University of Winchester Class of 2022 set to celebrate achievements alongside public figures being honoured at Graduation ceremonies
University of Winchester students will be celebrating their achievements this month, as more than 2,000 graduate in Winchester Cathedral between 18 and 21 October.
The University is also recognising the achievements, distinguished careers and contributions to society of inspirational individuals, who have excelled in fields related to the University's values, research and teaching programmes. This year's recipients include an award-winning journalist, an award-winning novelist and former graduate of the University of Winchester, a High Court Judge, an internally-renowned composer and a British Paralympian - recognising excellence in their respective fields.
"This is a very special time in the University calendar, as we recognise and celebrate the academic success and achievement of our students. I am so proud of their determination, resilience and endeavour, after the challenges of a global pandemic," said Professor Sarah Greer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester.
"During their time at Winchester, we have encouraged and challenged them to find a way to give back to society - whether in their chosen career or through volunteering. Our graduates go on to serve society in many different and useful ways, including in public service, in business, in the creative arts and entrepreneurship, making a difference in a world which has never needed it more."
Graduating this year are the first cohort of students from the Nursing programmes, who began their courses in 2019, and students from the first Foundation year courses.
Public figures receiving Honorary Doctorates include:
Melanie Reid MBE, FRSE
Melanie is a writer and award-winning journalist who contributes a weekly column to The Times' magazine charting her life as a disabled woman with a serious spinal injury. Born in London and a graduate of Edinburgh University, she has spent more than 40 years as a journalist and newspaper executive, and enjoys a reputation as an inspiring writer who 'tells it like it is'. Her plea is for greater awareness, access and honesty about disability rights. Her best-selling memoir The World I Fell Out Of won the Saltire prize for non-fiction in 2019.
Claire is a novelist and short fiction writer and graduated from the University of Winchester with a Masters (distinction) in Creative and Critical Writing. She has written four novels: Unsettled Ground (which won the Costa Novel Award 2021, and was shortlisted for the 2021 Women's Prize for Fiction); Bitter Orange (longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award); Swimming Lessons (shortlisted for the Encore Prize for second novels, and Livre de Poche Prize in France), and Our Endless Numbered Days (winner of the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction). They have been translated into more than 20 languages. Her fifth novel The Memory of Animals will be published in the UK in April 2023. She lives in Winchester with her husband and a cat called Alan and has two grown-up children.
Aaron Phipps MBE
Southampton-born Aaron Phipps is a British Wheelchair Rugby player and a Gold Medal-winning Paralympic Champion, winning gold at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. He is in the Top 100 most influential people in the UK with a disability. His message of perseverance and determination, energy and endurance moves everyone who hears it, and his strategies for achieving goals are transferable to business and life. On 23 May 2016 Phipps became the first disabled British person to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, completing the ascent on his hands and knees. Aaron was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2022 New Year for services to wheelchair rugby.
Carol and Paddy Henderson
Carol and Paddy Henderson founded the Trussell Trust network of food banks in 1997, and whilst their initial projects focused on improving conditions for impoverished children in Bulgaria it soon became apparent that significant numbers of people in the UK faced going hungry as a result of sudden crisis. And so Salisbury Foodbank was born in their garden shed and garage, providing three days' emergency food to local people in need. The food bank model spread rapidly through church networks and more than 20 years later, the Trussell Trust now supports a network of over 1,200 food bank centres across the UK, supported by thousands of volunteers. The Trust provides emergency food and support to people locked in poverty, while also campaigning for change to end the need for food banks in the future.
Other prominent individuals being honoured are:
- Professor Emeritus Joy Carter CBE, DL, was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester between 2006 and 2021 She is an academic with a research background in Geochemistry and Health and was a former President of the international society in her field. Passionate about all aspects of sustainability and social justice, she has particular interests in climate change, widening participation, sport and animal welfare. She is also Patron of five charities and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire.
- Sir Akhlaq Choudhury QC is a High Court judge who became the first British-Bangladeshi and Muslim to be appointed to the High Court of Justice in 2017. He was born in Winchester but a few years later his family moved to Scotland where he spent his formative years on the outskirts of Glasgow. Appointed as Queen's Counsel in 2015, he proved his mettle as a deputy high court judge since 2016, before being named among five new High Court Judges in August 2017.
- Philip Herbert is an award-winning composer who has written choral music, chamber music, and music for film, dance and for the concert hall. Philip was born in London but spent his formative years in Leeds, before coming to Winchester to complete his BEd in Music Education at what was then King Alfred's College. Philip's music is regularly performed by a variety of prestigious ensembles and orchestras in the UK and the USA, as well as being used as a dance score and film soundtrack.
- Alan Lovell is Chair of the Environment Agency and served as a Governor of the University of Winchester for ten years, acting as Chair from 2016. He originally qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent most of his career in industry, much of it in troubled companies, including spells as Chief Executive of Costain, Dunlop Slazenger and Jarvis. Alan is a Lay Canon and on the Chapter of Winchester Cathedral and is also Chair of the Hampshire Cultural Trust. He was High Sheriff of Hampshire in 2010/11 and was a Trustee of the Mary Rose from 2006 to 2021.
- John McKenna is a Senior Director of an international blue chip research and development company, leading teams in the development and execution of strategic business plans. He has fostered successful partnerships between industry and academia and served as a panel member for the Business and Higher Education Forum in the USA. John studied Social and Environmental Problems at King Alfred's College from 1986 to 1988, followed by a year as Student Union President during which time he served as a Student Governor.
- Morgan Lloyd Malcolm is an award winning playwright and screenwriter who is best known for the theatre show Emilia, which transferred to London's West End in 2019, garnering three Olivier awards. She has worked extensively with Clean Break, a feminist theatre company working with women with experience of prison, and was commissioned to write a play set in a women's prison, Typical Girls, which ran at the Sheffield Crucible in 2021. She also runs the theatre company Terrifying Women which produces new horror plays written by women.
- Nicola Morrill works as a Systems Thinking consultant within DSTL, which is part of the Civil Service. She has an active interest in diversity and currently spearheads efforts in work related to the menopause and previously efforts related to the introduction of job sharing. She is certified as a Coach and Mentor through the Institute of Leadership and Management and enjoys supporting others through coaching and mentoring.
- Beccy Read is a Winchester-based music therapist who founded the charity Key Changes Music Therapy in 2008, having worked in community-based music therapy for more than 20 years previously. Under her guidance the work of the charity has provided an invaluable service to help pre-school children with language or behavioural problems, as well as older people with dementia and others living with autism, learning issues or anxiety to cope better with life. Key Changes also provides workshops and presentations for carers and brings joy into the lives of its clients and the families that support them.
- Georgiana Robertson is Chair Emeritus at Blue Apple Theatre, which is in residence at the University of Winchester. She grew up in the world of professional theatre with parents who were world-class puppeteers, performing alongside the big names of stage and screen. However, her own professional life took a different direction, as Georgiana embarked upon a long and successful career in social care. Her interests have always been in supporting people, especially those with a disability, to achieve their full potential.