Honorary degrees awarded in Liverpool and China

Eleven distinguished figures received honorary degrees from the University at the Philharmonic Hall and at the World Expo in Shanghai.

Former President of Council, Mark Blundell, founder of the Crosby Hall Education Trust, an independent charity that operates as a residential centre for children to support social and education development, received a Doctor of Laws. He is also involved with community work for Tate Liverpool and served for six years as a board member of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Lewis Booth, Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer of Ford Motor Company and a graduate of this University was awarded a Doctor of Laws. After joining Ford in 1978 as a financial analyst, he held a succession of key positions around the world, before being seconded to Japan in 2002 to develop the ailing Mazda Company. In 2008 he returned to Ford’s headquarters in Michigan, where he has been instrumental in successfully guiding the company through a global recession.

Award winning British film director and screen writer, Terence Davies received a Doctor of Letters. Terence was born in Liverpool and has since based many of his films on his life growing up in the city during the 1940s and 50s. Works including Distant Voices, Still Lives have received critical acclaim around the world. He has been appointed honorary professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies and delivered his inaugural lecture in the Sherrington Building.


Chief Scientist of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore and Director of the Cancer Research IJ Transformation Group, Professor Sir David Lane, was awarded a Doctor of Science. He identified a protein that plays a unique part in triggering the genetic alteration by which normal cells mutate and become cancerous, since this discovery, it has become known that the mutations cause almost 50 per cent of all human cancers.

Doctor of Laws, Dame Lorna Muirhead, is Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside. She originally trained as a nurse and midwife and moved to Liverpool in the mid-60s to take up a position at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital. In 1997 she was elected to the Council of the Royal College of Midwives and five years later became its President. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2000 for her services to midwifery.

Historian Professor Dame Janet Nelson, whose research has transformed understanding of the early medieval period received a Doctor of Laws. She is Emeritus Professor of Medieval History at Kings’s College London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She became the Society’s first-ever woman President as was later elected a Fellow of the British Academy. She was made a Dame of British Empire for services to History in 2006.

Andrew Pettigrew is a graduate of this University and Professor of Strategy and Organisation at the Saí¯d Business School at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on the study of innovation, change, organisational performance and corporate governance. Professor Pettigrew’s most recognised published work is a study of long-term institutional change at ICI. A Fellow of the British Academy, he received an OBE for services to higher education and received a Doctor of Laws at the Philharmonic Hall ceremony.

Professor C. N. R. Rao was awarded a Doctor of Science and is one of the world’s leading materials chemists. His research at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, has produced new insights into materials that do not occur in nature – an area of work that plays an important role in the development of nanotechnologies. His work on superconductors is signifant in the developments of new medical technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The television producer Professor Phil Redmond is responsible for founding Mersey Television and creating the long-running dramas Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks. In 2007, he was appointed Creative Director of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture board and has been appointed to chair the Institite of Cultural Capital, a new collaboration with this University and the Liverpool John Moores University. He received a Doctor of Letters.

At a graduation ceremony held at the World Expo in Shanghai John Whittaker, Chairman of Peel Holdings and Professor Zhou Hamnin, Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Shanghai World Expo Co-ordination received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.

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