News

Graduation 2018: Our Honorary Graduands

  • Date

    Tue 5 Jun 18

Stephen Daldry

Acclaimed British film director and producer Stephen Daldry is among the 11 people to be awarded Honorary Degrees at our Graduation 2018.

Graduation 2018 will be the biggest graduation the University has ever held and it will be the first time the event will increase to 15 degree ceremonies over five days. The distinguished Honorary Graduands will join 3,730 students and 7,600 guests for the highlight of the University’s calendar, which takes place on 16-20 July 2018.

This year’s Honorary Graduands are:

16 July, 10am
Caroline Norbury MBE
is an Essex graduate and founding Chief Executive of Creative England, which she set up in 2012 to support and invest in creativity, talent and businesses in the digital media, games, film and TV sectors. Caroline has a prominent role in championing the creative industries and is a member of the Creative Industries Council. She was awarded an MBE in 2012 for services to the film industry.


16 July, 1pm
Siraj Ali
was a pioneering force in introducing Indian cuisine to Essex. Through his hospitality and business activities, he has raised £3 million for charities and has become a role model to the British Bangladeshi community. For eight years he was General Secretary of the Essex Jamme Masjid mosque and cultural centre in Southend-on-Sea, and he is the founding Chairman of the Thurrock Bangladesh Welfare Association.


17 July, 10am
Dr Flavia Bustreo
is the Assistant Director General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Her work, focusing on developing policies around child and maternal health, has seen her lead the UN Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health and contribute to the UN Taskforce on Millennium Development Goals to reduce maternal and child mortality.


17 July, 1pm
Francisca Biaka
is a leader in women’s economic empowerment and excellence in healthcare training in her home country of Cameroon. She instigated a major, positive change at an established healthcare complex, which, under her leadership, developed into a university institution in 2016, known as the Biaka University Institute of Buea (BUIB). Francisca’s achievements involve overcoming gender and cultural barriers, working actively in supporting widows through knowledge-sharing and sponsoring under-privileged children. 

18 July, 4pm
Dawn Ades CBE
is an accomplished art historian and Emeritus Professor at Essex, who played a pivotal role in establishing ESCALA, the Essex Collection of Art from Latin America. A Fellow of the British Academy, a former trustee of Tate and the National Gallery, and Professor of the History of Art at the Royal Academy, Dawn was made a CBE in 2013 for her services to art history.

19 July, 10am
Rena Dourou
is an Essex graduate who was elected as an MP in Greece in 2012, representing the radical left-wing political party Syriza, and was later elected to the Athens prefecture, representing four million people. Until 2015, she was the only member of Syriza to hold high office. In the international media she is often portrayed as a female politician with a talent for talking to the people and succeeding in a typically male-dominated arena.

19 July, 1pm
David Boyle
was a member of University Council for nine years. He served as a Pro-Chancellor and as Chair of Council for two years, where he brought significant experience and wisdom to help guide the University through one of the most important periods of development in its history. David’s background is in asset management, at Morgan Grenfell and Mercury Asset Management, and he has held various non-executive director roles.

19 July, 4pm
Sue Buckmaster
is an Essex graduate who has provided inspiring leadership in theatre direction and puppetry for Theatre-Rites, a priority Arts Council national portfolio organisation. Theatre-Rites creates high quality, pioneering and daring visual theatre, and regularly work in collaboration with other artists to engage its young audiences in complex, contemporary events – from the global financial crisis to the mass migration of refugees

20 July, 10am
Professor Datuk Dr Khairuddin Ab Hamid
is currently the Vice-Chancellor of University College of Technology Sarawak. In 2008 he was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of University Malaysia Sarawak and in 2014 as Vice-Chancellor of University Malaysia of Computer Science and Engineering. An Essex graduate, his expertise in information and communications technology has seen him successfully implement a number of projects for rural communities in Malaysia and the south-east Asia region.

20 July, 1pm
Stephen Daldry CBE
is an acclaimed British film director and producer, responsible for blockbuster films such as Billy Elliot, The Hours and The Reader. Internationally-recognised for his work, Stephen has received three Academy Award nominations and two Golden Globe nominations. An East 15 graduate, he has been nominated for a BAFTA eight times, winning with Billy Elliot. More recently he directed the Netflix TV series The Crown.

Janine Duvitski is an East 15 graduate and one of the most instantly recognisable faces on British television. She is best known for her roles in Waiting for God, One Foot in the Grave and Benidorm. Janine first came to national attention in Mike Leigh’s play Abigail's Party, which starred fellow East 15 alumna, Alison Steadman. She has been part of theatre productions at some of the country’s most prestigious theatres.