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They will be in the presence of eminent figures in their field, including one of the country’s most famous radio voices; an internationally renowned choreographer; leading figures from the legal profession; famous faces from TV and film and those who have made a huge contribution to the city and county.

The graduands will enjoy a special day to remember and join Chester’s numerous alumni when they graduate across 11 ceremonies at Chester Cathedral from Tuesday, November 5 to Friday, November 8.

The graduates-to-be will be congratulated by Dr Gyles Brandreth, the University’s Chancellor, who will be Presiding Officer in all ceremonies except the first, sixth and seventh, in which Professor Tim Wheeler, Vice-Chancellor of the University, will perform the role. These are the final graduation ceremonies for Professor Wheeler, who is retiring at the end of the year after more than two decades at the helm and having overseen one of the most prolific and progressive periods in the institution’s 180 year history.

Professor Wheeler said: “One of the most rewarding aspects of my time at the University of Chester has been to take part in our spectacular graduation ceremonies in the magnificent surroundings of Chester Cathedral. It has been a real pleasure to see our latest graduates gather with family and friends to celebrate this special occasion and we aim to make it one of the most memorable of their lives.

“Each graduation ceremony represents all the hard work and dedication and all that our graduates have achieved. We congratulate them and wish them all good luck in their careers as they go forward into their futures.

“We are also delighted to welcome 12 outstanding individuals who have given so much to the local community and society as a whole. They thoroughly deserve their honorary degrees after all they have achieved and we are delighted to have them join us on these special occasions.”

Dr Brandreth said: “The privilege of being Chancellor is that this is the week I get to personally congratulate the graduating students on their achievement. And it’s a real achievement, after years of hard work. It’s very moving, too, because you can see the sense of pride and satisfaction in their faces – and in their families’ faces too.

"This year’s graduations will be particularly poignant because they will be last ones for our founding Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Wheeler. The incredible growth in the University over the past 20 years, and it’s standing nationally and internationally, are down to Tim’s inspirational leadership, his energy and commitment. Normally, I speak at the graduation ceremonies, but on Friday it will be Tim’s final graduation ceremony, so I have asked him to speak. It seems fitting that our first Vice-Chancellor should be given the last word.”

The celebrated names are:

  • Tuesday, November 5

Ceremony 1 – 9.30am

Katie Derham will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Music (DMus) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts and broadcasting.

Ceremony 2 – 11.45am

Dame Jenni Murray will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism and broadcasting.

Ceremony 3 – 3.00pm

Wayne McGregor CBE will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to choreography and dance.

 

  • Wednesday, November 6

Ceremony 4 - 9.30am

Paul Lewis will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to financial journalism and broadcasting.

Ceremony 5 – 11.45am

John Mahon will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to business and management, in particular as John M Murphy Chair of International Business Policy and Strategy at the University of Maine.

Ceremony 6 – 3.00pm

Derek Griffiths will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to drama and the arts.

 

  • Thursday, November 7

Ceremony 7 – 10.30am

Tony Garnett DL and FRAgS will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the County of Cheshire, in particular for his role as Chairman of the Cheshire Agricultural Society.

Ceremony 8 – 2.45pm

Sheila Dillon will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of her outstanding contribution to journalism and broadcasting.

Nickolas Grace will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to drama and the arts.

  • Friday, November 8

Ceremony 9 - 9.30am

Matt Baker will receive an honorary degree of Master of Music (MMus) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the arts, in particular the Chester Mystery Plays and as Artistic Director of Theatre in the Quarter.  

Ceremony 10 – 11.45am

Lord Carlile of Berriew will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession and as a member of parliament

Ceremony 11 – 3.00pm

Roger Dutton will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the legal profession.

 

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