Honorands - 2022

The honorand for our Buxton November 2022 ceremony:

Sue Johnson – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Sue Johnson - Honorand

Sue is a diagnostic radiographer with over 30 years’ experience. She currently works as a Professional Officer in Clinical Imaging at the Society of Radiographers and spent all her clinical career in Derby Hospitals working in various roles. In 2011, she became president of the Society and College of Radiographers.

Sue is an enthusiastic supporter of radiographers’ professional development, particularly support and assistant workers, and her work via the Society of Radiographers has been integral to the widening participation agenda in the NHS. She is well known in the radiography and wider allied health professions community for her advocacy and innovation.

The University wishes to recognise Sue’s contribution to radiography and her achievements in widening participation in the profession.

The honorands for our Derby November 2022 ceremonies

Ceremony 1

Stephen Layton MBE – Honorary Doctor of Music (HonDMus)

Stephen Layton MBE - Honorand
Photo: Keith Saunders

Stephen grew up in Derby and is now one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation. His ground-breaking approach has had a profound influence on choral music. He is regularly invited to work with the world’s leading choirs, orchestras and composers. He is founder and director of Polyphony, one of the world’s leading choirs, and also Fellow and Director of Music at Trinity College Cambridge and Music Director of Holst Singers. 

The University wishes to recognise Stephen’s outstanding contribution to the performance and recording of choral music and his championing of church music.

Ceremony 2

Jane Ide OBE – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Jane Ide OBE - Honorand

Jane is based in Derbyshire and is the CEO of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations. She previously headed up Creative and Cultural Skills, working to create fair and inclusive opportunities within the creative and cultural sectors, and was CEO of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action. She was founding co-chair of the VCS Emergencies Partnership, created in the wake of the Grenfell disaster, and was at the heart of the national voluntary sector response to Covid-19. 

The University wishes to recognise Jane’s services to volunteering and the charity sector.

Ceremony 3

Ferid Kevric – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Ferid Kevric - Honorand

Ferid is the Project and Centre Manager of the Derby Bosnia and Herzegovina Centre. He came to the UK from Bosnia as a refugee at the outbreak of the Bosnian War in the early 1990s. Working with the City Council, Ferid established a haven for fellow Bosnian refugees to find social support and legal advice. The centre has since opened its doors to all, regardless of race, colour or creed, and the building now hosts the Derby Refugee Advice Centre.

The University wishes to recognise Ferid’s achievements in supporting refugees and asylum seekers in the City.

Ceremony 4

Jaz Rai OBE – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Jaz Rai OBE - Honorand

Jaz is the founder and chair of the Sikh Recovery Network, supporting people recovering from alcohol or substance addiction. Jaz started the charity in Derby in 2016 after tackling his own addiction to alcohol. The charity now has groups in Derby, Leicester, Birmingham, Coventry and London. He was given a Points of Light Award for his work by the Prime Minister in 2020 and was awarded an OBE for his services to the Sikh community during Covid-19.

The University wishes to recognise Jaz’s outstanding work in the community around alcohol and substance addiction issues.

Ceremony 6

Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton KCB FREng – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Air Marshal Sir Richard Knighton - Honorand

Richard is a senior Royal Air Force officer and engineer serving as Deputy Commander for Capability and People. Previously he served as Deputy Chief of Defence staff (Military Capability) at the Ministry of Defence. Educated in Derby, he served as an officer engineer in his early career working on Nimrod and Tornado F3 aircraft and Harrier jets. Richard was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The University wishes to recognise Richard’s outstanding career as an aerospace engineer and his achievement in public life.

The honorands for our Derby July 2022 ceremonies

Ceremony 1

Shaun Dellenty – Honorary Doctor of Education (HonDEd)

Shaun Dellenty presenting, talking into a microphone
Photo: Simon Boothe

Shaun is an award-winning advocate in the field of LGBT+ rights and education. He is a school leader, speaker, trainer, and author. A survivor of childhood homophobic bullying, Shaun remained ‘closeted’ as a teacher until 2009 when he began recounting his personal story across the UK. He now dedicates his time fully to global advocacy and was named as one of the top 100 influential LGBT+ people in the UK.

The University wishes to recognise Shaun’s achievements as an inspirational campaigner, speaker and trainer in the field of LGBT+ rights and his support for the University.

