Graduation Ceremonies

Honorary graduates

Our honorary graduates come from all walks of life and have made significant contributions in their field.

Is there anyone you feel should get an honorary degree at a future ceremony? You can nominate them for one.

Sara Miller McCune

Sara Miller McCune

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Oration

Rather less well known than the cities of Los Angeles or San Francisco, the town of Thousand Oaks, California has a population of just 127,000. And yet its name resonates instantly and deeply across the academic world as the home of the (let us say wisely named) academic publishing house SAGE.

Originally from Queens, New York City, Sara McCune launched SAGE in 1965 with – as legend has it – “little more than her love of publishing and the money from the sale of a used air-conditioner.” Today, Sara Miller McCune is the chairwoman of this global corporation with 1,000 employees over four continents (and doubtless with many thousands of air-conditioners). The company has its headquarters in Thousand Oaks, and also offices in Washington D.C., London, New Delhi, Kolkata and Singapore. SAGE publishes more than 650 academic journals with more than 225 titles of learned societies and institutions. SAGE has more than 4,500 titles in print and publishes an impressive 800 titles per year worldwide.

However, the wisdom of Sara Miller McCune does not stop there. In addition to founding one of the leading academic publishing houses in the world, she is equally well known for her philanthropic works. She has funded schools in the developing world, and has been a generous benefactor to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and the Sage Center for the Study of the Mind at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and also to the Granada Theater Restoration Project in Santa Barbara.

With George D. McCune, Sara founded the charitable McCune Foundation in 1990. The prescient mission of the McCune Foundation is to be “an agent of productive change in society by supporting the growth of social capital in communities.” The Foundation supports a range of projects that address issues of major importance in the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties of California by empowering and mobilising communities that might otherwise be excluded. The McCune Foundation supports groups that are ‘doing with’ those excluded voices rather than ‘doing for’ them and sees its clients as problem-solvers in a marked spirit of collaboration. Awards issued by the Foundation include the ‘ARC of Ventura County for People First of Ventura County’ and ‘Project R: Rethink, Reconsider, Respect’. These are important initiatives that are led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The awards support these individuals to advocate for themselves without reliance on others. The Foundation has also provided support for ‘El Centrito Family Learning Centers’, for the project entitled ‘Padres Promotores de la Educación’, which empowers parents in the town of Oxnard, California to address inequity in their children’s education. As a further example of the Foundation’s work one could also cite the Mixteco/Indigena Project which develops community leadership among indigenous Oaxacan farm workers to help identify the challenges faced by the Mixtec Community and to campaign for comprehensive change in Ventura County.

In 2008, Sara also founded the Miller McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy, which encourages policymakers, business leaders, politicians and scientists to come together and develop solutions to a range of vital issues.

Sara was honoured alongside Hillary Clinton and the President of Liberia by Women’s Campaign International, at an event entitled Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Honoring Inspirational Women around the Globe. In 2003 Sara was also the national winner of the Ernst & Young Spirit of Entrepreneurship award for extraordinary leadership.

Chancellor, I present to you Sara Miller McCune who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Professor Colin B. Grant
Orator

 

Faith Wainwright MBE

Faith Wainwright MBE

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Oration

Faith Wainwright MBE, BA (Hons), CEng, FREng, FIStuctE, FICE, FRSA is one the UK’s leading engineers, who, as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Director for Technical Skills at the global consulting firm Arup, continues to be an inspiration to built environment and engineering professionals worldwide.

In 1983 Faith was one of the first two women to graduate from St Edmund Hall, University of Oxford (BA in Engineering). Following graduation Faith joined Arup, and her stellar career in structural engineering began.

Faith has contributed to a truly impressive list of projects, including the following prize winning schemes: The Shard; Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Headquarters; the transformation of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern; American Air Museum (Duxford); Berlin Olympic Velodrome and Swimming Pool Complex; and the Lycée Albert Camus (Frejus, France). In delivering these and other successful high profile projects, Faith has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most respected architects (including: Renzo Piano, Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth), and pioneering contractors, including Ray O’Rourke.

