Skip to content

Ian Botham OBE

Doctor of Letters

Ian Botham OBE was born in 1955 in Heswall, Cheshire, and went on to become one of cricket’s greatest all-rounders. He played for Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham, and represented his country over 100 times, breaking numerous records in the process.

His heroics with bat and ball during the Ashes series of 1981 formed one of the most compelling sporting dramas in the history of sport and resulted in his being awarded BBC Sports Personality of that Year.

Mr Botham’s achievements off the field, in particular since retiring as a cricketer 13 years ago, are many and various – as a broadcaster, sports commentator, and writer. Most impressive, perhaps, are the spectacular long-distance sponsored walks he undertakes to raise money for Leukaemia Research (of which he is President), for which cause he has raised more than £8.5 million. His OBE of 1992 was partly in recognition of this remarkable charity work.

Professor Gordon McGregor Reid

Doctor of Science

Gordon McGregor Reid, PPFLS was Director General and Chief Executive of The North of England Zoological Society, otherwise known as Chester Zoo. The Zoo is one of the leading wildlife attractions in the UK with well over one million paying guests each year providing the main source of income. Its annual turnover is nearly £30 million and it employs up to 800 staff, who look after about 6,000 animals of 600 species. Roughly half of these animals are on the World Conservation Union Red List of endangered species. The conservation outreach work of the Zoo spans nearly 50 countries in six continents.

Under Professor McGregor Reid’s leadership, the Zoo gained numerous international, national and regional awards for success in conservation, environment management education, science, and business excellence. Professor McGregor Reid has produced more than 100 scientific publications in zoology, ecology and conservation. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, and in 2005 he became President-Elect of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

For three years he served as President of the Linnaean Society of London. His roles included: Trustee of National Museums Merseyside; Global Chair of the World Conservation Union Freshwater Fish Specialist Group; Trustee of the Frozen Ark (a cryobiological consortium dedicated to conserving the genomes of rare species); and Council Member and Chair of the Research Committee of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Late Professor Malcolm Seabourne

Doctor of Letters

Malcolm Seaborne was born in Cardiff in 1927, and attended Cardiff High School, from where he won a scholarship to read history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, graduating with first class honours in 1948.

After National Service in the RAF he held a number of posts in educational administration in Cheshire, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, before becoming Assistant Master and later Head of History at Corby Grammar School, Northamptonshire. Eight years as Senior Lecturer in Education at Leicester University followed, before Malcolm Seaborne was appointed Principal of Chester College in 1971, a position he held with great distinction until his retirement in 1987.

Professor Seaborne was not only a notable teacher, administrator and manager, but he was also a scholar whose studious investigations encompass the history of education, school and church architecture, and palaeontology, and have resulted in the publication of some sixty books, articles and reviews. He was a Fellow of both the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts, he held a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and was the recipient of an Emeritus Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust to write the standard scholarly study Schools in Wales 1500-1900, complementing his major work on the history of English schools published earlier in his career.

In 2005, he was granted the title Professor Emeritus of the History of Education at the University of Chester as testimony to his achievement in that sphere. Throughout his time as Principal, Malcolm Seaborne made a truly outstanding contribution to the development of what was then Chester College of Higher Education, and is now the University of Chester.