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University of Warwick Awards Ten Honorary Degrees

University of Warwick Awards Ten Honorary Degrees

Award winning novelist Anne Fine, Radio 5's Simon Mayo, and leading Indian business figure Ratan Tata are among the ten people to be awarded honorary degrees by the University of Warwick at its degree ceremonies in July. The times and details for interview and photo opportunities on the lawn at the rear of the Senate House building after the ceremonies follows below and short biographies of all three honorary graduands follows that:

Monday 11th July 12.15pm
Alan Phillips Hon LLD (Doctor of Laws)

Monday 11th July 4.15pm
Professor Sir George Alberti Hon DSc (Doctor of Science)

Tuesday 12th July 12.15pm
Anne Fine Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters)

Tuesday 12th July 4.15pm
Simon Mayo Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters)

Wednesday 13th July 2005 12.30pm
Ratan Tata Hon DSc (Doctor of Science)
Rhys Williams Hon DSc (Doctor of Science)
NB there may also be some limited interview but not photography opportunities with Ratan Tata at just after 10.30am contact the Communications Office for details

Wednesday 13th July 2005 4.15pm
Simon Russell Beale Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters)

Thursday 14th July 2005 12.30pm
Professor John Forty Hon DSc (Doctor of Science)

Friday 15th July 2005 12.10pm
Liliane Lijn Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters)

Friday 15th July 2005 4.15pm
Sheila Whitaker Hon LLD (Doctor of Laws)

Professor Sir George Alberti Hon DSc (Doctor of Science) As the Government's National Director for Emergency Access, Professor Sir George Alberti is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Reforming Emergency Care strategy. Sir George's work aims to help organisations rethink and improve the way access to emergency care is delivered. He has worked closely with University of Warwick's Emergency Care Group in Warwick Medical School.
Professor Sir George Alberti was President of the Royal College of Physicians London (PRCP) until July 2002. He is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle and an Honorary Professor of Metabolic Medicine at Imperial College. As PRCP he was in close contact with the government and the Department of Health, providing advice and feedback from a medical viewpoint to ensure the highest standards of patient care in the implementation of new developments in the NHS. He was co-chairman of the first of the national service frameworks (NSFs) on coronary heart disease. He is a member of the Modernisation Board and the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences. From 2000-2003 he was President of the International Diabetes Federation.

Simon Russell Beale Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters) A much acclaimed classical actor who has become a constant presence on the British stage. His many theatre credits include, at the National, Mosca in Volpone (1996 Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actor), Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Iago in Othello, Pangloss in Candide (1999 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical), the title role in Hamlet (Evening Standard Best Actor Award and Critics' Circle Best Shakespearean Performance Award). He has also spent many seasons with the RSC where his credits include title roles in Edward II and Richard III, The King in Love's Labour?s Lost, The Seagull, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Ghosts, Edgar in King Lear and Ariel in The Tempest.
His many other award winning roles include Vanya in Uncle Vanya (2003 Olivier Award for Best Actor) and Malvolio in Twelfth Night at the Donmar, directed by Sam Mendes, for both of which he won the 2002 Evening Standard Award and the 2003 Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, and which also played at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (2003 OBIE Award). He has numerous TV and film credits including his award wining role as Widmerpool in A Dance to the Music of Time (1997 Royal Television Society Programme Award for Best Actor and 1997 BAFTA Best Actor Award) in He was made CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2003.

Anne Fine Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters) Award winning author and Warwick graduate Anne Fine is perhaps best known for her children's books of which she has written more than 50. She also writes for adults (six books to date). She was appointed the second Children's Laureate, in succession to Quentin Blake, holding the position from 2001 to 2003. Her books for older children include the award winning The Tulip Touch and Goggle-Eyes, which was adapted for television by the BBC. Twentieth Century Fox filmed her novel Alias Madame Doubtfire as Mrs Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams. Her books for younger children include Bill's New Frock and How to Write Really Badly. Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and received an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2003. Her many other awards include several Carnegie Medals, two Boston Globe Horn Book Awards, the Whitbread Children's Book Award in both 1996 and 1993, the Nasen Special Educational Needs Book Award 1996, the Prix Sorci?re 1998, and the British Book Awards Children's Author of the Year Award 1993 and 1990.

Professor John Forty Hon DSc (Doctor of Science) The University of Warwick is currently celebrating its fortieth year so it is particularly appropriate to honour the founder of the University's department of Physics - Professor John Forty, who first joined Warwick in its foundation year 1964. He played a key role as the founding Professor of Physics in what is now one of the UK's leading Physics Departments with maximum teaching quality score, and one of the highest possible gradings for research (grade 5A). Without John Forty's foresight none of this would have happened. He left Warwick in 1986 to become Principal of Stirling University, a post he held until his retirement in 1994. He has served on the committees of many key higher education funding bodies including the then Science Research Council (SRC) and what was the Universities Grants Committee (UGC). He chaired the UGC working party on Advanced Research computing producing what came to be known as the 'Forty' report. For all his public service to science he received the CBE in 1991.

