Celebrating our Honorary Graduates in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences award ceremonies


In the final ceremonies of the week we celebrated the honorary awards for Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, Dr Nira Chamberlain, former University Chancellor Baroness Patricia Scotland and Stephen Mear.

While we continue to celebrate the diverse talents of all our students we were also pleased to award further Honorary Degrees. We have further ceremonies taking place at Rochester Cathedral next week (24-25 July).

Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, an award winning journalist who had an illustrious career which included roles as Editor-in-Chief of The Wall Street Journal Europe, Editor of The Sunday Telegraph and Business and City Editor of The Times was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt).  Receiving her award her advice to graduates was to:

Seize opportunities and take risks, to make the world a better place.

Baroness Patience Wheatcroft

 Dr Nira Chamberlain, a chartered scientist and mathematician was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science (HonDSc).  He was the first black mathematician to feature in Who's Who and was one of only five mathematicians named by the Science Council in their list of the UK's top 100 scientists.  His advice to graduates was:

Be constantly moving forward because there are problems that you have been put on this Earth to solve.

Dr Nira Chamberlain

Baroness Patricia Scotland, our former Chancellor who has been a source of inspiration and support to many students during her tenure, with particular links to the School of Law where she helped launch the Legal Advice Centre in 2015 was awarded an Honorary Doctor of the University (HonDUniv).

She has always championed our students and today she said:

Thank you in advance for all the wonderful and courageous things you will do in order to better this world.

Baroness Patricia Scotland

Stephen Mear, President of Bird College, Dancer, Choreographer and Director whose work has captivated audiences in theatres across the world was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Arts (HonDArt).  Stephen has received the Laurence Olivier Award in 2007 for Best Choreography for Mary Poppins and has also received nominations for his work on a number of shows including Gypsy, Kiss Me Kate and Singin' in the Rain. His TV credits include The Tracey Ullman Show, So You Think You Can Dance and Acorn Antiques the Musical. The International Dance Teachers Association has twice awarded Stephen the prestigious Carl Alan Award for his contribution to dance and theatre. He is committed to supporting students from all backgrounds into the arts and as President of Bird College he helps students to develop the skills they need to succeed in a competitive global industry.

On receiving his award his advice to graduates was:

Don't let anybody tell you, you can't.

Stephen Mear