In 2009 Faith led the establishment and became the inaugural Dean of Arup University. A unique initiative, the university was established to advance technical excellence through learning, research and knowledge sharing. In particular, Faith established the Arup University Masters Programme, and innovative collaboration with academia. Through Faith’s pioneering leadership Arup University has grown from strength to strength and is now a very highly regarded role model for our industry.

Faith’s contributions in the field of structural safety are also highly respected by leaders in the construction industry. She was a strong influence in establishing the scheme ‘Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety’ which encourages lessons learned to be shared across the construction industry. Following the extreme events of 9/11 in the USA, Faith was a lead contributor to the work of Arup, and of the Institution of Structural Engineers which led to changes in industry best practice and collaboration with clients on improving design of building to minimise the impact of such events. Faith is currently a Vice-President of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

In her career Faith has also blazed a trail for women in engineering. In 2004 Faith became the first ever woman member of the Joint Board of Moderators, the professional body that oversees the accreditation of university degree programmes in civil engineering. Her leadership skills, ‘can do’ and ‘people focussed’ attitude has attracted huge respect. It is not surprising that colleagues actively seek out opportunities to work with Faith.

For her significant contribution to the Built Environment and Engineering Professions Faith was awarded an MBE in 2012.

Throughout her long and distinguished career, Faith has always found time for her family, who join her here today. Despite many work commitments Faith finds time to travel around the country to support her children (Brian, Eleanor and Finola) in their competitive pursuits. Her son Brian, an elite triathlete, graduated earlier in this ceremony (BSc Sports Performance). Faith has also employed her leadership skills at her local church in Northwood, London. In her spare time, Faith enjoys sailing solo, or with her husband Kieran, learning to play the piano, has taken up running and is herself keen to tackle a triathlon soon!

Faith is highly deserving of the award for her outstanding contributions and to the engineering profession. She is a role model for her outstanding projects, various leadership roles, and wider contributions to the engineering profession.

Chancellor, I present to you Faith Wainwright who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Professor Pete Walker
Orator

 

Andrew Ritchie MBE

Andrew Ritchie MBE

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Oration

In the mid 1970s Andrew Ritchie was working as a self-employed landscape gardener. However, through a chance encounter, Andrew’s life was about to change forever. An acquaintance of his father was trying to raise money to support a UK company making a new portable bike. As an engineering graduate, Andrew was asked to give an informal opinion on the design of the bike; it did not take him long to conclude that it left much to be desired. That same evening he started sketching out some ideas for a new approach to folding bike design. That was the start of a forty year passion to create the best portable bicycle in the world. Detailed designs were prepared and then prototyping started. To finance the work, Andrew managed to get 10 friends to each contribute £100. It was a beginning, but Andrew was far from satisfied. Further prototyping followed. All this early work was undertaken in his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, London. The view from the flat provided a name: “the Brompton bicycle”. (As an aside, one can only marvel at the tolerance of his landlord and neighbours – manufacturing, and the assembly of parts by brazing, are not normally carried out in a bedroom!). In 1976, Brompton Bicycle was registered as a Limited Company.

The next dozen or so years proved to be a long hard struggle to commercialise his idea. He and his early backers failed to find a licensee, and raising funds to build manufacturing facilities proved very difficult. But private backing was eventually obtained and allowed Andrew, as he himself admits, to continue to be a perfectionist.

Andrew did all the design work himself with everything hand drawn, by far the largest effort going into factory tooling and fixtures. This was before the days of Computer Aided Design, and it was undoubtedly a labour of love. Over the years, the designs have been continually refined and improved, resulting in a machine for which almost every part is unique.

It is Andrew’s ability as an innovator and designer, and his doggedness to succeed that has ultimately resulted in Brompton Bicycle Ltd becoming what is now the largest volume bicycle manufacturer in the UK. The company has 230 employees, manufactures almost 50,000 bikes per year, and exports to 39 countries. It has received the Queen’s Award for Export in 1995 and two Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in 2012. Andrew himself was awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2009.