Ceremony 2

Liam Sharp – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Liam Sharp smiling
Photo: @Domestika

Liam is a Derby-born publisher, artist and writer of comics and novels. He has worked on all the major titles for DC and Marvel, including The Hulk, The X-Men, Spiderman, Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

He recently completed an acclaimed 24-issue run on The Green Lantern with legendary writer Grant Morrison and began work on an epic creator-owned series for Image Comics called StarHenge - a sprawling saga across time based on the legend of Merlin. In 2017, Derby Museums celebrated his work with a ten-week retrospective. Liam currently lives in California.

The University wishes to recognise Liam’s international career and his impact in the world of comics.

Ceremony 3

Amarjit Raju – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Amarjit Raju smiling
Photo: W W Winters Ltd

As the Chief Executive of Disability Direct, Amo has been instrumental in promoting support services for disabled people in Derby. As a disabled person himself from birth, Amo has faced countless personal battles throughout his own journey. He is now a nationally recognised sector leader. He has directly and personally raised more than £25 million in grants, contracts and self-generated income for the disabled community, and has been a leading light during the pandemic.

The University wishes to recognise Amo’s commitment and contribution to the voluntary sector and the disabled community in Derby.

Ceremony 4

Captain Harpreet Chandi – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Harpreet Chandi wearing cold-weather gear and smiling at the South Pole. A shiny metal ball reflects the blue sky and snow.
Harpreet Chandi at the South Pole

Harpreet is a British Army officer and physiotherapist from Derby. She recently made history by becoming the first woman of Indian origin to complete a solo, unsupported expedition to the South Pole. The trek took 40 days, covering 700 miles across the Antarctic wilderness.

In October 2021, Harpreet gained a distinction in her masters degree in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Queen Mary’s University of London and is currently stationed at RAF Halton. She was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 with an MBE.

The University wishes to recognise Harpreet’s outstanding achievements in endurance performance and her determination to inspire future generations.

Ceremony 6

Lydia Thompson – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Lydia Thompson smiling and wearing an England rugby shirt
Photo: The RFU Collection via Getty Images

Lydia is a member of the England Women’s Rugby Team. She made her debut in 2012 when she scored three tries against Spain during the 2012 European Cup. At club level, she plays for Worcester Warriors Women. She has represented England in two World Cups, the Commonwealth Games and several Six Nations Championships. She has 53 England Caps and 43 tries to her name and was nominated World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in 2017. She graduated from the University in Occupational Therapy in 2013.

The University wishes to recognise Lydia’s outstanding international rugby career.

Ceremony 7

Her Honour Judge Nirmal Shant QC – Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Nirmal Shant wearing her judge's wig and robes

Nirmal is the Resident Judge at Derby Crown Court. She conducts the most serious criminal cases in Derbyshire. She was called to the Bar in 1984 and, in 2006, was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel, one of the first black and minority ethnic barristers in the East Midlands to hold such a rank. She is an advocate for diversity in the legal profession and a mentor for the University’s legal students.

The University wishes to recognise Nirmal’s outstanding contribution to promoting justice within Derby and Derbyshire, and her support for Derby Law School.

Ceremony 8

Peter Smith – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Peter Smith
Photo: Andy Dossett

Peter was a founder of the well-known local law firm Smith Partnership, one of the leading law firms in the area which now employs nearly 200 people.

In 2012, Peter was appointed founding chair of the Derby Museums Trust. Under Peter’s leadership, the Trust surmounted enormous financial and other challenges and successfully put together a bid for £15m of inward investment to create the Museum of Making, now a landmark in the city and a major visitor draw.

The University wishes to recognise Peter’s work as the Chair of the Derby Museums Trust during its early years.

The honorand for our Buxton April 2022 ceremony:

Wayne Madsen – Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Wayne Madsen in his cricketing whites, wearing helmet, gloves and pads, batting, having hit the ball
Copyright David Griffin/Derbyshire County Cricket Club

Wayne is widely considered to be one of the greatest cricketers in Derbyshire County Cricket Club’s history. He is one of the most accomplished and respected players in the English game. Hailing from a strong cricketing family, he was born in South Africa where he made his cricketing debut in 2003. He is also an accomplished hockey player, representing South Africa at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Wayne works tirelessly in Derbyshire to promote cricket and sport, demonstrating unwavering support for education and young people throughout the county. He has lived in the county since joining the club in 2009 and is proud to call Derbyshire his home, where he lives with wife Kyla and their two young daughters, Tanna and Zara.

The University wishes to recognise Wayne’s achievements in English cricket and his work to promote participation in sport in Derbyshire.

View a full list of the all the University's Honorary Graduates.