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Honorary Graduates

Orations and responses by year of award

In 1967 the University awarded its first honorary degrees (DU Essex). Among the first recipients were, the then, Prime Minister, Harold Wilson; Lord Annan, Provost of University College London who had an immense influence in Higher Education and the artist John Northcote Nash.

Since then the University has honoured more than 270 men and women from many walks of life for their varied contributions to learning, creativity and the acquisition of knowledge, to human welfare and human rights and to the building and maintaining of a fairer society.

Please also see the alphabetical list of all honorary graduates since 1967.

Honorary graduates by year:

201120102009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997

2011

During the academic year 2010-2011 honorary doctorates were awarded to individuals during ceremonies in July 2010.

Honorary Graduate  
Professor the Baroness Afshar ONE AcSS Profile
Sir John Ashworth Profile
Joan Bakewell Profile
Ignacio Duran Loera Profile
Chris Mullin Profile
Kier Starmer QC Profile

2010

During the academic year 2009-2010 honorary doctorates were awarded to individuals during ceremonies in July 2010.

Honorary Graduate  
Rt Hon John Bercow MP Profile
Hanif Lalani OBE Profile
Dr Katherine Rake OBE Profile
Griff Rhys Jones Profile
Lord Triesman of Tottenham Profile

2009

During the academic year 2008-2009 honorary doctorates were awarded to seven individuals during ceremonies in July 2009.

Honorary Graduate  
Professor Sir Ivor Crewe Profile
Dora Love Profile
Neil McArthur Profile
Nuala Mole Profile
Doug Richard Profile
Juliet Stevenson Profile
Professor John Francis Toland Profile

2008

During the academic year 2007-2008 honorary doctorates were awarded to five individuals during ceremonies July 2008. Those honoured included a theatre director, Archaeologist, and a property developer. 

At the Canning House Annual Lecture in April 2008, Her Excellency President Michelle Bachelet was presented with her honorary degree.

Honorary Graduate      
Jack Petchey, OBE Profile Oration Response
Professor Derrick Swartz Profile Oration Response
Tim Melville-Ross, CBE Profile Oration Response
Philip Crummy Profile Oration Response
Dee Evans Profile Oration Response
Her Excellency President Michelle Bachelet Profile Oration Response

2007

During the academic year 2006-07 honorary doctorates were awarded to eight individuals during ceremonies in July 2007. Those honoured included a local painter, a naturalist, and a world champion swimmer.

Honorary Graduate      
Richard Mabey Profile Oration Response
Karen Pickering, MBE Profile Oration Response
Dominique Tropeano Profile Oration Response
Professor George Monbiot Profile Oration Response
James Dodds Profile Oration Response
Professor Hugh Brogan Profile Oration Response
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Sedley Profile Oration Response
The Honourable Mr Justice Erik Møse Profile Oration Response

2006

During the academic year 2005/2006 honorary doctorates were awarded to eight individuals during ceremonies in July 2006. Those honoured included a film maker, novelist, the Chief Inspector of Prisons and an Emmy Nominee.

Honorary Graduate      
Dr Nick Broomfield Profile Oration Response
Anne Owers, CBE Profile Oration Response
Rose Tremain Profile Oration Response
Stewart Till, CBE Profile Oration Response
Shami Chakrabarti Profile Oration Response
The Right Honourable Sir Philip Otton PC Profile Oration Response
Sir John Tusa Profile Oration Response
Professor Simon Schama, CBE Profile Oration Response

2005

Honorary Graduate      
Sarah Tyacke CB Profile Oration Response
William W Gould Profile Oration Response
Sir Nicolas Bratza Profile Oration Response
Professor Dorothy E Smith Profile Oration Response
Dr Charles Saumarez Smith Profile Oration Response
David Dimbleby Profile Oration Response
The Rt Hon Baroness Hale of Richmond Profile Oration Response

[Orations and responses to be added.]

2004

During the academic year 2003/2004 honorary doctorates were awarded to nine individuals at eight ceremonies in April and July 2004. Those honoured included leading academics, distinguished figures from the worlds of arts and science as well as a human rights worker, a business man, and a psychotherapist.