The innovations in the bike’s design have resulted in other innovations. A folding bike “dispenser” has recently been created which houses up to 40 bikes that can be hired for use by commuters. 18 cities in the UK have already adopted the scheme.

The company takes its corporate social responsibilities seriously but there is also a good sense of fun and each year the “Brompton World Championship” is held at Goodwood Motor Circuit. This race has a “Le Mans” style start with all bikes folded on the start grid. Entrants to the competition, both male and female, are required to wear a suit jacket, shirt and tie!

Andrew’s involvement in the company continues, in a role he describes as “Minister without Portfolio”. Most of his life has been spent developing what many might consider to be an “everyday object”. His life-long devotion to innovation and design; to quality; and to perfecting detail has elevated the “everyday” to the truly remarkable.

Chancellor, I present to you Andrew Ritchie who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering honoris causa.

Professor Kevin Edge
Orator

 

Jem Finer

Jem Finer

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce to you Jeremy Max “Jem” Finer.

Born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1955, Jem took a joint degree in computing and sociology at Keele University.

Jem’s background in mathematics and computer science dates back to the ICL 1900 mainframe computers of the early 1970s. An enduring fascination with deep time and space, self-organising systems and long-durational processes has been the impetus behind much of his work. His pieces “Longplayer”, “Cosmolog” and “Score For A Hole In The Ground” all reflect Jem’s ongoing commitment to challenge our concepts of how we interact with ‘music’.

During his residency in Oxford he invented the term “post-digital” to describe a change in his modus operandi; a return to a direct relationship with materials and landscape - as opposed to one mediated via a screen. His work there included two sculptural radio-observatories, Landscope, in Lough Neagh, N. Ireland and The Centre of the Universe, in University Parks, Oxford. Here he lived a semi-hermetic existence for a month, caretaking, collecting and collating the everyday signals from outer space.

Jem’s outputs derive from exploration of concepts at the edges where art and science intersect - producing works that inspire fascination, wonder and a hunger for more understanding of scientific principles in young people (and adults). His works are starting points for discussions around science and arts, and at a more fundamental level, critical thinking and engagement.

Jem Finer is an excellent choice for an Honorary Graduate at the University of Bath. Jem is a perennial figure at a swath of science institutions: Star City Cosmonaut Training Centre (Moscow), The Long Now Foundation (San Francisco, CA), Greenwich Observatory, Woolsthorpe Manor (Newton’s House), Oxford University’s Astrophysics Department, Jodrell Bank Telescope, The London Science Museum and The British Library. Jem also speaks at numerous events and institutions, in the media at Universities with arts orientations and schools, as well as being a major social media presence. His work, writings and interviews are increasingly cited in academic submissions.

In his work at the University of Bath, Jem has proved to be an excellent advocate for science and art, bolstering our reputation for cutting edge endeavour. His recent work, Mobile Sinfonia, was created in an Artists Residency supported by the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts and run in The Department of Computer Science. The project uses digital technology for a musical piece, which spans the globe.

Through Mobile Sinfonia, Finer has helped the University of Bath by making contributions and fostering connections regionally and globally. The project was part of the Bath Digital Festival and X-Media Labs in Bath, and at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios (Box, Wiltshire) in March 2012. Mobile Sinfonia was selected as part of Fierce Festival at the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Hall in April 2012. Mobile Sinfonia also has participants from across the world.

Chancellor, you may also be aware of Jem’s work with The Pogues, being the co-writer of what has been cited as the best Christmas song of all time, ‘Fairytale of New York’.

Jem Finer then is an artist who is curious, international and extraordinary. His work to date has challenged, inspired and informed. The University of Bath has greatly valued working with Jem, a partnership that we hope will continue.

Chancellor, I present to you Jem Finer as being eminently worthy of receiving the Degree of Doctor of Arts, honoris causa.

John C. Struthers
Orator

 

Jan Paterson MBE

Jan Paterson MBE

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Ms Jan Paterson MBE, an exceptional sports administrator, a senior figure at the British Olympic Association (BOA), who has played an important role in the development of students and sporting facilities at the University of Bath.

