Staffordshire University usually makes the announcement ahead of its Award Ceremonies held in summer and autumn. However, as last year’s ceremonies for graduating students were postponed due to Covid-19, so too was the bestowal of honorary degrees to recognise the achievements of people who share in the University’s values.
The latest line-up includes retired Cheshire digital technology entrepreneur Robert Barrow MBE DL, Darren Birt Director of Crewe-based FHL and Paul Farmer OBE Managing Director of Wade Ceramics who are all recognised for their significant contributions to business development and the economies of Staffordshire and Cheshire.
International Relations graduate Nihad Alihodzic will also become an Honorary Doctor of the University in recognition of his commitment to making the world a safer place through his work to eliminate chemical weapons in countries including Iraq, Libya and Syria.
And closer to home Professor Mark Radford, Health Education England Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Nurse for England, is being recognised for his role as inspirational leader. Since his appointment last March, Professor Radford has been leading the HEE response to the coronavirus pandemic, including work to use student nurses and midwives to help the NHS. He is now leading on the workforce and training workstream of the Covid-19 NHS vaccination delivery programme.
Also recognised with the award of Honorary Doctor of the University are former Stafford MP Jeremy Lefroy and former Chair of the University’s Board of Governors David Gage MBE DL. They are recognised for their services and unstinting support to the county and to the University.
Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL said: “These inspirational people should have been recognised at our awards ceremonies last year but, sadly, these were put on hold because of the pandemic.
“We’ve recently heard about those people with connections to Staffordshire University who were recognised in the New Year honours and decided we couldn’t wait any longer to recognise the tremendous work of our new honorary graduates.
“When normal service resumes, they will get to don their cap and gown, celebrate their achievements and share their wisdom with our graduating students. As a Connected University community, we can’t wait for that happen!”