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15 July 2013

Outstanding individuals receive honorary degrees at Graduation 2013

Graduation 2013 offers the University the chance to recognise through the awarding of honorary degrees the achievements of outstanding individuals.

Honorary degrees are awarded for distinction in the areas of study the University specialises in and outstanding contributions to the arts, sport, industry, and public service, including service to the University.

This year, internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and human rights activist Annie Lennox and double Olympic gold medallist Laura Trott are among the seven people to be presented with Honorary Degrees at this year’s Graduation at the University.

The group of distinguished individuals, which also includes Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, will join more than 2,900 students and over 7,000 guests for this year’s celebration, which takes place from Tuesday 16 July to Friday 19 July.

Annie Lennox

Annie Lennox. Picture: Mike Owen

This year’s Honorary Graduands are:

Lord Dyson is being honoured in recognition of his distinguished career, dedication to public service and significant work in support of human rights.

As Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson is the Head of Civil Justice, and the second most senior judicial position in England and Wales, after the Lord Chief Justice.

Educated at Leeds Grammar School and Wadham College, Oxford, Lord Dyson was called to the bar (Middle Temple) in 1968. He was made a bencher for Middle Temple in 1990. He was appointed as a Queen’s Counsel in 1980, and his first judicial appointment was as a Recorder from 1986 and 1993. He was appointed as a Judge of the High Court of Justice for 1993-2001.

In 2001 he was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal. Lord Dyson was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court in April 2010. He succeeded Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury as Master of the Rolls in October 2012. Since 1998 he has been a Fellow Honorary of the Society of Advanced Legal Studies and of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2004.

Annie Lennox, the internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and human rights activist, will be receiving an Honorary Degree in recognition of her work in political and social activism and her extensive campaigning for humanitarian causes.

Named as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine, Ms Lennox rose to fame with Dave Stewart as Eurythmics in the early 1980s and went on to achieve more than 20 international hits before launching a highly-successful solo career in the early 1990s. She has won numerous musical accolades – from Brits and Grammy Awards to a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.

In 2003, Lennox performed at the inaugural concert for Nelson Mandela's HIV/AIDS Campaign, 46664. Her experience in South Africa inspired her to found the SING campaign, supporting women and children affected by HIV/AIDS. An Ambassador for UNAIDS, Oxfam, Amnesty International, and The British Red Cross, she is also Special Envoy for Scottish Parliament, and the City of London. She received the Woman of Peace Award at the 2009 World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, and in 2011 was awarded an OBE in recognition of her humanitarian work.

Paul Lewis is an investigative freelance journalist, public speaker and broadcaster specialising in personal finance, business, tax, and consumer rights.

He has presented BBC Radio 4’s Money Box since September 2000 and is a champion of consumer interests especially in finance, savings and investments and has campaigned for greater openness by the banks and utility companies. He writes extensively on money and is a regular guest on BBC Breakfast, the News Channel, and many Radio 4 programmes.

He has written six books on money matters and received more than a dozen awards, including Headline Money Journalist of the Year in 2010, Association of Investment Companies Best Broadcast Journalist in 2011 and Rose’s Best Provider of Advice and Information in 2012. He has written about money in every edition of Saga Magazine since 1984 and writes fortnightly on its website. In the past he has contributed to The Daily Telegraph, Reader's Digest and many other journals. He is also an expert on the Victorian writer Wilkie Collins and one of the editors of the first complete edition of his letters, published in 2005 and updated annually.

Professor Denise Lievesley is one of the UK’s most eminent social statisticians. From 1991 until 1999, she was Director of the UK Data Archive and Professor of Social Research Methods in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Essex.

She subsequently established and led UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and then set up the Information Centre for health and social care in the NHS. After working in the UN Economic Commission for Africa, she joined King’s College London where she is Head of the School of Social Science and Public Policy, and Professor of Statistics.

Throughout her career, her work has been at the highest level, establishing her reputation for upholding the principles of professional integrity, policy relevance and methodological transparency. She is a campaigner for evidence as the basis for development of public policies within the UK and internationally.

Her contributions to the Statistics profession have been recognised through her elections to the Presidencies of the Royal Statistical Society (1999-2001) and the International Statistical Institute (2007-2009), the first woman ever to hold this office.

Sir Keith Mills was key to the successful delivery of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London.

Born in Brentwood, Essex, Sir Keith founded Air Miles International Group to develop the Air Miles programme in 1988.

In 2003 he was appointed International President and CEO of London 2012, the company that was created to bid for the 2012 Olympic Games. Having established the London 2012 organisation which planned and organised the Games (LOCOG), Sir Keith remained as Deputy Chairman alongside Lord Coe to oversee operations. Sir Keith is also a non-executive director of Tottenham Hotspur plc.

In 2005 Sir Keith received a number of awards including Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Chief Executive of the Year and the Sports Industry Businessman of the Year. Sir Keith chairs the sport for development foundation − the UK Sported programme. In the 2013 New Year Honours he was awarded the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire for delivering a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

James Murphy, an Essex graduate, is receiving an honorary degree in recognition of his significant achievements in the advertising industry.

He founded leading creative agency adam&eve, which was sold in May 2012 for a reputed £55 million to Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide. Currently he is CEO of the newly merged agency adam&eve DDB.

With Mr Murphy at the helm, adam&eve enjoyed massive success with clients including Foster’s, Sony, The Telegraph, Diageo, Halifax, Save the Children, Google and YouTube.

Most notably, his agency created the John Lewis Christmas adverts of the last few years and the 2010 campaign Always a woman. The work was extensively featured in the BBC’s documentary Inside John Lewis. With clients enjoying huge commercial and creative success, adam&eve was named both Marketing and Campaign magazine’s Agency of the Year in 2010 and was voted the UK’s top agency in the YouGov agency reputation survey.

He graduated from the University of Essex in 1989 with a BA Politics.

Laura Trott, a double Olympic Champion, did not have the start to life one would usually associate with a world class athlete.

Born a month prematurely, in Harlow Essex, with a collapsed lung, she was later diagnosed with asthma and was recommended by doctors to take up sport to help regulate her breathing. Ms Trott began cycling as the family supported her mother in a quest to lose weight. She became serious about the sport after a blackout forced her to stop trampolining.

At the London 2012 Olympic Games, she won a gold medal in the team pursuit alongside Dani King and Joanna Rowsell. The team set world records in all three rounds of competition, their final time being 3:14.051. Ms Trott also won gold in the women’s omnium.

Ms Trott is a triple world champion in the team pursuit having won the UCI title in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Ms Trott also won an individual world championship in 2012 having won the omnium. She won the silver medal at the 2013 championships.

Ends

Note to editors

For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail: comms@essex.ac.uk.

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