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Jennie Bond, Andrew Davies and Trevor Phillips, OBE, are Among Nine Honorary Graduates

Originally Published 26 April 2004

The University of Warwick is to award nine honorary degrees at its summer degree ceremonies from 12-16 July 2004. The honorary graduands include royal reporter and recent I’m a Celebrity- Get Me out of Here! star Jennie Bond, award winning TV scriptwriter Andrew Davies and Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips.

Jennie Bond, Hon DLitt, 14 July
Jennie Bond is well known as the BBC’s royal family correspondent, a post she held 1989 -2003. She covered a tumultuous period and time of constitutional significance in the history of the British royal family. After graduating from the University of Warwick with an honours degree in French and European Literature Jennie started her career as a journalist in 1972 on local newspapers in London, joining the BBC in 1977. Jennie has produced programmes such as Woman’s Hour, presented Radio 4’s Today programme, and BBC Television’s One O’Clock and Six O’Clock News. In February of this year she was runner-up on ITV1’s reality game show I’m a Celebrity- Get Me out of Here!

Andrew Davies, Hon DLitt, 13 July
Award wining writer of plays for stage, TV and radio, children’s books, novels and films, Andrew Davies is particularly known for his adaptations of classic novels for TV, including the highly-acclaimed Pride and Prejudice, Middlemarch, Dr Zhivago and Daniel Deronda. He is the winner of numerous awards including three BAFTA awards, 1989, 1993 and 1998, a coveted Emmy, three Writers Guild awards, three Broadcasting Press Guild awards and a Monte Carlo Television Festival award. Andrew started his teaching career in London in the late 1950s. He lectured at Coventry College of Education, 1963-1971, and following its merger with the University, lectured at the University of Warwick, 1971-1987. He lives in Kenilworth.

Trevor Phillips, OBE, Hon LLD, 13 July
Journalist and broadcaster Trevor Phillips was appointed Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality in January 2003. He was President of the National Union of Students in 1978. After leaving University he started his career in TV at London Weekend Television, rising to become Head of Current Affairs. Trevor successfully combined his career in the media with voluntary work. He was Chair of Runnymede Trust, 1993-98, of which he is now a Trustee. Throughout his life Trevor has been involved in campaigning on equality issues, and he is also the trustee of many other charities that work to serve ethnic minorities. He was elected to Chair of London Assembly in May 2000.

Richard Lambert, Hon LLD, 16 July
Former Editor of the Financial Times, Richard Lambert is a member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England (the MPC is responsible for setting interest rates to meet the government’s inflation target of 2%). December 2003 saw the publication of his review, undertaken for the government, of business and university collaboration. He has an extensive background in media and worked for the Financial Times for 35 years. After reading History at Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Financial Times in 1966 as a trainee then rose to become Editor from 1991 to 2001. Richard Lambert is chairman of Visiting Arts, a non-profit agency that helps to bring international artists and arts managers to the UK, and a Trustee of the British Museum.

Gus O’Donnell, CB, Hon LLD, 12 July
Gus O’Donnell was appointed Permanent Secretary to the Treasury in 2002. He graduated from the University of Warwick with a BA in Economics in 1973. He started his career lecturing in Economics at the University of Glasgow, before joining the Treasury in 1979. In 1985 he went to the British Embassy in Washington as First Secretary (Economics). In 1989 he was appointed Press Secretary to the Chancellor, and subsequently served as Press Secretary to the Prime Minister (John Major) 1990-1994.

The Rt Hon Lord Rothschild, Hon DLitt, 15 July
A leading figure in the world of arts, heritage and philanthropy, in the UK and abroad. Lord Rothschild initially worked in finance and investment. Lord Rothschild was chairman of the National Heritage Memorial Fund 1992-1998, administering the Heritage Lottery Fund 1995-1998. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery 1985-1991 and a Council member of the Royal College of Art 1986-1992.

He was closely involved with the renovation of Somerset House and was instrumental in bringing the Gilbert Collection and the ‘Treasures of the Hermitage’ exhibition to London. In 1993 Lord Rothschild founded The Butrint Foundation, a charity established for the protection and conservation of the archaeological site of Butrint in Albania.

Mario Vargas Llosa, Hon DLitt, 16 July
One of Latin America’s best-known writers and most of his works have also been translated into English. Mario Vargas Llosa has written 16 novels, 5 plays, literary criticism and personal memoirs. He started his working life as a crime reporter in Lima, publishing his first novel, The Time of the Hero in 1963, which received immediate international recognition. In the 1960s Vargas Llosa came to Europe and worked as a visiting professor in many European universities.

In 1990 Mario Vargas Llosa was a conservative candidate for the Peruvian presidency, but was defeated by Alberto Fujimori. In 2002, he published The Feast of the Goat, set during and after the brutal dictatorship of President Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. His latest novel The Way to Paradise, is about the painter Paul Gauguin. The author has received several prestigious literary awards, including Leopoldo Alas Prize (1959), Rómulo Gallegos International Literature Prize (1967), National Critics' Prize (1967), Peruvian National Prize (1967), Critics' Annual Prize for Theatre (1981), Prince of Asturias Prize (1986) and Miguel de Cervantes Prize (1994).

Professor James Feast, FRS, Hon DSc, 12 July
Professor of Polymer Chemistry at the University of Durham from 1989 until his retirement in 2003. He was Courtaulds Professor of Polymer Chemistry and Director of the IRC (International Research Centre) in Polymer Science and Technology from 1994 to 2002. His research groups have made several notable contributions to research in polymer chemistry. He was granted the status of a fellow of the Royal Society in 1996.

Venu Srinivasan, DSc, 14 July
A leading member of India’s new generation of engineering entrepreneurs, Venu Srinivasan is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Indian based TVS Motors. He has successfully led the organisation to become one of the country’s largest manufacturers of motorcycles. In five years he doubled the value of the company and doubled its output to over 1.1 million units per year. Since TVS Motors became independent of overseas technology, he has led the company to design and develop its own motorcycle of world standards, winning many awards for quality and technological development along the way. This achievement was marked by him being jointly chosen as a “Star of Asia” by Business Week. As well as being a highly successful engineering entrepreneur Venu Srinivasan is involved in many heath and social welfare projects that support the development of rural south India.

For more information contact: Jenny Murray, Press Officer, Communications Office University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574 255, Mobile: 07876 217 740, Email: