Students set to graduate alongside David Gilmour and other top honoraries in Cambridge

Published: 12 October 2009 at 12:01

David Gilmour, Beth Chatto, Alison Balsom, Alberto Manguel and others step up for honorary awards.

Over 1200 undergraduate and postgraduate students from Cambridge are preparing to don ceremonial graduation gowns in order to participate in the various ceremonies to mark the completion of their degrees.  The graduation ceremonies will be staged at the Cambridge Corn Exchange near to Anglia Ruskin University’s East Road campus, Cambridge on 11 and 12 November.

The students will be representing the Ashcroft International Business School, the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Technology, the Faculty of Health and Social Care and the Faculty of Education.

Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne said:

“These highly-motivated, hard-working graduates will be looking to start or accelerate their careers in an economy which is now, more than ever, looking at top academic qualifications as one of the most important precursors to employment. We wish them every success in their chosen careers and hope they will be inspired by the stories of our distinguished honorary graduates to go on to achieve great things in life.”

11 honorary awards will be presented during the faculty-themed ceremonies to various individuals in recognition of their outstanding achievements. 

The queen of gardening Beth Chatto OBE, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science award from the Faculty of Science and Technology.  Her now world-famous Beth Chatto Gardens at Colchester began in 1960. Plants-woman, designer and winner of ten Gold Medals at Chelsea, she also holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Victoria Medal of Honour. Beth Chatto was awarded the honour of an OBE for her services to horticulture in 2002. 

A keen advocate of organic gardening, she has lectured worldwide. Welcoming travellers from across the globe to her garden and mentoring the new generation of celebrity gardeners, she is much loved and admired by all.

Two outstanding educationalists are in line for Honorary Doctor of Education awards.  Stephen Munday, Principal of Comberton Village College in Cambridgeshire has helped to transform the mixed school for 11-16 year olds into one of the most successful schools of its type in the East of England.  The school has won accolades for languages, sport and the arts and ambitious plans to develop a Sixth Form for the school are well underway.  Stephen is being honoured for his overwhelming success at leading Comberton Village College and for his services to education and the community.

Peter Campbell is a survivor of the mental health system and, as a writer and poet, he has devoted his life and incredible talents to the pursuit of survivors’ rights and justice. Described as shy, self-effacing and highly intelligent, Peter Campbell has spent 25 years battling with the Government and the mental health system for survivors’ rights. Raised in the Scottish Highlands, Peter’s late teenage years were spent confronting mental distress. Long stays in hospital and asylums curtailed his academic career at Cambridge and prevented him from maintaining continuous paid employment. It was in 1983 that he changed his life and began an involvement with mental health activism coupled with poetry and performance which has lasted until the present day. He is honoured for his outstanding talent as a writer, performer and educationalist.

The Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences is honouring some outstanding figures from the world of music and publishing with Honorary Doctor of Arts awards.  David Gilmour attended Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology, a part of what is now Anglia Ruskin University. It was here that he and his childhood friend Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett laid the foundations of Pink Floyd and British Psychedelia.  Best known as guitarist, vocalist and writer with Pink Floyd, he is also renowned for his solo work and collaborations with other artists including Kate Bush, Paul McCartney, and Pete Townshend.

In 1996, Pink Floyd were inducted into the US Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, followed by the same honour in the UK in 2005. During the same year, David Gilmour was made a CBE for services to music.  David still has close ties with Anglia Ruskin University, some four decades later, supporting most recently The City Wakes project from the Cambridge School of Art. He is honoured for his outstanding contribution to music as a writer, performer and innovator.

Trumpeter Alison Balsom is a highly acclaimed international artist and one of music’s great ambassadors.  She has won widespread praise from classical musicians, critics and audiences.

She is an outstanding performer who has achieved more at her young age than many musicians would hope to in their entire career. Alison Balsom was named ‘Best Young British Performer’ at the 2006 Classical BRIT Awards and was honoured with the Classic FM Listeners’ Award in September 2006. Following this, Gramophone Echo Klassik Awards hailed her ‘Rising Artist of the Year’ and in 2009, again at the Classical BRIT Awards, she became the first ever Briton to be crowned ‘Female Artist of the Year’.

It was while she was represented by the Young Concert Artists Trust that Alison was singled out by EMI Classics with whom she has recorded exclusively for several years. Alison was soloist at the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ 2009 at the Royal Albert Hall, London.  She is honoured for devotion to music and for her incredible musical achievements.

Alexandra Pringle and Andrew Winnard will both receive awards for their outstanding contributions to international publishing.  Alexandra Pringle, who is Editor-in-Chief of Bloomsbury Publishing, heads up the company’s Adult Editorial Department, securing the rights to literary works from every conceivable genre while also editing her own list of authors.  She will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters award.  Andrew Winnard will be made an Honorary Fellow.  He has worked within international publishing for nearly two decades and is currently with Cambridge University Press.   Both Andrew and Alexandra have been instrumental in establishing the new MA in Publishing at Anglia Ruskin.

Alberto Manguel is a literary giant.  He is a writer, translator, editor and critic, but more importantly, he is a modern day campaigner for books and libraries. Alberto was born in Buenos Aires in 1948 and spent his childhood in Israel and his adolescence in Argentina.  While attending the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires, he worked in a bookstore where he met blind Jorge Luis Borges, and became one of his readers for several years. After living in Europe and the South Pacific, working as an editor, in 1982, he moved to Canada writing for newspapers, radio and television.  

He has edited a number of anthologies of short stories, and published several novels, including News from a Foreign Country Came and Stevenson Under the Palm Trees. He is best known for his books on book culture, such as A History of Reading, The City of Words and The Library at Night. He now lives in a small village in France, surrounded by more than 30,000 volumes. He is honoured with an Honorary Doctor of Letters award for teaching the world about the nature of literature and the fundamental importance of libraries.

Three awards are given to high flyers from the world of public service. Dr Gareth Goodier is to receive the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences for his continuing efforts to raise standards and improve performance within the global health arena having worked in healthcare in both the UK and Australia.

He is the Chief Executive of Cambridge University Hospitals NHS FoundationTrust which includes Addenbrooke’s Hospital. Under his leadership, the Trust has consistently been rated as one of the UK’s best hospitals for both patient care and research.

Two names from local government will also be recognised during graduation with Honorary Awards for Business Administration from the Ashcroft International Business School.

Rob Hammond has had a distinguished career running local government services in Cambridge and London spanning thirty years. He has focused on managing and leading councils to provide excellent public services, using public resources effectively to meet the diverse needs of communities. He is particularly passionate about creating a sense of community and ensuring that public services support underprivileged people. Rob has just retired from the post of Chief Executive at Cambridge City Council to focus on a number of other roles. One of his proudest achievements was seeing through the stunning city centre redevelopment at Grand Arcade. 

Gillian Beasley has similarly spent her career working and excelling in various local government roles.   She has helped to make a real difference to people and their lives. It was for services to local government that she was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours, 2008.  For the past six years she has held the post of Chief Executive at Peterborough City Council where she is responsible for a budget of  £160 million and over 5,500 employees.  She receives her award for helping to turn Peterborough into a thriving location for industry in order to offer the best prospects and opportunities to its people.

This year students and honoraries receiving degrees will be welcomed by newly commissioned ceremonial music to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Anglia Ruskin University, celebrated during 2008.  The vibrant piece, written by Edward Gregson, one of Britain’s most respected composers is entitled Ceremonial for Brass Quintet.