University of  Sussex MEDIA RELEASE

The Information Office, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

Thursday 22 January l998 For immediate release


Jenny Backwell, The Director of the Brighton Housing Trust, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Sussex at its winter award ceremony on the morning of Thursday 29 January. She will be joined in the Gardner Centre by over l50 students, most of whom will be receiving their Masters' degrees or Doctorates.

At the afternoon ceremony, at which l85 students will graduate, the honorary degree of Doctor of Science will be awarded to former Sussex physicist Professor Sir Michael Thompson who was, until recently, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Birmingham. A new feature of the winter ceremonies will be the presentation of awards to four members of University of Sussex faculty in recognition of their excellence as teachers.

The winter graduation ceremonies will be followed in the evening by the first Special Award Ceremony for the presentation of certificates and diplomas. Around l80 students, many of whom are adults from the local region, will receive their awards from Professor Gordon Conway, the University Vice-Chancellor. Also at this ceremony, David Lepper, MP for Brighton Pavilion and local businessman Arthur Oppenheimer, will be among those being presented with Alumni Society Fellowships which are awarded to distinguished alumni or for services to the University.

You are invited to send a reporter and/or photographer to the ceremonies in the Gardner Centre on Thursday 29 January l998. The morning ceremony begins at 11.l5, the afternoon ceremony at 3.00 pm and the special awards ceremony in the evening begins at 7.00.

For further information please contact Sue Yates, Information Officer on Tel. 01273 678384, Fax. 01273 678335, email


Biographical details of Jenny Backwell and Professor Sir Michael Thompson are attached for information.

This file produced by USIS - 22nd January 1998