, Chris has more than 50 published video games to his credit. He founded Core Design, best known for creating the Tomb Raider franchise, and Eurocom Entertainment Software. Both Derby companies have left a huge legacy in the city and have contributed to its international reputation for video games. The University wishes to recognise Chris’s international career and impact in the world of computer games in spite of a severe visual impairment.

Ceremony 5

Judy Leden MBE – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Judy Leden MBE - Honorand

Judy operates Airways Airsports, a flying school in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. She currently holds world records for both hang gliding and paragliding and was awarded an MBE in 1989 for her services to hang gliding. Judy has built a world-wide reputation for her skill, fearless determination and passion for free flight. The University wishes to recognise Judy’s achievements in the field of hang gliding and paragliding and her impact on the local flying community.

Ceremony 6

John Forkin – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

John Forkin - Honorand

John is Managing Director of Marketing Derby. He grew up in Normanton in the city and, since joining Marketing Derby in 2006, he has been instrumental in driving forward and supporting the city’s regeneration, attracting over 5,000 jobs. He passionately promotes the city to encourage and support investment, and invites everyone to ‘think Derby’. The University wishes to recognise John’s tireless work as an ambassador of the city of Derby and strong support for the University.

View a full list of all the University's honorary graduates.