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Warwick University Awards Honorary Graduates

This year the University of Warwick awarded honorary degrees to an impressive line of distinguished academics, business figures, legal experts, philanthropists and novelists.

Honorary graduates included Dr. Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada, President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Program; Professor Dennis Noble, the UK’s leading systems biologist; and Ugandan Judge and humanitarian, the Hon. Dr. Justice George W. Kanyeihamba.

All who received their honorary degrees were honoured and delighted to receive such awards from the University.

Professor Denis Noble is the Co-director of Computational Physiology at the University of Oxford, and is renowned for developing the first mathematical heart in 1960. “Receiving this award gives me tremendous pleasure because the University of Warwick is one of the great success stories of modern universities in Britain,” he says. “It’s standing in Britain, and in the world is very high.

Likewise, John Edwards, the former Chief Executive of Advantage West Midlands received his honorary degree. Edwards helped establish a number of collaborations with local business and initiatives, including the partnership research programme between Warwick University and Jaguar Land Rover. He says: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive this award. It’s a great honour to be recognised by the University of Warwick; one of the best universities in the UK, and a real global player.”

“The companies that engage with the University form a lexicon of global players,” he adds. “These companies are not going to work with an institution unless they believe it’s a global player, or has the potential to be one. I think Warwick is clearly on the road to becoming a global institution.

Many of this year’s honorary graduates were former students at the University of Warwick. Dr. George W. Kanyeihamba, the first student to obtain his PhD from the Warwick Law School. At the time he was living in exile from Uganda after publishing his textbook on constitutional law which questioned the ability of soldiers to govern.

He later returned to Uganda to help establish the existing democratic system and introduce an independent judicial system, and he is known throughout Africa as the ‘Founding Father’ of human rights and the rule of law. “It’s very satisfying to know that I have been recognised by a university of Warwick’s stature, and that the work I did resulted in an award of this nature,” he says.

The full list of this year’s honorary graduates is Professor Dennis Noble, Professor Tadataka Yamada, Yesu Persaud, John Edwards, The Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, Professor Steven Nickell, Hon. Dr. Justice George Kanyeihamba, Eva Hoffman, and Stanley Wells.

Previous honorary graduates include the mathematician Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman, Doris M. Lessing, Dame Jean Iris Murdoch, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Dame Judith Dench.