Over the last 25 years, Jan Paterson has become one of the most powerful and impressive women leaders in sport management, leadership and administration. She has broken down barriers in the sporting world, impacted upon policy for women and young people in sport and continues to be involved with various partnership initiatives impacting the Olympic Movement, including the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010, where she was the first female Chef De Mission for Team GB. She advises on corporate social responsibility for Olympic partners such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Visa, making a major impact on a range of social policy initiatives.

In her position as Director of Olympic Relations on the BOA’s senior management team she plays a pivotal role in the educational legacy of the Olympic Games and the BOA’s mission to transform lives through the power of the Olympic values and the inspirational achievements of Team GB. Her achievements have been recognised both domestically and internationally. She was appointed to the International Olympic Committee’s steering group for Olympic Education and as an advisor to the International Olympic Academy. She is a Board member of the London 2012 international education programme ‘International Inspiration’, a partnership with UNICEF, the British Council and UK Sport, which enriches the lives millions of young people around the world through inclusive sporting initiatives. Perhaps most impressively, her achievements have been recognised by the IOC through the award of the highly prestigious De Coubertin award/diploma for contribution to the Olympic Movement and sport; she was also awarded an MBE this January for her services to sport.

Her achievements are fully in line with the value placed on the academic study of sport, research and scholarship, sport performance and the teaching of physical education at the University of Bath. Her involvement with the University began in 1995, when she acted as the catalyst for Bath’s successful application to host the European Youth Olympic Days which launched the early development of sports facilities at Bath. She has continued to be involved with the University, supporting the annual Olympic Day Run (a worldwide celebration of Olympic day) that enhances community and youth engagement with physical activity and strengthens school partnerships, and has been central to the involvement of the University with the London 2012 legacy. She has contributed to our programmes in Sport & Social Sciences and the PGCE through her role as CEO of the British Olympic Foundation (BOF): she meets with and mentors students, provides guest lectures and door-opening placement opportunities that lead to graduate level employment. The BOF also provides two annual Dissertation prizes for graduates—Innovation and Academic Achievement.

Outside of her links with the University, she continues to play a significant leadership role in sport. She has recently been appointed as a Trustee of the Spirit of 2012 Trust, the endowment legacy of the London 2012 Games and will lead Team England as Chef De Mission later this month at the Commonwealth Games. Her legacy for women, for sport, for Olympic education, and for the academic study of sport at the University of Bath is highly deserving of this recognition.

Chancellor, I present to you Jan Paterson MBE who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Dr Michael Silk
Orator

 

Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE

Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Professor Sir Cary Cooper CBE, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University Management School and Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Cary was born in Los Angeles to Ukrainian and Romanian parents. These experiences of immigrant life both in the US and later here in the UK, where he is now a citizen, perhaps help to explain his extraordinary drive, achievements and desire to improve the quality of people’s working lives.

One of his first jobs was as a social worker in the deprived Watts neighbourhood of LA. At the same time he successfully completed an MBA at UCLA. And it was on this course that Cary was first bitten by the behavioural science bug which was to become the focus of all his subsequent research.

It was also at this time that he identified the first of his many research interests. T-Groups (or therapy groups) were at the time a popular intervention which aimed to improve participants’ understanding of themselves and others. Cary’s investigations focused on the effects of such groups on individuals in the workplace. He was encouraged by his UCLA professors to go to the University of Leeds to continue this work with social psychologist Peter B Smith.

The move to Leeds was the start of his life-long love of the UK and, in particular, a love of British social values embodied in the National Health Service and the Welfare State. Cary’s early experiences as a social worker in LA had shown him how the absence of such services could have devastating effects on the sick and vulnerable.

He then moved with Peter B Smith to the University of Sussex and then onto another post at the University of Southampton. And it was there that he got a call from the Manchester School of Management at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He took a day trip to Manchester for what he thought was going to be an informal chat and a tour of the campus. It turned out to be a very formal interview quickly followed by a job offer. He accepted and moved to Manchester where he soon became, as he continues to be, a loyal supporter of Manchester City, showing yet again his natural empathy for the underdog. He was to remain at UMIST for many years, quickly becoming one of its youngest Professors, taking over as Head of the School of Management and eventually becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor. And, just a few years ago, the University of Lancaster beckoned with new exciting challenges.

