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University of Roehampton's honorary doctorates announced

Over 1,600 students from the University of Roehampton will be graduating on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st July with degrees in a range of subjects including Accounting, Criminology, Creative Writing, Sport Coaching and Zoology. Graduands will receive their degrees in one of five ceremonies, presided by University Chancellor Professor Dame Jacqueline Wilson at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Posted: 12 July 2017

image for news story University of Roehampton's honorary doctorates announced
Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC

During the ceremonies, the University will also be presenting honorary doctorates to five highly respected public figures in recognition for their work in philanthropy, education, health, business, law reform, and human rights.

Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws QC is one of the UK's most distinguished lawyers. She has practised at the Bar for over 40 years, and in that time has conducted many leading cases including the Brighton bombing trial, and she has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence. As well as chairing a number of Councils and committees, including the British Council, Helena has been a member of the House of Lords for over 20 years. Meanwhile, she has authored a number of books on law reform, co-wrote successful TV series Blind Justice, and was a well-known broadcaster on law and ethics for the BBC. Baroness Kennedy, who opened Roehampton Law School last year, is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.

Bianca Jagger has dedicated her life to defending human rights, civil liberties, peace, social justice, and environment protection throughout the world. She campaigns to end capital punishment and violence against women and girls, and advocates for the rights of indigenous peoples and future generations. She is Founder, President and Chief Executive of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, which she established in 2005 to be a force for change and a voice for the most vulnerable. Bianca has received a host of prestigious accolades, The Right Livelihood Award, the United Nations Earth Day International Award, and the Abolitionist of Year Award, to name a few. Bianca is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University.

Dame Sue John is well-known for transforming schools into Ofsted outstanding schools. Sue worked as a National Leader of Education and as project manager for some of London's most challenging and complex schools and has held directorships at the Department for Education, Future Leaders and Teaching Leaders and is currently a Director of Turner Schools Academy Trust. She is involved in a number of educational charities and organisations, including of Challenge Partners, a national organisation that enables collaboration between schools to enhance the life chances of all children in an ever-changing world. Sue was awarded Dame of the British Empire for her services to education in 2010 and is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University.

Rimla Akhtar MBE has committed herself to global business and elite sport. In 2014 she became the first Muslim and Asian woman on the FA Council in addition to her role on the Inclusion Advisory Board at the FA and in 2015 was awarded an MBE for her contribution to equality and diversity in sport. Whilst carving out a successful career in the city at a leading global professional services firm, Rimla also captained Britain in Futsal competitions. She is founder of the leading sport development consultancy, RimJhim Consulting, and, as Chair of the Muslim Women's Sport Foundation, she has led the organisation to one with a distinct reputation nationally and internationally for its extensive work in the field of women's sport. Rimla is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University.

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE is founder of parkrun, a free, weekly, timed, 5k run, in over 1000 locations around the world, with over 600 in the UK. parkruns operate in the United States, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Russia, South Africa, New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, Australia, Denmark, Singapore and France. Over 2 million people take part in this uniquely accessible and social run, which has opened the possibility of wellbeing and social cohesion to all people regardless of ability or age. Paul's mission and that of parkrun is to make the world a healthier and happier place. Paul was awarded the CBE by the Queen for services to grassroots sports participation in 2014 and is being awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University.

Graduation ceremonies take place at Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, just 30 minutes from the University campus. More information can be found here.

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