Congratulations to all our graduands from the following departments, who are receiving their degrees today:
Morning ceremonies @11am
- Centre for Applied Linguistics
Afternoon ceremonies @ 3pm
- CLL (Social Work)
We hope you have a wonderful day!
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We would also like to pass on our congratulations to Sir Vernon Ellis and Lord Whitby, our Honorary Graduands.
Today's Honorary Graduands
Sir Vernon Ellis, Honorary Doctor of Laws - Hon LLD (11am)
Sir Vernon is a well known figure both in business and the arts and has been Chair of the British Council since 2010. Prior to that role he spent all his working life at Accenture in a number of major operational roles overseeing a period of extraordinary growth. From 2000, he was International Chairman with a focus on geographic strategy, the transition to a public company and external relations. He led the company’s global corporate citizenship activities through its pro bono, volunteering and foundations giving activities. He was also the founder Chairman of Accenture Development Partnerships as well as leading Accenture’s activities with the World Economic Forum at Davos. He is Chairman of Martin Randall Travel and of One Medicare and a non-executive Director of FTI Consulting Inc. He is President of English National Opera, having been Chairman from 2006-12, was for 6 years a Trustee of the Royal College of Music and is currently Chair of the National Opera Studio. Through his Foundation he supports a wide range of arts organisations and he also organises around 60 concerts a year at his home in London. He has a growing interest and involvement in organisations bringing music experience to schools. He was knighted in 2011 for services to music and in 2012 was appointed Chairman of the Arts and Media Honours Committee and a member of the overall Honours Committee and the Philanthropy Committee.
Lord Whitby (Mike Whitby) (Honorary Doctor of Laws - Hon LLD) (in absentia)
Lord Whitby is a Conservative peer and former leader of Birmingham City Council, a post he held from June 2004 to May 2012. He is one of three councillors representing the Harborne ward in the west of the city. He was educated in Smethwick at James Watt Technical Grammar School, and also at Michael's Hoven College in what was then West Germany. He then undertook a period of voluntary work in Germany, helping to rebuild communities destroyed during World War II. He has worked in the cultural sector in Liverpool, and has also lectured in Business and Management Studies. He is currently Chairman and Managing Director of Skeldings, a Smethwick-based engineering company, which won the Birmingham Post Business Award in 2001. A Fellow of the Institute of Directors, Whitby is also President of Marketing Birmingham, Chairman of Birmingham Science Park, Aston and a Board Member of the National Exhibition Centre the West Midlands Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands, and the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership. In the past he has also served as Director of various regional organisations, including the Engineering Employers Federation, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Federation of Small Businesses.