We award honorary degrees to inspiring individuals who have achieved great feats in their fields.
Honorary degrees awarded in 2015
Professor Martin Goodman
Honorary Doctor of Letters
Professor Martin Goodman is Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Oxford. He studied Classics at Oxford and then undertook doctoral research in Roman history, specialising in the social and political history of Galilee in the early Roman empire.
In 1977 he was appointed to a Lectureship at the University of Birmingham, and taught Roman history there for nine years. He returned to Oxford as a Senior Research Fellow, and subsequently as Reader and then Professor of Jewish Studies.
He was elected as a fellow of the British Academy in 1996. He is currently a Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College and President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. His many publications bridge the two fields of Roman history and Jewish studies, and include The Roman World 44 BC – AD 180, a standard introduction to the early Roman empire, and Rome and Jerusalem, a critical study of the clash between two ancient civilisations.
Professor Goodman has been a major supporter of Jewish Studies in the University of Southampton as Chair of the management committee of the Parkes Research Centre 2001-6, and as a Patron of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations since 2007.
Baroness Martha Lane Fox
Honorary Doctor of Science
Martha Lane Fox was a co-founder of lastminute.com, Europe's largest travel and leisure website which went public in 2000 and was sold in 2005.
She is currently chair of Go On UK, a coalition of public and private sector partners that are helping millions more people and organisations online. In March 2014 she was appointed Chancellor of the Open University.
Martha co-founded and chairs LuckyVoice which has revolutionised the karaoke industry. She is a Non-Executive Director at Marks & Spencer and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 2015 Martha joined the board of the Creative Industries Federation and the Open Data Institute.
In 2007 Martha founded her own charitable foundation Antigone, which works with a number of smaller charities for socially excluded people, to help promote their success and to help make changes happen. She also serves as a Patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law. In 2013 Martha was awarded a CBE.
Martha was appointed a crossbench peer in the House of Lords in March 2013.
Honorary Doctor of Science
Ros Rivaz is the Deputy Chair of the University Council, having been a member since 2006. She is also a member of the Nominations Committee, Senior Salaries Committee and until 2014 Chair of the Health and Safety Audit and Assurance Committee. She has also been a serving member of the School of Management Advisory Board (2006 – 2013). She is an alumna of the University, having graduated with a BSc Hons in Chemistry and actively supports our Alumni Society.
Ros is a non-executive director at global packaging company, Rexam plc. She was formerly CTO, effectively Chief Operating Officer, at FTSE 100 medical devices company, Smith & Nephew. Her career spans country, regional and global executive roles in companies including Diageo, Tate and Lyle Group, ICI and Exxon (now ExxonMobil), where Ros spent her first 19 years after graduating.
Ros is involved in a variety of not-for-profit activities, most notably the government sponsored Your Life campaign, that inspires young people to take maths and science at GCSE and beyond, for the benefit of the individual and industry growth in UK. She has also worked with the East London Partnership Board, Health Action Zone, Southampton Youth Orchestras and Bands Society, and in the local communities where she lives and works.
Honorary Doctor of Science
Richard joined the Royal Navy in 1975 as an Engineering Midshipman, before leaving to study at Newcastle University for a degree in Naval Architecture. He joined Lloyd’s Register in 1979 and took varying progressive roles through the organisation and was based in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In 2004, after 25 years at Lloyd’s Register, Richard joined the Royal Bank of Scotland as Director of Asset Management. Richard was then invited to rejoin Lloyd’s Register and in 2007 was appointed Chief Executive Officer.
Between 2010-2013 Richard co-Chaired the Marine Industries Leadership Council; in 2013 he was awarded the IET Coales medal for Innovation in Transport and he was President of The Welding Institute between 2010-2013. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers and a Fellow of The Royal Institution of Naval Architects.
Professor William Webb
Honorary Doctor of Science
William is CEO of the Weightless SIG, a body standardizing a new M2M technology and President of the IET – Europe’s largest Professional Engineering Body. He was one of the founding directors of Neul, a company developing machine-to-machine technologies and networks, which was formed at the start of 2011 and subsequently sold to Huawei. Prior to this William was a Director at Ofcom where he managed a team providing technical advice and performing research. He has worked for a range of communications consultancies and spent three years providing strategic management across Motorola’s entire communications portfolio, based in Chicago.