Honorary Graduate      
Lindsey Hilsum Profile Oration Response
Ian Marks, CBE, DL Profile Oration Response
Dame Helen Mirren Profile Oration Response
Professor John O'Reilly Profile Oration Response
Professor Susie Orbach Profile Oration Response
Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy Profile Oration Response
Professor Linda Colley, FBA Profile Oration Response
Professor Thomas Ades Profile Oration
Professor Julia Goodfellow CBE Profile Oration Response

2003

During the academic year 2002/2003 honorary doctorates were awarded to six individuals at six ceremonies in April and July 2003. Those honoured included leading academics, a human rights worker, a business man and an actress.

Honorary Graduate      
Professor Stanley Cohen Profile Oration Response
Sir Robin Saxby  Profile Oration Response
Lord Parekh Profile Oration Response
Alison Steadman Profile Oration Response
Professor Germaine Greer Profile Oration Response
Ian Martin Profile Oration Response

2002

During the academic year 2001/2002 honorary doctorates were awarded to eight individuals at eight ceremonies in April and July 2002. Those honoured included a theatre and an art gallery director, writers, academics, a journalist and a retired bishop.

Honorary Graduate      
Ronald Blythe Profile Oration Response
Professor George Brown Profile Oration Response
Orla Guerin Profile Oration Response
Mike Leigh, OBE Profile Oration Response
Ben Okri Profile Oration Response
Sir Nicholas Serota Profile Oration Response
Sir John Sulston Profile Oration Response
Rt Rev John Waine Profile Oration Response

2001

During the academic year 2000/2001 honorary doctorates were awarded to nine individuals at eight ceremonies in April and July 2001. Those honoured included the human rights activists, executives from the worlds of television, publishing and telecommunications and sportsman Trevor Brooking as well as a film director, senior judge and a distinguished academic sociologist.

Honorary Graduate      
Theodoros Angelopoulos Profile Oration Response
Sir Peter Bonfield, CBE Profile Oration Response
Trevor Brooking Profile Oration Response
Dr Andrei Vladimir Gnezdilov Profile Oration Response
Lord Slynn of Hadley Profile Oration Response
Patricia Hodgson, CBE Profile Oration Response
Professor David Lockwood, CBE Profile Oration Response
Cyril Ndebele Profile Oration Response
Gail Rebuck, CBE Profile Oration Response

2000

During the academic year 1999/2000 honorary doctorates were awarded to nine individuals at eight ceremonies in April and July 2000. Those honoured included the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Lord Braybrooke and distinguished academics Patrick Collinson, Robin Milner, Michael Podro and Oliver Rackham.

Honorary Graduate      
Lord Braybrooke, JP Profile Oration Response
Professor Patrick Collinson Profile Oration Response
Elinor Goodman Profile Oration Response
Charles Handy Profile Oration Response
Lord Haskins of Skidby Profile Oration Response
Professor Robin Milner, FRS, FRSE Profile Oration Response
Professor Sir Howard Newby,CBE Profile Oration Response
Professor Michael Podro, FBA Profile Oration Response
Dr Oliver Rackham Profile Oration Response

1999

Those honoured in the 1998/99 academic year include Mrs Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and later United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights.

Honorary Graduate      
Professor Stephen Jones Profile Oration Response
Hon Dr Miriam Rothschild, CBE, FRS Profile Oration
Professor Alan Baddeley, FRS Profile Oration Response
Ms Leila Berg Profile Oration Response
Professor Greg Duncan Profile Oration Response
Mr Daniel Libeskind Profile Oration Response
Mrs Mary Robinson Profile Oration Response
Ms Polly Toynbee Profile Oration Response

1998

Those honoured in the 1997/98 academic year included Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, making him the University's youngest honorary doctor.

Honorary Graduate      
Ms Helen Bamber, OBE Profile Oration Response
Mr Timothy Berners-Lee Profile Oration Response
Ms Evelyn Glennie, OBE Profile Oration
Mr Hugh Johnson, MA Profile Oration Response
Mr Brian Oakley, CBE Profile Oration Response
Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson, RA Profile Oration Response

1997

In 1997 one of the honorary graduands was Madame Graça Machel, who brought with her as her guests her two children and her companion (later her husband) President Nelson Mandela.

Honorary Graduate    
The Rt Hon the Lord Alport PC, TD, DL    
The Hon Mrs Justice Arden, DBE    
Roderic Barrett    
The Rt Hon the Lord Bingham, PC MA    
Ray Hawes, OBE    
Sir Alex Jarratt, CB, DL    
Graça Machel Oration Response