Figures from the worlds of media, agriculture and land management, and the Church of England will join 1,000 graduands being honoured by Cumbria’s university next week.
With up to 4,000 people expected, University of Cumbria is awarding three honorary fellowships and its first honorary doctorate across three days of graduation ceremonies at Carlisle Cathedral.
Broadcaster, author and columnist Grace Dent and Cumbrian land management figures Alan Bowe and Giles Mounsey-Heysham are to become honorary fellows in recognition of their outstanding and lifelong contributions to their chosen sectors.
Cumbria’s university will also award its first honorary doctorate to its Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, who will be presiding over his final graduation ceremonies in the county before he is due to retire next summer.
The honorary doctorate is the university’s most prestigious accolade and is for individuals of significant merit, academics with an international reputation, or national and international figures who are inspiring role models for young people, communities and stakeholders.
It is being given for the first time following the granting of Research Degree Awarding Powers to the university earlier this year. Dr Sentamu, who is due to retire as Archbishop of York next year, has been Chancellor of the university since its creation in 2007.
Across 26-28 November eight ceremonies will celebrate the academic achievements of more than 1,000 graduands. They have completed undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in leadership and sustainability, business, paramedic practice and health, fields of nursing, policing, teaching and education, science and the outdoors, the arts, and theology. In an increasing move away from traditional full-time courses, many graduands have completed courses in a variety of flexible ways including professional part-time study whilst working and via distance learning from their homes across the world.
A special ceremony next Wednesday afternoon (27 November) will celebrate the achievements of 150 international students, many of whom will bring families and friends to Cumbria for the first time.
University of Cumbria vice chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “Contributing across a variety of areas from business, industry and leadership, arts, culture, and protecting our environment to working across the public sector and blue light services, we know that our graduates touch every aspect of our everyday lives. They go on to work in positions that influence and have real impact on us all as the life savers, life shapers and world changers of the future.
“As part of our honorary awards, we’re also delighted to be in a position to present our first honorary doctorate to the Chancellor during what will be the final graduation ceremonies he will preside over in the role. I know he will continue to be an inspirational and unwavering supporter of our university, staff and students and we are privileged to have had him serve as our first Chancellor.”