William has published 13 books, 100 papers, and 18 patents. He is a Visiting Professor at Surrey, Southampton and Trinity College Dublin Universities, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the IEEE and the IET. He has been awarded multiple honorary doctorates by the UK's leading universities.
Honorary degrees awarded in previous years
View a selection of our honorary graduates from the 1960s to the present day.
Dr Vanessa Lawrence CB, Doctor of Science
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, Doctor of Science
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.
Professor Dominic Tildesley, Doctor of Science
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.
Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, Doctor of Science
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.
Admiral Sir George Zambellas KCB DSC ADC DL, Doctor of Science
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.
Professor Zhong-Qun Tian
Dame Valerie Strachan
Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger DBE
Professor Richard Holdaway CBE
Professor John Craven
Professor the Rt Hon Lord Plant of Highfield, Doctor of Laws
Professor David Phillips CBE, Doctor of Science
Deirdre Le Faye, Doctor of Letters
Sir George W. Buckley, Doctor of Science
Professor Cecil Balmond, Doctor of Science
Professor Sir William Wakeham, Doctor of Science
Jon Sopel, Doctor of Laws
Sir Adrian Fulford, Doctor of Laws
Brian Eno, Doctor of Music
Dame Helen Alexander DBE
Caroline Wyatt, Doctor of Letters
Courtney Pine OBE CBE, Doctor of Music
Professor Gwyneth Lewis OBE, Doctor of Science
Mona Hatoum, Doctor of Letters
Dr Stephen Deuchar CBE, Doctor of Letters
Shami Chakrabarti, Doctor of Letters
Professor Michael Arthur, Doctor of Letters
Rosemary Squire OBE, Doctor of Letters
Sir Geoffrey Rowland, Doctor of Laws
Carol Marlow, Doctor of the University
Paul Lewis, Doctor of Music
Baroness Gloria Hooper CMG, Doctor of Laws
Professor Peter J Gregson, Doctor of Science
Professor Sir Barry Cunliffe CBE, Doctor of Letters
Professor Jun Chen, Doctor of Science
Jane Bown CBE, Doctor of Letters
Sir Alfred Brendel, Doctor of Music (2002)
James Cameron, Doctor of the University (2004)
Shami Chakrabarti, Doctor of Letters (2010)
Brian Eno, Doctor of Music (2011)
Sir Michael Gambon, Doctor of Letters (2003)
The Baroness Greenfield, Doctor of Science (2002)
John Inverdale, Doctor of Letters (2001)
Helena Kennedy QC, Doctor of Laws (2002)
John Nettles, Doctor of the University (2006)
Trevor Phillips, Doctor of the University (2006)
Courtney Pine OBE CBE, Doctor of Music (2010)
Mary Quant, Doctor of Design (2000)
Lord Rogers, Doctor of Design (2002)
Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Doctor of Science (2007)
Amartya Sen, Doctor of Science in the Social Sciences (2002)
John Simpson, Doctor of the University (2003)
Dame Janet Suzman, Doctor of the University (2002)
Baroness Warnock of Weeke, Doctor of Letters (2000)
Sir David Attenborough CBE FRS, Doctor of Science (1992)
John Lill OBE, Doctor of Music (1992)
Ludovic Kennedy, Doctor of Laws (1993)
Victoria Glendinning MA, Doctor of Letters (1994)
Evelyn Glennie OBE, Doctor of Music (1999)
Sir Marrack Goulding, Doctor of Science in the Social Sciences (1997)
Andrew Colin Renfrew, The Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Doctor of Letters (1995)
Sir Hermann Bondi, Doctor of Science (1981)
Frank Templeton Prince, Doctor of Letters (1981)
The Rt Hon Shirley Williams, Doctor of Laws (1981)
Sir Ernest Donald Acheson, Doctor of Medicine (1984)
Baron Shackleton of Burley, Doctor of Science (1986)
Sir Hugh Casson, Doctor of Letters (1977)
His Excellency President Manfred Lachs, Doctor of Laws (1975)
Sir Claus Moser, Doctor of Science in the Social Sciences (1975)
Sir Eric Roll (The Lord Roll of Ipsden), Doctor of Laws (1974)
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1967)
Sir Keith Murray (The Lord Murray of Newhaven), Doctor of Laws (1964)