Cary already has several connections to the University of Bath and the School of Management having been one of our external examiners and co-authoring one of the first of his many books with Iain Mangham who was a Professor in the School for many years. Since that time he has published or edited over 160 books and many hundreds of journal articles on topics including group processes, mergers, women at work, well-being and stress.

As important as this research has been in terms of adding to the body of social science knowledge about behaviour at work this has never been enough for Cary. He believes passionately that our research should be used to help and improve the well-being of individual workers, organisations and communities. As an enthusiastic and effective communicator, translator and disseminator of research findings, his writing, media work and presentations have reached out not only to managers and practitioners but also to governments, policy-makers and the general public. He is also a prolific user of Twitter having posted over 11,000 tweets and attracting as many followers.

Cary is also a builder. Throughout his career he has helped to create journals, book series and professional bodies – in particular the British Academy of Management. Outside academia, as a social entrepreneur, he has helped to build institutions which promote social and management science for the public good – most notably as a former Chair of the Sunningdale Institute as part of the National School of Government and currently in his role as Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences.

Chancellor, I present to you Cary Cooper who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Professor Rob Briner
Orator

 

Sir Peter Hendy CBE

Sir Peter Hendy CBE

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Oration

Chancellor, it is my pleasure to introduce Sir Peter Hendy CBE, the Commissioner of Transport for London.

I first mentioned to Peter that I was to deliver this oration while walking to the Chancellors Building at the start of a lecture he was to deliver to some final year students. He suggested that I should try to avoid the usual “boring stuff” but I felt I had to include some of it as what is boring for him is pretty impressive for the rest of us.

Peter Hendy graduated with a degree in economics from the University of Leeds in 1975 and then started his career as a graduate trainee at what was then London Transport. He moved up the career ladder, and after restructuring, privatization, a buyout and a trade sale, became Deputy Director for FirstGroup’s UK Bus division. In 2001, he was appointed to the position of Managing Director of Surface Transport for Transport for London, and in January 2006 was appointed Commissioner of Transport for London, a position he continues to hold. He received a CBE in the 2006 New Year Honours for his work in keeping public transport in London running during and after the 7 July 2005 London bombings, and was knighted for services to transport and the community in the 2013 New Year Honours for his work on improving London’s transport and for the effective running of the transport network for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He is the longest serving person in charge of London’s transport since Lord Ashford in 1947 and has, of course, worked for both Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson.

In spite of running one of the largest and most complex transport systems in the world, he is not someone who tells people what to do without being able to do it himself. He is the only person I know of who has driven to the University in a red London Routemaster bus to deliver a lecture, but for those who think this is one way to get around paying the parking fees at the University, unfortunately parked buses and coaches have their own “pay and display” rates.

What many will not know is that in spite of being in charge of London’s public transport system, Peter Hendy is a long-term Bath resident and is actively involved in the local community. He is President of the Widcombe Social Club which is in the process of being completely rebuilt to meet the current and future needs of the community, including some new student accommodation. He has chaired the Transport Commission for Bath which has been supervising Bath’s first ever Transport Strategy, to sit alongside the core economic strategy of the Council, which will hopefully make travelling in Bath better and easier. He has also been instrumental in campaigning for a new traffic scheme for Rossiter Road, which will alleviate some of the traffic problems on the A36 in Bath and regenerate the Widcombe’s “High Street”. As all these things are planned for completion in late 2014, many of you here today will not appreciate their full impact, but the legacy will benefit future generations of University of Bath students and visitors.

And lastly, with his Routemaster, he is helping Bath culturally, with an annual appearance at the Comedy Festival’s White (or Red) Wine Arts Trail - with both Arthur Smith and Lorraine Chase as successive conductors, and helping the little church at Imber in the military training area of Salisbury Plain survive by an annual fundraising bus service to a place only accessible for a few days a year. If you see a Routemaster bus around the streets of Bath, it is generally his!

