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Sir John Timpson CBE

Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the British retail industry and business theory and enterprise.  

John Timpson CBE joined the family footwear business, William Timpson Limited, in 1970. In 1978 he sold the shops to rival George Oliver and concentrated on building up the shoe repairing and key cutting business, which he has diversified into engraving, watch repairs, dry cleaning and photo processing. John and his wife Alex were also foster carers for 29 years during which time they fostered over 80 children. He was awarded the CBE in the Birthday Honours List for services to the Retail Sector.

Avril Devaney MBE

Master of Arts in recognition of her outstanding contribution to healthcare, including her work at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and in Uganda

Avril Devaney is Director of Nursing, Therapies and Patient Partnership at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. She founded theJamie Devaney Memorial Fund in 2011 to support mental health services in Uganda, to create a lasting legacy for her son Jamie Devaney, who died aged four following a short illness during a family holiday and fundraising trip to Uganda in 2011.

 Louise Minchin

Doctor of Letters in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the British journalism and broadcasting industries.  

Louise presents Breakfast on BBC One, the UK’s most watched breakfast programme. She is also a guest presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live and a reporter on The One Show on BBC One. She has presented five series ofReal Rescues and Missing Live, her own daytime series commended in Parliament for its work reuniting missing families. She supports many charities including Children In Need, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Sense and AfriKids.

Major Phil Packer MBE FRSA

Master of Arts in recognition for the role of Provost in the British Army and outstanding and inspirational charitable activities.  

Phil Packer MBE is a former British Provost Officer who suffered severe injuries to his spinal cord during operational duty in Iraq in 2008. Despite being told at the time that he would never walk again, he has since undertaken a number of physical challenges for charity including walking the London Marathon over 14 days. His fundraising efforts have raised well over a million pounds and he has since founded the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) which aims to support young people facing adversity.

Brian Cosgrove

Doctor of Letters in recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts, in particular sculpture and film production.  

Brian Cosgrove is the man behind many classic children’s animations including The BFG, Count Duckula, Danger Mouse, Bill and Ben, Noddy, Rainbow and Chorlton and the Wheelies. He established the Manchester-based animation company Cosgrove Hall films in 1975, with his friend, the late Mark Hall, who he met when they were students in Manchester. He was honoured with the Special Award for outstanding creative contribution to the television industry at the British Academy Children’s Awards in 2012.

Dame Esther Rantzen DBE

Doctor of Letters in recognition of outstanding contribution to British media through journalism, television production and presenting, also extensive charity work and founding of Childline.  

Esther Ranzten is a well-known TV personality, charity patron and founder of Childline and The Silver Line for the elderly. She has received a number of awards including the OBE for services to broadcasting and the CBE for services to children. She was made a Dame in the 2015 New Year Honours list.

Robert McAlpine

Doctor of Engineering for outstanding contribution to the British construction industry.  

Bobby is the great-grandson of Alfred McAlpine who founded the family global engineering firm. He joined the company at the age of 18 as a junior engineer and was appointed Deputy Chairman of the company in the mid-1960s and was Chairman from 1983 to 1992. During his 44 years with the company, he was involved in the road and house building boom and built stretches of the M6 and M5. A keen racing man, he has owned racehorses since the 50’s and won many race including the Ascot Gold Cup, Champion Stakers and BH Gold Cup.

Dame Patricia Bacon

Doctor of Letters for outstanding contribution to education and to the further education sector.  

Pat has been hugely committed to raising the profile, significance and impact of education and ensuring that opportunities are available to all. Following her own graduation, Pat spent five years in retail management before becoming a lecturer at Cauldon College, Stoke-on-Trent, which was to be the start of a highly successful career in further education spanning more than 30 years. Pat’s specialist fields are retail, business communication and marketing. As a qualified and highly skilled teacher her experience of curriculum development, teaching and learning, and her passion for ensuring that work-related learning has a place in the curriculum have all informed Pat’s outstanding work as a leader.

Professor Michael Hoey

Doctor of Letters for outstanding contribution to the University of Chester during his time as a member of the University Council.  

Professor Hoey is a British linguist and Baines Professor of English Language. He has lectured in applied linguistics in over 40 countries and authored a number of textbooks on the subject. Until recently, he was a member of the University of Chester council, a post he held for 14 years.

