Honorary awards at graduation boost graduates’ ambition

Students and their guests at the University of Sussex winter graduation ceremonies this year will hear about the remarkable endeavours of four people who will be receiving honorary degrees.

The University has been awarding honorary doctorates for more than 50 years to people who have achieved excellence in public and academic life.

On Thursday 21 and Friday 22 January 2016, as part of the graduation celebrations at Brighton’s Dome, the University will present honorary doctorates (Doctor of the University) to:

  • Dr David Bomford, a Sussex alumnus whose 40-year career in art conservation has involved working on some of the great masterworks of Western Art, including paintings by Van Gogh and Rembrandt (Thursday am. Ceremony begins at 10.00am)
  • Professor Luc Soete, a Sussex alumnus and a leading economist who is Chairman of the Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts at the European Commission (Thursday pm. Ceremony begins at 3.30pm)
  • Professor Mary Kaldor, a founder member of European Nuclear Disarmament and a former lecturer at the University of Sussex, whose academic career has focussed on issues of humanitarian security and the new causes of war (Friday am. Ceremony begins at 10.00am)
  • Dr Margaret Sinclair, whose career has focussed on education and training programmes for refugees in areas of war and conflict. She is currently technical advisor within the Qatar-based Education Above All Foundation (Friday pm. Ceremony begins at 3.30pm)

Chancellor of the University, actor and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar, who will be conferring degrees to students at the ceremonies, said: “It is always such an honour to meet those who have been recognised for excellence. Their stories are inspiring and humbling, and remind us that truly great achievements involve determination and endeavour as much as brilliance.

“By giving these people an opportunity to address our audiences at graduation, we hope to inspire our students and to help them realise that achieving their personal goals can also lead to them making a difference in the world.”

The University applies a strict criteria in deciding who should be offered an honorary degree. A panel of representatives of the University’s academic, student and governing bodies assesses nominees based on factors such as their academic excellence and the role they may have played in contributing to progress or change in society.

Previous recipients have included publicly celebrated figures such as Sir Paul McCartney, Noel Coward and Virginia Wade. 

Notes for editors

University of Sussex Media Relations Team: Jacqui Bealing (07540 673625), James Hakner (01273 678888)  Email:press@sussex.ac.uk


By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Monday, 18 January 2016