Chancellor, I present to you Sir Peter Hendy who is eminently worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Dr Andrew Heath
Orator

 

Professor Jeff Thompson CBE

Professor Jeff Thompson

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Education.

Oration

Jeff Thompson joined the University of Bath as a Professor in 1979 from a post at the University of Oxford, following undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Cambridge and Oxford Universities, and science teaching in the mainstream and independent school sectors. Having since been Head of the (then) School of Education for three blocks of three years each, Professor Thompson has also been, at different times, Arts Area Chair (precursor to the current role of Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor. He has brought in to the School (now Department) of Education over £5 million of funding through research, consultancy and other projects, and has led numerous innovations including founding the department’s Centre for the study of Education in an International Context, developing the international dimension of the MA in Education and, in 1997, leading the launch of the University’s first professional doctorate – the Doctor of Education. Both programmes continue to be central to the work of the department today. Formally Emeritus Professor of Education since 2005, he has for many years demonstrated enthusiastic and effective support for the department, and the University more widely, on both the national and the international stage. He continues to publish, to teach and to supervise research at Masters and Doctoral level in the area of international education, and is a popular and respected figure with the teachers, heads and principals who participate in those programmes.

Nationally, Professor Thompson has made an enormous contribution to the development of Education over many years. He has held numerous leadership roles including, inter alia, Chairman of Council for the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Chair of the first working group (science) charged in 1987 by the then Secretary of State, Kenneth Baker, with developing a national curriculum, Deputy Chair of the School Examinations and Assessment Council, Chair of the English National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, and most recently Chair of the Examinations Appeals Board for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Among the honours bestowed upon him nationally are that of Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to Education, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and Freeman of the City of London.

Internationally, Jeff Thompson has for many years been held in great esteem in a range of contexts. Involved from the earliest days in the development of the now well-established International Baccalaureate (IB), he has been a popular and highly regarded figure on the IB and international schools stage for over 40 years. His roles in the IB have included Chief Examiner for IB Diploma Chemistry and Physical Science, Chair of the IB Examining Board, and Director of International Education. As an indication of the esteem in which he is held within the IB organisation, the Jeff Thompson Research Award was instituted by the IB to fund research by teachers worldwide. In 2005 Jeff Thompson was also honoured with two other awards: one by the European Council of International Schools, in recognition of his contribution to the promotion of international education; the other the International Schools Association’s Distinguished Service Award for services to international education. An accomplished public speaker, he continues to be in demand at conferences nationally and internationally, and has been guest speaker at numerous school prize-giving ceremonies in many countries. Highly regarded in both university and school sectors, he is Chair or Board member of a number of international schools around the world, and is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Alliance for International Education.

An exceptional national and international educator, leader and mentor for teachers and colleagues in many contexts, Jeff Thompson continues to support developments in both national and international education to this day with an energy and enthusiasm that many who are decades younger would struggle to emulate. His support for the Department of Education and the University of Bath more widely continues unabated, and there is no doubt that he is a tremendous ambassador for the University both nationally and worldwide.

Chancellor, I present to you Professor Jeff Thompson, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Education, honoris causa.

Dr Mary Hayden
Orator

 

Professor Sir Adam Roberts

Professor Sir Adam Roberts

He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

Oration

Professor Sir Adam Roberts is a distinguished scholar in the field of international relations and a leading expert on international security, international organisations and international law, including the laws of war. He currently holds the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for International Studies at Oxford University. Among his many prominent positions was his Presidency of the British Academy from 2009-2013 during which time he successfully oversaw the expansion of its premises, raised its public profile and initiated efforts to feed more academic opinion into governmental policy-making. He was knighted in 2002 in recognition of his ‘services to the study and practice of international relations’.

