University of Winchester celebrates Graduation 2017

10 Oct 2017

Prominent public figures who have excelled in their respective fields - including actors, sportsmen and women and musicians - are recognised for their achievements with Honorary Doctorates from the University of Winchester during Graduation (17-20 October).

Over 2,000 students are graduating in Winchester Cathedral during eight ceremonies presided over by Chancellor of the University Alan Titchmarsh MBE. The annual celebrations begin with a procession from Abbey House to Winchester Cathedral on Tuesday 17 October, with civic dignitaries from across Hampshire joining senior staff from the University.

"Graduation is one of life's most significant occasions and is consistently one of my favourite times in the academic year," said Professor Joy Carter DL, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Winchester. "I am always incredibly proud of our graduates and it is an absolute pleasure to celebrate their achievements with them, their families and friends. They all leave Winchester with the knowledge and wisdom to go on and make a real difference in the world, and I wish them every success in the future."

"We are also excited to be honouring a number of truly inspirational individuals who in their distinguished careers have made significant contributions to society with the awards of Honorary Doctorates," added Professor Carter.

All those awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University have excelled in fields related to the University's research and programmes, including the performing arts, sports and exercise science, animal welfare and business and management studies.

David Suchet CBE (Honorary Doctorate of Arts for services to acting) is best known for his portrayal of fictional detective Hercule Poirot in the hugely popular, long-running television drama series Poirot.

David's long and illustrious acting career also includes roles in theatre, film, and radio plays, as well as audiobooks and voice-over narrations. His many awards include an Olivier Award for the Best Revival of Long Day's Journey into Night; a What's On Stage award for his role as Joe Keller in All My Sons, and an International EMMY Award for Best Actor when he played Robert Maxwell.

Carolyn Fairbairn (Honorary Doctorate of Letters for services to business) joined the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) as Director-General in November 2015. She spent her early career at McKinsey, before taking on a range of senior leadership roles in the media industry. As BBC Director of Strategy, she led the BBC's digital strategy and ran its transmission arm.

Carolyn has extensive FTSE board experience as a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, The Vitec Group and Capita plc. She was also a Director of the Competition and Markets Authority; the UK Statistics Authority, and from 2008-11, the Financial Services Authority. From 1995-97, she was a member of the Number 10 Policy Unit.

Eddie Jones (Honorary Doctorate of Letters for services to sport), head coach of the England rugby senior team, is meticulous in all aspects of the game. He masterminded back-to-back Royal Bank of Scotland Six Nations titles, including the Grand Slam in his initial season as England's first head coach from overseas. In the process, Eddie extended the team's winning run to a world record-equalling 18 games - an unprecedented achievement by a new England coach that included a 3-0 clean sweep away against Australia in June 2016.

Other prominent individuals being recognised by the University with an Honorary Doctorate this year include three-time Paralympian rower and handcyclist Rachel Morris; actor and animal welfare activist Peter Egan; former chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Mary Edwards; composer Will Todd; former broadcaster and Anglican minister Debbie Thrower; international development expert Donal Brown, Director of Africa for the Department for International Development, and the Reverend Tim Selwood, founder trustee of the Minstead Trust.

For a full list of Honorary Doctorates with short biographies of the recipients, please click here.

Outstanding community organisations and individuals are also in line for recognition with Community Star Awards. Winchester Youth Counselling, Winchester Storehouse and Sarah McGaughey, ward manager and sister in charge of the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover will all receive awards at this year's Graduation ceremonies. The Community Star Award highlights and rewards the contribution of exceptional community organisations and individuals in Hampshire and the surrounding area which share the University's commitment to serving the common good and reflect the institution's values of compassion, spirituality and individuals matter.

A timetable of graduation ceremonies, with details of which honorary doctorates will be awarded at each, is set out below.

Programme of Ceremonies for Graduation 2017

The Graduation 2017 procession from Abbey House to Winchester Cathedral starts at 10.15am on Tuesday 17 October.

Tuesday 17 October at 10.30am
Faculty of Business, Law and Sport Ceremony I and Basingstoke College of Technology
Honorary Doctorate: Carolyn Fairbairn

Tuesday 17 October at 2pm
Faculty of Business, Law and Sport Ceremony II
Honorary Doctorate: Eddie Jones
Honorary Doctorate: Rachel Morris MBE

Wednesday 18 October at 10.30am
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Ceremony I
Honorary Doctorate: Debbie Thrower
Honorary Doctorate: Peter Egan

Wednesday 18 October at 2pm
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Ceremony II and Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care Ceremony I
Honorary Doctorate: Reverend Tim Selwood

Thursday 19 October at 10.30am
Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care Ceremony II
Honorary Doctorate: Donal Brown
Honorary Doctorate: Mary Edwards

Thursday 19 October at 2pm
Faculty of Education, Health and Social Care Ceremony III
Honorary Doctorate: Will Todd

Friday 20 October at 10.30am
Faculty of Arts: Ceremony I

Friday 20 October at 2pm
Faculty of Arts: Ceremony II
Honorary Doctorate: David Suchet CBE


Press Office  |  +44 (0) 1962 827678  |

Back to media centre