Liliane Lijn Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters)
Liliane Lijn studied archaeology at the Sorbonne and art history at the ?cole du Louvre in Paris (1958). She became an artist in residence in a plastics factory, experimenting with fire and acids and working with light, poetry, movement and liquids rapidly establishing herself as a leading international kinetic artist.
She has featured in numerous group exhibitions in Britain, Europe and Japan, and is represented in important public and private collections in Britain, France, Australia and the United States. Some of most important public works are White Koan, University of Warwick (1972); Circle of Light, Milton Keynes (1979); Split Spiral Spin, Birchwood Science Park, Warrington (1980); Carbon Black, Laboratory of the Government Chemist, Teddington (1988); Argo, Poole, Dorset (1988); Inner Light, Prudential Insurance, Reading (1993), Dragon's Dance, Marks and Spencer, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff (1994); and Earth Sea Light Koan, Saint Mary's Hospital, Isle of Wight (1997), Inner Light III St Thomas' Hospital London (2003) and Starslide, Evelina Children's hospital (2004). This year the University of Warwick's Mead Gallery has staged a major exhibition of her work.

Simon Mayo Hon DLitt (Doctor of Letters) BBC radio 5 Presenter Simon Mayo is already a Warwick graduate (graduating with a degree in History and Politics). He was a star performer on the University's student radio station then known as radio W963 - however he is believed to have made his first radio programme at the age of eight using a family tape recorder. He worked at local Radio Nottingham for 4 years before joining BBC Radio 1 in March 1986, with a two hour Saturday evening show. In early 1987, he took over the weekday evening show and he moved to a mid-morning slot in October 1993. Simon's 'Pilgrimage To The Holy Land' won Best Programme Award at the International Radio Festival of New York in 1987. Simon has fronted a number of documentaries for Radio 1, including 'John Lennon: In My Life' and co-produced as well as presented a magazine series on religion entitled 'The Big Holy One'. He left Radio 1 for Radio 5 in 2001 He has won many awards, including the Variety Club BBC Radio Personality of the Year for 1990 and Sony National DJ of the Year in 1991.

Alan Phillips Hon LLD (Doctor of Laws) Alan Phillips is a renowned authority on human and minority rights. Following an earlier career as General Secretary of the World University Service UK, he became Deputy Director of the British Refugee Council in 1982 - serving in that role till 1989. He was then appointed as the Executive Director of Minority Rights Group International from 1989 until 2001. Today he serves as the UK Expert on the Council of Europe treaty monitoring mechanism and has been the Vice President of the Advisory Committee for the Framework Convention on Protection of National Minorities. He also acts as a human rights/ minority rights adviser for several other inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, including Adviser on the Roma to the EU and Council of Europe, and is a member of the committee of the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics. He is a Warwick graduate, graduating with a degree in Physics in 1970. He served as President of Warwick Students' Union in 1968-69 and was the first President of the Warwick Graduates Association from 1986 to 1990. His publications include British Aid for Overseas Students 1980, Universal Minority Rights 1995, he was also a contributor to the 1997 World Directory of Minorities and the 2004 European Year Book of Minority Issues.

Ratan Tata Hon DSc (Doctor of Science) Ratan Tata is the most remarkable chairman of a most remarkable company. The Tata Group is the flagship of the Indian engagement in the global economy. His early passion was for architecture and all his design flair and skill in construction has been put into the transformation of the Tata Group of companies. He has taken a ramshackle Victorian family of companies and turned them into a set of globally competitive firms producing goods and services of the highest quality. The spread of Tata businesses today is both broad in its range of activities and in its geographical reach. Employing 220,000 people in traditional sectors like tea and steel, through information technology, energy, car and truck manufacture into consultancy and some of the worlds most prestigious hotels. This modernization has certainly generated commercial success with revenues in 2004 of ?8.1 billion.

Sheila Whitaker Hon LLD (Doctor of Laws)
She came to Warwick as a mature student in the mid seventies, to read for a degree in Italian. Before Warwick she had worked for a number of years in the British Film Archive and she returned to work in film distribution. She ran the Tyneside cinematheque film festival for a number of years and began there a programme of offering access to recent work in world cinema, with particular reference to women directors. She went on to become the director of programming at the National Film Theatre (1984-1990) and also the director of one of the world's largest film festivals, the London Film Festival (1987 -96). She has always had a close relationship with researchers at the University of Warwick - collaborating in particular on Latin American cinema, organising a number of such film seasons at the NFT. She has co edited a book with Warwick's Professor John King on the Argentine filmmaker Maria Luisa Bemberg. Her work with Bemberg and her friendship with Julie Christie led Julie Christie to make a film directed by Bemberg in Argentina immediately after the Falklands war. She has become increasingly interested in Middle Eastern cinema in the last years and, since retiring from the NFT she has edited a book on Iranian cinema and is currently organising the Dubai international film festival.

Rhys Williams Hon DSc (Doctor of Science) served as a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Warwick and also served as Chair of University Council (1991-2002). He was a highly respected and effective Chair of Council and his period of service covered the term of office of three University of Warwick Vice-Chancellors- a period of significant growth and outstanding success for the University. Following National Service in the Fleet Air Arm he joined what was then English Electric as a Graduate Apprentice assigned to Marconi. He rose quickly and served that company in England, Canada and South Africa and in 1982 was posted to Coventry as head of GEC's telecommunication's business. After a short period in the venture capital industry he returned to GEC as Chair of Marconi. He retired from GEC Marconi in 1993.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick Tel: 024 76 523708 or 07767 655860

PR24 6th July 2005