Edward Adam Roberts was born in Penrith, Cumbria, the third of four children of Michael Roberts, an accomplished poet, writer and teacher, and Janet Adam Smith, also a highly regarded writer and editor. Both his parents shared a deep love of mountains and mountaineering, a love which they passed on to their son and which remains a passion to this day. Professor Roberts attended Westminster School and it was under the tutelage of an eccentric history teacher here that he developed the interest in international history and international affairs that would form the basis of his future career and his deep-seated belief that it is imperative to have an in-depth understanding of history if we are not to repeat the mistakes of the past. He went on to study Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford and, after a spell working as assistant editor on the weekly newspaper Peace News, he returned to graduate studies at the London School of Economics and pursued an academic career from then on. From 1986-2007 he was the Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, University of Oxford. Among his former graduate students at Oxford are the US National Security Advisor, Dr Susan Rice, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Dr Olli Rehn.

Professor Roberts’ contribution to international relations over the years cannot be underestimated. The extent of his influence is nicely illustrated in an accusation levelled at him at a conference in Poland when an East German was overheard telling a Russian that Adam Roberts was responsible for organising the Prague Spring and was a highly dangerous individual! Professor Roberts acknowledges this claim was greatly exaggerated, but he remains rather proud of it nevertheless. Among his most significant publications are his ‘Documents on the Laws of War’ which has been very widely used, including as a reference guide by officers serving on active operations. He has also published extensively in professional journals and has produced reports and evidence to many governmental and international bodies, for example, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Inquiries into Global Security: Afghanistan in 2009, and into Foreign Policy Aspects of the War Against Terrorism in 2004. In a recent interview, he cites his major contribution to his field as being an understanding of the different perspectives on international issues. In an effort to understand what it is like ‘at the rough end’, Professor Roberts has travelled to many of the world’s conflict zones over the years.

Throughout his career, Professor Roberts has had an uncanny knack of being ‘ahead of the game’ in identifying important issues, and this is what he says he is most proud of. For example, he wrote a book about non-violent forms of resistance against foreign occupation regimes one year before the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and the popular, non-violent resistance against it. His book, ‘Documents on the Laws of War’ was published just before an increase in public interest in such issues as the treatment of detainees, protection of civilians and respect for human rights in occupied territories, which of course still have such currency today. This sixth sense for key issues that are looming on the horizon of international affairs does indeed make Professor Roberts an extraordinary and unique scholar in his field.

Chancellor, I present to you Professor Sir Adam Roberts, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Professor Bernie Morley
Orator

 

Baroness Ruth Lister CBE

Baroness Ruth Lister CBE

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Baroness Ruth Lister of Burtersett CBE, is one of the UK’s leading social scientists, with an international reputation for her influential research on the definition, extent and experience of poverty in modern rich societies.

But Ruth Lister is not only a leading academic. Her distinguished career also includes applying that research to make a difference in the world.

Ruth’s career reflects this combination of research and action. She studied sociology at the University of Essex and multi-racial studies at Sussex. In 1971 she became a researcher at the Child Poverty Action Group, the UK’s leading charity committed to ending poverty among children and families. She was appointed CPAG Director in 1979 and remained there until 1987, playing a key role in the important debates about the nature of poverty and the role and obligations of government during the Thatcher government years. Ruth then moved to the University of Bradford and, in 1994, to Loughborough University, where she is still Emeritus Professor of Social Policy. In 2011 she was appointed to the House of Lords as a Labour Life Peer.

But that brief outline only gives a small glimpse of Ruth’s contribution to academic research and to public life. As a professor of social policy, she has published widely on issues of poverty and social exclusion, welfare state reform, gender and citizenship. Her books include Citizenship: Feminist Perspectives (2003); Poverty (2004); and Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy (2010). These books are important contributions to the social sciences, exploring how people living in poverty are excluded from full citizenship and treated as the ‘other’, somehow different from the rest of society.

At the same time Ruth has been at the centre of all the key public debates on poverty and policy in recent years, including membership of the Commission on Social Justice (1992-94), the Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty (2004-2006), and the National Equality Panel (2008-2010). She is currently a member of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, and is Honorary President of the Child Poverty Action Group.

