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John Humphrys And Sir Jonathon Porritt Among Nine Honorary Graduates

Originally published 7 July 2003

Photograph and interview opportunities 8-11 July 2003

The University of Warwick is to award nine honorary degrees at its Summer Degree Ceremonies from 8- 11 July 2003. The times for interview and photo opportunities are available from the Communications Office or from the document below, and these will take place at the rear of Senate House, Central Campus.

Sir Jonathon Porritt, CBE Hon LLD

Prominent freelance writer, broadcaster and advocate of sustainable development Sir Jonathon is co-founder and Programme Director of Forum for the Future, a pioneering charity founded in 1996 to help protect the environment and build a more sustainable society. He was appointed as Chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission in 2002, the Government's principal source of advice on sustainable development. He leads the Forum Business Programme, working with 15 of the UK's biggest employers. He is also a trustee of the WWF UK, Chairman of The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, Vice President of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Chairman of the Agricultural Reform Group, and Chairman of the South West Round Table for Sustainable Development. Sir Jonathon received a CBE in January 2000 for services to environmental protection.

Mr John Humphrys Hon LLD

John Humphrys is the recent successor to Magnus Magnusson as the new host of classic TV quiz show Mastermind, set to start on 7th July. The veteran TV and radio broadcaster is one of the UK’s most respected journalists. Presenter of the Today programme since 1987, he has worked as a foreign correspondent in both America and Africa, as well as diplomatic correspondent and a presenter of the Nine O’clock News. He has presented Panorama and currently fronts On the Record on BBC 1 and On the Ropes on Radio 4. Joining the BBC as a reporter in 1966 at age 28 he became the BBC’s first full-time television correspondent in the United States and the youngest television correspondent.

Professor Eugenii Dynkin Hon DSc

World-renowned mathematician Professor Dynkin has made major contributions to the fields of algebra and probability theory. He first attended Moscow University in 1940 at the age of 16, where he became a professor in 1954. During this time made such a major contribution to algebra that a tool of representation theory was named after him (“Coxeter-Dynkin diagrams”), and he laid the foundations of Markov processes, which underpin modern probability theory. He joined Cornell University in the United States in 1977, where he developed his international reputation. In 1993 he was awarded the Steele Prize by the American Mathematical Society for his contributions to mathematics and teaching in Russia and the United States, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the USA.

Professor John Burland Hon DSc

One of Europe’s most eminent civil engineers John Burland was appointed as Professor of Soil Mechanics at Imperial College in 1980, and is now Emeritus Professor and Senior Research Investigator. After studying for his PhD at Cambridge University, he joined the Building Research Station in 1966 and became Assistant Director in 1979. Professor Burland was a member of the Italian Prime Minister’s Commission for stabilising the Leaning Tower of Pisa and provided advice to ensure that construction work on the Jubilee Line extension would not destabilise the Big Ben Clock Tower. His numerous prestigious awards, include the Kelvin Gold Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Engineering, the Harry Seed Memorial Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Gold Medals of the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the World Federation of Engineering Organisations.

Mr Tim Smit Hon DSc

Chief Executive and co-founder of the Eden Project in Cornwall, an innovative science centre dedicated to promoting the understanding of human dependence on plants. Smit restored The Lost Gardens of Heligan voted ‘Garden of the year’ by Country Life and the Good Guide to Britain. He is also author of the internationally acclaimed books The Lost Gardens of Heligan (1997), Secrets Locked in Silence (1998) and The Heligan Vegetable Bible (2000).

Professor Sir George Bain Hon LLD

President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast since 1998, Professor Sir George Bain is an esteemed professor of labour relations. He recently chaired an independent review of the Fire Service, and numerous publications have granted him an international reputation. He undertook a doctorate at Oxford University and pursued his academic career at Nuffield College, Oxford. Prior to his post at Queen’s, Professor Sir George Bain was Chairman of what is now Warwick Business School (1983-1989) and Principal of the London Business School (1989-1997). He is a non-executive director of Bombardier Aerospace Shorts Brothers Plc, the Canada Life Assurance Company, a member of the Northern Ireland Advisory Board on the Bank of Ireland, and Chairman of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Work and Parents Taskforce. He was knighted for services to higher education and the Low Pay Commission in 2001.

Professor Patrick Collinson, CBE, FBA Hon DLitt

Former Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge, Patrick Collinson is the most distinguished historian of Elizabethan and Jacobean England. His academic career has included posts at the University of Khartoum, Sudan (1956-61), the University of London (1961-62) and Chairs at the University of Sydney (1969-75) University of Kent (1976-84) and Sheffield (1984-88). He has held other visiting posts in a range of prestigious international universities. Professor Collinson has been an Honorary Professor of the University of Warwick since 2000. His eminence has been recognised by invitations to deliver the Oxford ‘Ford Lectures’ in 1978-9 and the award of a CBE in 1993.

The Hon Ms Elsie Leung Hon LLD

Appointed as the first Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1997, she is the principal legal adviser to all government bureaux and departments. Ms Leung, who qualified as a solicitor 1968, has a distinguished record of public service. In 1993 she was appointed as a Delegate of the 8th National People’s Congress as well as a Hong Kong Affairs Advisor. While leading up to reunification Ms Leung advised on legal matters relating to the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. She is currently the Chairman of the Law Reform Commission and serves on numerous committees, including the Fight Crime Committee and the Operations Review Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Lord Alexander of Weedon QC Hon LLD

Chairman of the Royal Shakespeare Company RSC since 2000, Lord Alexander is a leading patron of the arts. He has been a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company and a member of the council since 1994. He proved himself as a vigorous and successful Chairman of the RSC’s Development Board (the Royal Shakespeare Foundation) and is a key member of the Company’s Stratford Redevelopment Committee. Lord Alexander is a distinguished QC and was Chairman of the Bar Council 1985-1986.

For more information contact:
Jenny Murray, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick Tel: 02476 574255 Mobile: 07876 217740
Please see this PDF for the times of interview and photo opportunities.