Professional footballer Millie Bright among those to receive honorary degree at award ceremonies

10 July 2024

Professional footballer Millie Bright who captained England to the Women’s World Cup Final in 2023 is among those to receive an honorary degree from the University of Derby later this month. 

Born in Derbyshire, Millie first started playing for local team, Killamarsh Dynamos. She signed her professional contract with Chelsea in 2015, winning the 2015, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023 FA Women’s Cups. 

Millie was part of the Women’s 2019 World Cup squad, won the UEFA 2022 Women’s Euros, captained the 2023 World Cup squad and became Chelsea captain the same year.

She will be made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby for her achievements in high performance sport and as an outstanding role model and ambassador for Derbyshire.

Each year notable people with a strong connection to the University or the city and county are chosen to receive an Honorary Degree at the Awards Ceremonies, when the University’s students graduate.

Thousands of graduates, guests and VIPs are expected to attend the ceremonies which take place from 17 to 19 July at Derby Arena.

Also receiving Honorary Doctorate Degrees this summer are:

James Stanford – American contemporary artist, patron to the University of Derby School of Art International Workshop to Nevada, and supporter of Derby’s FORMAT International Photography Festival. The University wishes to recognise James’s international profile as a seminal visual artist, his advocacy, and his support for the students at the University of Derby.

Theresa Peltier DL – former Head of Equality for Derbyshire Police and High Sheriff of Derbyshire for 2023/4. The University wishes to recognise Theresa’s outstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion throughout her career, that has seen her working with organisations including the Home Office, National Police Chief’s Council and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to effect change.

Professor Sir Kevan Collins – former Chief Executive at the Education Endowment Foundation, Sir Kevan has had a long career in education and public service and his leadership as Evidence Champion for the Opportunity Areas programme was particularly impactful for Derby. The University wishes to recognise Sir Kevan’s commitment to social mobility and equality of opportunity.

Captain Harpreet Chandi MBE – British army medical officer, known as Polar Preet, who became the fastest woman to ski solo to the South Pole and holds three Guiness World Records. The University wishes to recognise Harpreet’s world record-breaking achievements in polar exploration and her work with schools in the region.

A posthumous award will be awarded to Professor Graham Orpwood, who dedicated more than 50 years to teaching and research into curriculum design and assessment, with a focus on mathematics and science education. Graham sadly passed away in November 2023 before having the opportunity to collect his award.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “Our Award Ceremonies provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this year’s graduates who have showcased commitment to excellence throughout their academic journey.

“I am also delighted to recognise our honorands for their outstanding achievements and dedication to their individual fields.”

Find out more information about Derby’s Graduation Ceremonies

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