All this means that Ruth writes and speaks on poverty with unique authority reflecting the knowledge, experience and reflection gained through these different roles. As a member of the House of Lords, Ruth is currently a leading voice in important debates about how to protect the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society during a period of unprecedented austerity and reductions in state support.

Her research and policy contribution has been recognised in many ways, including becoming Commander of the British Empire in 1999 and Fellow of the British Academy in 2009. She holds several honorary degrees, including from the Universities of Manchester and Essex. She received a lifetime achievement award from the Social Policy Association in 2010.

Ruth’s work has a strong resonance at the University of Bath. We have a substantial social policy department here, and I know I speak for my social policy colleagues, and myself personally, when I say how much we have learnt from Ruth’s work. But not only in social policy, more widely as a University community we are committed to carrying out original research and using that research to make a difference in the world, and to educating our students to be not just knowledgeable about their subject but also thoughtful about how to use that knowledge for the public good. This applies across all our disciplines. Ruth is a rigorous academic who has been steadfast in her commitment to social justice. In that respect, she is a role model, and an inspiring example, to us all.

Chancellor, I present to you Baroness Ruth Lister, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Professor Jane Millar
Orator

 

Baroness Sheila Hollins

Baroness Sheila Hollins

She received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

Oration

Baroness Sheila Hollins of Wimbledon and Grenoside shines as a leading doctor and psychiatrist, a description justified by even the most abbreviated summary of her career. In 1990 she became chair of Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s, University of London; she was twice seconded to the Department of Health as senior policy advisor in learning disability and autism. Between 2005-2008 as President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists she was instrumental in developments such as helping the profession to devise and adopt new ways of working. Since 2011 she has held the same chair as Professor Emeritus after what clearly cannot be described as “retirement”. She led the British Medical Association as President from 2012 to 2013 and currently chairs the BMA Board of Science. As a member of the Commission on the Protection of Minors she advises Pope Francis.

She is declaredly a woman committed to science, faith and family, embodying and promoting values throughout her career: humility, empathy and the application of science to better understanding of and develop more effective interventions in mental health.

There is little doubt that her understanding was deepened by her personal experience, and in facing a range of personal and professional challenges consistently and positively. Having graduated in medicine from St Thomas’ Hospital, she first met someone with mental health problems when working as a GP in South London. Of this psychotic patient she said “I had a five-minute slot… probably double-booked. How on earth was I to know where to begin? How to respond appropriately to that patient? How to begin to understand the complexity of his needs?” Characteristically she responded by looking for answers, going on to train as a psychiatrist. As one of the first in her scheme to train part time, she campaigned to save the hospital crèche. Values driven campaigning is a lifelong feature.

Her experience as the parent of a son with a severe learning disability has clearly been an inspiration during her career, motivating tireless campaigns to improve health services for people with learning disability. In the 1980s, she sought picture books to help people with learning disabilities cope with feelings, finding nothing. When her son was in his teens, she found that drawing pictures helped him understand his experiences. She went on to work with people with learning disabilities, an illustrator and other professionals to produce books without words: “When Dad Died” and “When Mum Died”, published in 1989. Under her editorship the Books Beyond Words series developed a further 38 titles tackling issues such as growing up, abuse, institutional care, health needs and community living.

As the mother of Abigail Witchalls, attacked and paralysed apparently at random by someone with substance misuse and mental health problems, she expressed compassion for the assailant and his family. In this context she articulated concern about the development of the Mental Health Bill, saying “we can lock up 100,000 people and still have catastrophes like the attack on my daughter”. She reacted to these tragic events not only by supporting her daughter and family but also in terms of the attacker and the broader implications for improving access to mental health services.

As a member of several bodies nationally and internationally she has highlighted health inequalities, campaigning for their resolution. She identified the importance of her not being defined by just one aspect of her being, declaring that it is possible for a woman to be many things, with different parts shining at different moments. The University of Bath not only salutes her values but also aspires to enable their development to shine in its members.

Chancellor, I present to you Professor Sheila Baroness Hollins of Wimbledon and Grenoside, who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

Professor Paul Salkovkis
Orator