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University looks forward to Graduation 2008

Published: 
16 July 2008

Almost 5,000 students will attend Graduation at the University of Southampton this year, with a total of 39 ceremonies taking place over seven days from today.

“Graduation is a time of great celebration for the University and its students,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Bill Wakeham. “It provides an opportunity for us to congratulate them on their academic endeavours and to wish them well as they make the transition from student to graduate. It is their achievements, both while they are with us and subsequently, that help make Southampton one of the leading universities in the UK.

“We hope, however, that it is not the last we see of them. On graduation they will join the tens of thousands of Southampton graduates across the world who make up the University's alumni society and we look forward to welcoming them back to campus in the future or to meeting them somewhere else in the world.”

Joining the graduating students this year will be nine leading figures from the fields of medicine, science, engineering, archaeology and business, who are being awarded honorary degrees from the University for their outstanding personal achievements.

Those receiving honorary degrees include archaeologist Phil Harding of TV’s ‘Time Team’, Admiral Sir Jock Slater, former Chief of the Naval Staff, and Sir Lescek Borysiewicz, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council.

The honorary graduates who will take to the stage to be recognised for their achievements during Graduation, which runs from Wednesday 16 to Thursday 24 July are:

Baroness Platt of Writtle CBE, FEng

Baroness Platt graduated with a degree in engineering from Cambridge University in 1943. She then worked with Hawkers, working in the testing and production of fighter aircraft for the RAF, and later for British European Airways on engineering research.

She became a member of the House of Lords in 1981 and serves on their Select Committee for Science and Technology. She has been a strong advocate for advancing the cause of women in science and engineering. Last year, Baroness Platt opened the University’s new Engineering and Education building at Highfield.

Baroness Platt will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 3.30pm, Nuffield Theatre, Wednesday 16 July

Sir Lescek Borysiewicz

Sir Lescek is Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council. With a background in clinical biomedicine and a particular interest in persistent human viruses such as herpes, HIV and papillomavirus, he has made an enormous contribution to the study of the relationship between clinical disease and immunity. He was knighted in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List for his research into developing vaccines, including a vaccine to prevent the development of cervical cancer.

Sir Lescek will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 12 noon, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Friday 18 July

Roger Brooke

After a varied career including 11 years in the Foreign Service, Roger founded and led Candover Investments. Candover was a pioneer in the UK private equity sector and continues to be highly successful, having financed and supported over 100 companies across Britain and Europe. After retiring from Candover, Roger was a founder director of IP Group, which is now the market leader for backing ‘spin-out’ companies from UK universities, including Southampton.

Roger Brooke will receive the honorary degree Doctor of the University at the ceremony beginning at 12 noon, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Monday 21 July

Admiral Sir Jock Slater

Sir Jock entered the Royal Navy in 1956 and rose through the ranks to become First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff, retiring in 1998. During his career he commanded HM Ships Soberton, Jupiter, Kent and Illustrious and the School of Maritime Operations at HMS Dryad.

Sir Jock’s appointments since retirement have included Director of the VT Group, Director and Senior Military Adviser to Lockheed Martin (UK), Chairman of the Imperial War Museum and Chairman of the RNLI. Sir Jock, who lives in Hampshire, was also Equerry to HM The Queen from 1968 to 1971.

Admiral Sir Jock Slater will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 10.45, Nuffield Theatre, Tuesday 22 July

Sir David Cooksey GBE

Sir David has been at the heart of the regeneration of entrepreneurialism in the UK economy over the past 40 years. An Oxford graduate, he is the founder of Advent, the first US-style venture capital fund ever to operate in the UK. Advent has funded over 200 technology-based enterprises under Sir David’s leadership and taken over 50 of them public on stock exchanges in Europe and the US.

Among his other roles has been Chairman of the Directors of the Bank of England and a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.

Sir David was recently appointed Pro-Chancellor of the University of Southampton having served on the University Council for eight years.

Sir David Cooksey will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 12 noon, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Tuesday 22 July

Colin Smith FEng

A University of Southampton graduate and one of the UK’s leading engineers, Colin was appointed as Director – Engineering and Technology at Rolls-Royce plc in 2005, when he also became a member of the Board of Rolls-Royce. He joined Rolls-Royce as an undergraduate apprentice in 1974 and following graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Southampton, he worked on a number of helicopter projects at the Leavesden engine factory.

Colin’s various senior roles during his career have covered the Trent 700 engine, compressors, fans, Trent 500 engine, civil aerospace and research & technology.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Royal Aeronautical Society and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers and was a Royal Academy Silver Medal winner in 2002.

Colin Smith will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 3.30pm, Nuffield Theatre, Tuesday 22 July

Dr Dennis Gillings, CBE

Dennis Gillings is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Quintiles Transnational Corp. He began providing statistical consulting and data management services to pharmaceutical clients in 1974 during his tenure as professor of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Quintiles arose from his consulting activities and today the company has offices in 50 countries.

With nearly 30 years’ experience in drug development applications and theory, Dr Gillings has provided expert consultation to numerous companies and health organizations. He was honoured by the Queen as Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2004 for services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr Dennis Gillings will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 4.45pm, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Tuesday 22 July

Dame Jocelyn Bell-Burnell FRS

A visiting professor at Oxford University, Dame Jocelyn was previously Dean of Science at the University of Bath and for ten years Professor of Physics at The Open University.

While working for her PhD in Radio Astronomy at Cambridge, she was involved in the discovery of pulsars, opening a new branch of astrophysics – work which was recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor. She worked subsequently here at the University of Southampton and at University College London before joining the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh in the early 80s.

Later this year she will become the first female President of the Institute of Physics.

Dame Jocelyn will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science at the ceremony beginning at 9.30am, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Thursday 24 July

Phil Harding

A well-known face on television through his regular appearances on Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’, Phil’s contribution to archaeology extends well beyond his TV role. He has been a practicing field archaeologist for almost forty years and his publication list of excavated sites is a long and distinguished one. He is also one of Britain’s most experienced knappers of Stone Age tools and has a long history of working in experimental archaeology.

Phil combines a personal interest in ancient craft working with educational and public demonstrations designed to increase awareness of the varied nature of archaeology as a subject. He has also made significant contributions to the study of Human Origins and Palaeolithic Archaeology in Britain. He has a long-standing connection with and many friends in Southampton, going back to some of his earliest digging experiences on excavations in the city.

Phil Harding will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of the University at the ceremony beginning at 12 noon, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Thursday 24 July

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