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1st September 2009, 11:47am
Lord Winston heads list of luminaries to receive honorary degrees
University Graduation Ceremony The University of Lincoln’s list of honorary degree recipients this year is an eclectic mix of professions and personalities.

Eminent scientist Professor Lord Robert Winston will join a national newspaper editor, a Royal Air Force veteran, a professor of food policy and a Radio 4 journalist. They will collect their honours at Lincoln Cathedral alongside almost 3,000 students receiving their degrees.

Vice Chancellor Professor David Chiddick will preside over nine graduation ceremonies taking place throughout next week (commencing Monday 7 September) in one of his last official roles at the University before he retires in October.

Lord Winston - doctor, scientist, television presenter, and politician who sits on the Labour Party benches in the House of Lords - will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Lincoln. He has been associated with the University on a number of occasions and in 2007 delivered its Munton Medallion lecture.

He said: “I’m proud of every one of the honorary degrees I’ve been nominated for – they all recognise some aspect of my work – and I accept this wonderful accolade from the University of Lincoln with gratification and delight.”

Professor Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at City University in London. Born some 300 yards from Lincoln Cathedral, he said he was delighted to be returning to the city to pick up his award in a building that so dominated his childhood.

Prof Lang, an academic who coined the term 'food miles', said: “To me, Lincoln Cathedral is one of the most beautiful buildings in the country. I’m absolutely thrilled to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Science in a building so close to my heart.”

Peter Day is a veteran business reporter on BBC radio and has become an icon for the iPod generation. His Radio 4 World of Business programme podcast has proved more popular than offerings from Terry Wogan, Jonathan Ross, Chris Moyles and Chris Evans.

Born in Norfolk, Peter was educated at Lincoln School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. His father was a bank manager in Horncastle and Gainsborough. Peter, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration, looks back fondly on his years in Lincoln.

He said: “My memories of Lincoln are some of the happiest of my life and I’m deeply honoured to be receiving an honorary degree at Lincoln Cathedral as it played such a huge role in my early life.”

Alan Rusbridger is editor-in-chief of both The Guardian and The Observer newspapers and is one of the longest-serving editors on a national newspaper. He has worked alongside some of Fleet Street’s greatest columnists and feature writers and has won numerous awards for his innovative and creative approach during his time at The Guardian.

Mr Rusbridger, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, spoke highly of the University’s Lincoln School of Journalism.

He said: “The Journalism School at the University of Lincoln has built up an enviable reputation nationally and we must encourage young writers, producers and broadcasters not to be disillusioned by the current situation. In my mind, this country has built a heritage of brilliant news coverage and will continue to do so.”

Ian Emmerson OBE is “Mr Lincoln” in every sense of the phrase. Born and bred in the city, he served as Sheriff of Lincoln in 1990/91 and was awarded an OBE in 1994 for services to cycling, having organised the Lincoln Grand Prix Cycle Race since 1963.

Mr Emmerson started his career as a telecom engineer with British Telecom before setting up Impsport, a successful company manufacturing sportswear and sporting equipment.

He has served on the British Olympic Committee and is an executive board member of the Commonwealth Games – having attended every Olympic and Commonwealth Games since 1980, except Beijing. He was President of the British Cycling Federation Executive for ten years as well as Vice President of the International Cycling Union. He is currently President and Chairman of the Lincolnshire Sports Partnership.

Mr Emmerson, who will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science, said he was “excited, thrilled, honoured and humbled” when he opened the envelope with his nomination.

“My wife has commented that my face was a picture of overwhelming excitement when I opened the letter. I was truly honoured to receive this prestigious award from my home town university,” he commented. “The city has prospered so much since the University moved to Lincoln and I’m delighted it is going from strength to strength as an institution.”

Other honorary degree recipients this year include:

  • Celebrated architectural educationalist Dr Dalibor Vesely – an internationally renowned academic in the fields of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Dr Vesely is receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.
  • Air Commodore Neil Gammon, responsible for specialist training of Royal Air Force Engineer and Supply Branch officers at RAF Cranwell.  At Cranwell, he created an enduring relationship with the University of Lincoln that has seen many officers gaining honours degrees in Engineering Management. His final posting was as Commandant of the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering. Air Commodore Neil Gammon is receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration.
For thousands of undergraduates who will collect their degrees at next week’s graduation ceremonies, the event should mark the start of exciting and successful careers like those enjoyed by the honorary graduates.

Among those who will become graduates of the University of Lincoln is BSc (Hons) Games Computing student Scott Moakes.

Scott’s dissertation on ‘User-generated content in games’ led him to create a game for Apple’s iPhone which has now been downloaded from iTunes by thousands of people.

The 22-year-old, who is originally from Mansfield near Nottingham is now based in Cambridge, having been employed by the company with whom he spent his placement year.

Scott said: “I knew I wanted to go to university but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I love computer games and saw Lincoln’s course in the prospectus and it looked pretty good. However, when I visited the campus I knew I wanted to come to Lincoln – I preferred it to other universities I’d seen because the campus was central and everything was modern, new and up-to-date.”

For Fine Art student Jessica Hinchcliffe, graduation will be the culmination of five years’ hard work.
Jessica came to the University of Lincoln after three years at university in New Zealand. Originally from Oundle, near Peterborough, the 25-year-old transferred onto Lincoln’s Fine Art programme and will be graduating with a First Class award.

She said: ”I have enjoyed every second at university and have used it to really immerse myself in a subject I Iove. I have met the best of friends and come out with a whole new view of the world.”

Jessica, who is now doing a primary PGCE at Northampton University, added: “I'm really looking forward to using the skills gained in my degree to help children learn. I think art can be linked to all subjects and really helps children understand in a hands-on way.”

Mature student Ge Huang is a fine example of how a work placement can blossom into a full-time career.
The 27-year-old, known to his friends and tutors as Tom, has achieved a First Class in BA Management and Tourism.

Whilst studying hard towards his degree, Tom also managed to balance the demands of a part-time job working for an inbound tour operator based in Cambridge. He would frequently spend his weekends showing tourists the sights of far-flung corners of the country, but was always back in Lincoln for his classes on Monday.

His diligence and commitment clearly impressed both his tutors and his employers – so much so that he now has a full-time job in a sales and marketing role for the same tour operator.

Tom, who grew up in China and speaks fluent English and Mandarin, said: “The tutors at Lincoln were very good and they tried really hard to give the students a clear picture of what tourism is about in reality and what jobs are available out there. The modules on Consumer Culture and Tourism have been really useful and gave me a good insight into the nature of the industry and the customers that it serves.”

Posthumous Aegrotat Awards will be presented to the families of two University of Lincoln students who sadly passed away during the last academic year. Hull-based students Chloe Leach and Dawn Rose have each been awarded a BSc in Applied Social Studies. Family members of both students will attend the graduation ceremony to accept the degrees.

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