Professor Alan Emery FRCP Edin FRSE

Doctor of Letters for outstanding contribution to neuromuscular science and his role as Chief Scientific Advisor for the European Neuromuscular Centre.  

Professor Alan Emery was a student at Chester College in the 1940s and on leaving, began a remarkable career trajectory in the field of medicine and neuromuscular science. His many awards include the Life Time Achievement Awards of the World Federation of Neurology and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign of Great Britain; Cockcroft Medal and Doubleday Awards, Manchester; National Foundation March of Dimes Award for Research, USA, and the International Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Education of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Yvan Besnard

Master of Arts in recognition of outstanding contribution to the City of Chester and County of Cheshire through his work as Honorary Consul for France.  

From 1980 until 2005, he founded and was President of the Cestrian French Society and in June 1986 was appointed French Honorary Consul for Chester and North Wales. In 1992 he was founding member of the Chester Twinning Committee, and it’s Vice-Chairman for 3 years. At various times he has undertaken translation duties and acted as a French Interpreter for Magistrates Courts, the Town Hall and other agencies. From 2001 he has been President of the Association of French Honorary Consuls in the United Kingdom. He recently retired from his position as Chester’s Honorary Consul for France.

John Newton-Jones

Doctor of Business Administration in recognition of outstanding contribution to the business and entrepreneurship in this country. 

John Newton-Jones is Managing Director and one of the founders of Snowdonia Cheese, which was established in 2001 by a group of dairy farmers. The company, which is based in Rhyl, supplies to more than 2,000 UK outlets and 15 countries worldwide and is the cheese producer for many gourmet restaurants and a number of the world's leading airline carriers and premier travel operators, where cheese is served to first and business-class passengers.

The late Andrew Miller MP

Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding contribution to public service.  

Andrew Miller has been a British Labour Party politician for Ellesmere Port and Neston since 1992. In Parliament, he has served on numerous select committees and served for four years from 2001 at the ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry. In 2010, he was confirmed as the first Chair of the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee to be elected by all members of the House. In 2005 he was confirmed as chairman of the House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee.

Penny Hughes CBE

Master of Business Administration in recognition of outstanding contribution to business, medial and entrepreneurship in this country.  

Penny Hughes has had a phenomenal career in business. She joined Coca-Cola as brand manager and oversaw the merger with Schwepps in 1989, and was appointed Commercial Director. In 1993, at the age of 33 she became president of the UK and Ireland businesses of Coca-Cola, and left the company in 1995. She has been a director of the Bodyshop, GAP, Trinity Mirror, Next, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Vodafone and Reuters. She has a been non-executive directorship with Royal Bank of Scotland Group since 2010 and a member of the Broard's Remuneration Committee, She is a non-executive director of Morrisons, Cable and Wireless and Home Retail Group. She is also a trustee of the British Museum and president of the Advertising Association.

Gyles Brandreth

Doctor of Letters in recognition of outstanding contribution to the arts and former role as MP of Chester. 

Gyles Brandreth, University of Chester Chancellor, is a former Member of Parliament for the City of Chester and was a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major's government.  Now probably best known as a reporter on The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Just A Minute on Radio 4, his many books include acclaimed biographies of The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, political diaries, a series of Victorian murder mysteries (featuring Oscar Wilde as his detective) and the Number One best-seller,The 7 Secrets of Happiness.  As an actor he has appeared as Malvolio, Lady Bracknell and starred in his own musical revue in London's West End.  He is a former chairman of the National Playing Fields Association and his one lasting contribution to public life is the 1994 Marriage Act, which he introduced to parliament as a Private Member's Bill and which enables civil weddings to take place in venues other than register offices. 

Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE

Doctor of Science in recognition of his outstanding and inspirational contribution to the field of exploration.  

Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE is an English adventurer described by the Guinness Book of Records as 'the world's greatest living explorer'. He has broken many world records including travel by riverboat, hovercraft, manhaul sledge, skidoo, Land Rover and ski, and has led many expeditions to remote regions. His total fundraising for charitable causes is estimated on Wikipedia to be in excess of £16 million.