University of Southampton

Our honorary graduates

We award honorary degrees to inspiring individuals who have achieved great feats in their fields.

Honorary degrees awarded in 2014

This year we recognise the achievements of individuals working and researching in the areas of defence, engineering, chemistry, medicine and business who have made immense contributions to their respective fields.

Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC DL

Sir George Zambellas is the current First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff of the Royal Navy, and a graduate of the faculty of engineering at the University of Southampton.

Retaining a keen interest in engineering throughout his career, he was honoured as a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and delivered the keynote address on the future of unmanned systems in the Royal Navy in Southampton earlier this year.

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB

Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB was the Director General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey and the adviser to the British Government on mapping, surveying and geographic information from 2000 to 2014. She was the longest-serving Director General since 1875 and she was the first woman to hold the post.

Vanessa is one of the few recipients of the Scottish Geographical Medal, and she has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In the New Year’s Honours of 2008 she was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen as a Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB).

Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman

Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman is the President of the International Medical University, and a renowned individual for his work in developing and extending Nephrology and Dialysis services across Malaysia.

He served as the President of the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) in 1986-87, and from 1991 to 2001 he was the Director-General of Health in the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

He set up the Department of Nephrology at Hospital Kuala-Lumpur, extending dialysis and kidney transplant services hospital-by-hospital all across the country.

Andrew Wolstenholme OBE

Andrew Wolstenholme is the Chief Executive Officer for Crossrail, a member of the Construction Leadership Council, and a University of Southampton graduate in civil engineering.

After a successful career working for Arup on infrastructure projects, he joined BAA as the Construction Director for the Heathrow Express rail link. He then went on to lead the delivery of Terminal 5, and became BAA’s Director of Capital projects.

Andrew was invited to lead an industry review in 2009. His report, ‘Never Waste a Good Crisis’, has helped steer government policy in construction. He was awarded an OBE for services to the construction industry in 2009.

Professor Dominic Tildesley

Dominic Tildesley is the President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Director of the Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire (CECAM), Professor Titulaire at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and a chemistry graduate from the University of Southampton.

He is the author of The UK e-Infrastructure Strategy for Science and Business: a roadmap for the development and use of advanced computing, data and networks, and he co-chairs the UK E-infrastructure Leadership team with the Minister of Science.

He is President of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Honorary degrees awarded in previous years

View a selection of our honorary graduates from the 1960s to the present day.

Honorary degrees in 2013

Chris Packham

Professor Zhong-Qun Tian

Dame Valerie Strachan

Stuart Popham

Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE

Professor Richard Holdaway CBE

Professor John Craven


Honorary degrees in 2012

Professor the Rt Hon Lord Plant of Highfield

Professor David Phillips CBE

Deirdre Le Faye

Sir George W. Buckley

Professor Cecil Balmond


Honorary degrees in 2011

Professor Sir William Wakeham

Jon Sopel

Sir Adrian Fulford

Brian Eno

Dame Helen Alexander DBE


Honorary degrees in 2010

Caroline Wyatt

Courtney Pine CBE

Professor Gwyneth Lewis OBE

Mona Hatoum

Dr Stephen Deuchar

Shami Chakrabarti

Professor Michael Arthur


Honorary degrees in 2009

Rosemary Squire

Sir Geoffrey Rowland

Carol Marlow

Paul Lewis

Baroness Gloria Hooper CMG

Professor Peter J Gregson

Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe

Professor Jun Chen

Jane Bown


Honorary degrees in the 2000s

Sir Alfred Brendel

James Cameron

Shami Chakrabarti

Brian Eno

Sir Michael Gambon

The Baroness Greenfield

John Inverdale

Helena Kennedy QC

John Nettles

Trevor Phillips

Courtney Pine

Mary Quant

Lord Rogers

Lord Sainsbury of Turville

Amartya Sen

John Simpson

Dame Janet Suzman

Baroness Warnock of Weeke


Honorary degrees in the 1990s

Sir David Attenborough

John Lill

Ludovic Kennedy

Victoria Glendinning

Evelyn Glennie

Sir Marrack Goulding

Colin Renfrew, The Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn


Honorary degrees in the 1980s

Sir Hermann Bondi

Frank Templeton Prince

The Rt Hon Shirley Williams

Sir Ernest Donald Acheson

Baron Shackleton of Burley


Honorary degrees in the 1970s

Sir Hugh Casson

Manfred Lachs

Sir Claus Moser

Sir Eric Roll (The Lord Roll of Ipsden)


Honorary degrees in the 1960s

His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Sir Keith Murray (The Lord Murray of Newhaven)



Our past and looking to the future

Useful downloads

John Simpson

World Affairs Editor of the BBC and Foreign Correspondent. Awarded in 2003

John Simpson

Caroline Wyatt

BBC News Journalist. Awarded in 2010

Caroline Wyatt

Chris Packham

Naturalist and television presenter. Awarded in 2013

Chris Packham

Courtney Pine

English Jazz musician. Awarded in 2010

Courtney Pine