Honorands - 2023

The honorands for our 2023 ceremonies. 

The honorand for Buxton November 2023

The Rt Hon Lord Patrick McLoughlin CH - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Lord McLoughlin was born in Staffordshire, attending a comprehensive school and leaving at sixteen. He worked in catering and agriculture before following his father and grandfather to work underground in the Staffordshire coalfields. 

Lord McLoughlin has had an extensive career in UK politics for more than 30 years, serving as Member of Parliament for Derbyshire Dales (1986-2019), and in various ministerial roles including Secretary of State for Transport (2012-2016). He took his seat in the House of Lords in 2020. Throughout his career, he has been an enthusiastic champion of the rail industry in Derbyshire, which is supported by the University through its Rail Research and Innovation Centre.

The University wishes to recognise Lord McLoughlin for his significant achievements in public service and his dedication to the rail industry in Derby.

Head and shoulders shot of The Rt Hon Lord Patrick McLoughlin CH

The honorands for Derby November 2023: Ceremony 1

Dionne Reid - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Dionne is the founder and CEO of award-winning Derbyshire charity, Women’s Work. Established in 2003 to help women from the most deprived and troubled backgrounds, the charity has grown exponentially under Dionne’s leadership. Working in partnership with key organisations across the City, it now helps up to 1,000 women each year. Dionne is passionate about helping women and families gain the confidence and skills to make positive and lasting life changes, and the charity’s support programmes are now being used internationally. A Charity Biography was published this year to mark the 20th anniversary.

The University wishes to recognise Dionne’s outstanding support for vulnerable women in the City.

Dionne Reid, Honorand, HonMUniv

Ceremony 4

Martin Baxter FIEMA, CEnv - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Martin is Deputy CEO of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment, the global membership body for sustainability professionals. He is a renowned expert on environmental management and a regular spokesperson on corporate sustainability. He works in the UK and internationally to support the transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and sustainable economy and reverse the decline of the natural environment. A former Derby graduate in Earth & Life Studies, he is a valued supporter of the institution’s work around sustainability.

The University wishes to recognise Martin’s outstanding work in supporting the environmental sustainability agenda.

Martin Baxter, honorand, HonDUniv

Ceremony 5

Professor Chris Jackson - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Chris is a Derby-born geologist, Director of Sustainable Geoscience at Jacobs Engineering Group, and Visiting Professor of Basin Analysis at Imperial College London. His research focuses on understanding the development and structure of some of the Earth’s most economically important geological environments. He is a keen science communicator, regularly lecturing to the general public and in schools, and he has appeared on several television shows. Chris is active in improving equality, diversity, and inclusivity in science and society.

The University wishes to recognise Chris’s outstanding contribution to geoscience research.

Professor Chris Jackson, Honorand, HonDUniv
Photo courtesy of Paul Wilkinson

Ceremony 6

Janet Foulds - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Janet is a specialist in child protection and therapeutic work and was instrumental in setting up Derby City Council’s Child Sexual Abuse Unit, which she managed for many years. She has devoted almost 50 years to the practice of social work in the region. She is a former UK chair of the British Association of Social Workers and has presented expert evidence to national reviews, select committees and many high-profile court cases. She is a Visiting Professional Fellow at the University.

The University wishes to recognise Janet’s significant career in social work and her support for the University.

Janet Foulds, Honorand, HonMUniv
Photo courtesy of Roger Lawson

The honorands for July 2023: Ceremony 1

Michael Holding - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Michael is a former West Indian cricketer, part of the dominating bowling line-up in the 1970s and 80s, and one of the most feared fast bowlers in history. He played for Derbyshire from 1983 to 1989 and was Club President in 2017. Ending his international career in 1987, he became a popular and well-respected commentator and broadcaster. He has published three books, most recently Why We Kneel, How We Rise, which explores racism in today’s world.

The University wishes to recognise Michael’s outstanding achievements in cricket and his active support for the Black Lives Matter Campaign.

Michael Holding, Honorand, HonDUniv
Photo courtesy of Derbyshire CCC Archive

Ceremony 2

Ron Haslam - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

'Rocket Ron' Haslam is a former professional motorcycle racer from Langley Mill, Derbyshire.  He has been racing motorcycles, developing motorcycle technology and instructing riders for over five decades. Winner of three world championship titles, four British championships, a record six Macau GPs, and notable success at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, Ron is a prominent figure in motorcycle racing. His former Donington Park race school provided instruction for over 86,000 riders and racers during a 24 year period.  

The University wishes to recognise Ron's outstanding career in motorcycle sport and his commitment to educating the next generation of motorcyclists.

Ron Haslam, honorand, HonMUniv
Photo courtesy of Jamie Morris

Ceremony 3

Professor Nigel Hitchin FRS - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Nigel is a British mathematician working in the fields of differential geometry, gauge theory, algebraic geometry and mathematical physics. He is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s foremost geometers. He was born and raised in Derbyshire. Nigel has spent most of his academic life at Oxford but has seen significant periods at Princeton, Stony Brook, Cambridge and Warwick. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

The University wishes to recognise Nigel’s wide-ranging contribution to mathematical research spanning many decades.

Professor Nigel Hitchin FRS, honorand, HonDUniv

Ceremony 4

Warren East CBE - Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv)

Warren is former CEO of globally renowned, Derby-based engineering company, Rolls-Royce plc. Appointed in 2015 after a series of profit warnings, he led the company through turbulent times (including navigating the pandemic and its devastating impact on global aviation) and returned the company to profitability. He sponsored both Rolls-Royce Submarines’ partnership with the University in 2022 to create the Nuclear Skills Academy, and the Down to Earth Derby project, encouraging nature-based regeneration in the City.

The University wishes to recognise Warren’s distinguished career in engineering, support for the sustainability agenda and impact in the City of Derby.

Warren East CBE, honorand, HonDUniv

Ceremony 6

Isy Suttie - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Isy is a musical comedian, actress, and writer raised in Matlock, Derbyshire. She started performing stand-up comedy in 2002 and quickly fell in love with it, often drawing on Matlock for her material. She has appeared in numerous television shows including Channel 4’s Peep Show, Damned, Shameless and Man Down, BBC’s Whites, and Sky and HBO’s The Baby. She has appeared as herself on many panel shows including Q.I., Would I Lie To You and 8 Out of 10 Cats.

She is a proud ambassador for Derbyshire which often features in her writing including her Sony award-winning BBC Radio 4 series Isy Suttie’s Love Letters, and in her two books, The Actual One and Jane Is Trying.

The University wishes to recognise Isy’s distinction in the field of comedy and her support for the region.

Isy Suttie, honorand
Photo courtesy of Matt Crockett

Ceremony 7

Miltos Frangopoulos - Honorary Doctor of Education (HonDEd)

Miltos, born in Athens, is a British-educated art historian. He is currently Deputy Director of Studies at the Athens-based Vakalo Art and Design College and Visiting Research Fellow in Art History at the University. He has been a key figure in one of the longest-running international collaborations of the University. Author of the first book ever published on Graphic Design history in Greek, Miltos is also a highly acclaimed translator of literature and humanities.

The University wishes to recognise Miltos’ contribution to education and his leadership at an internationally recognised art school and valued partner of the University.

Miltos Frangopoulos, honorand, HonDEd

Ceremony 8

Martin Austin MBE - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

In 2006, Martin started Derby-based consultancy Nimbus Disability to support organisations to meet the needs of their disabled customers. Nimbus has since developed CredAbility, a quality assurance mark which demonstrates a commitment to quality for people with disabilities, and the Access Card Scheme, which allows people with disabilities to discreetly communicate their needs to entertainment and tourism providers. Martin received an MBE in October 2021 for services to accessibility in the tourism and entertainment sectors.

The University wishes to recognise Martin’s outstanding contribution to disability rights and advocacy both locally and nationally.

Martin Austin MBE, honorand, HonMUniv

The honorand for our Buxton June 2023 ceremony:

Tracy Harrison - Honorary Master of the University (HonMUniv)

Tracy has devoted her working and personal life to the safety and wellbeing of others. She is CEO of Derbyshire charity Safe and Sound Group, supporting children, young people and families affected by child exploitation. Following a prestigious 32-year career in the police force, Tracy retired in 2019 with a desire to impact the lives of vulnerable young people in a different way. She has since transformed the charity, ensuring its long-term future.

The University wishes to recognise Tracy’s outstanding contribution to the safety and wellbeing of the local community, particularly of children and young people.

Tracy Harrison - Honorand, HonMUniv

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