Chelmsford celebrates graduation week

Published: 5 October 2010 at 10:06

Rt Hon The Lord Hattersley, Umar Khan Alisherzai, Sir Robin Saxby, Reverend Canon Ivor Moody, Stephen Welfare, Lynne Berry OBE and Peter Nardone collect honorary awards

Chelmsford has witnessed the first of three days of graduation (5, 6 and 7 October).

During the day of smiles and pomp and ceremony, both undergraduate and postgraduate students donned ceremonial graduation gowns and brought family and friends to mark the formal completion of their degrees. 

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

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

"These hard working and determined graduates have done exceptionally well and they and their families should be very proud of their impressive academic achievements.  We wish them every success in their chosen careers or onward educational pursuits and hope that they will aim to achieve great things in life, like our distinguished honorary graduates have who are will be joining us to collect their awards."

"Graduation represents a culmination of a lot of hard work and personal sacrifice, not only on from the students who will be crossing the stage, but also on the part of parents, partners, children and friends as successful learners need good supporters."

"Just as we are proud of our students, we are also celebrating our own achievements. Anglia Ruskin University has itself enjoyed much success in the last year with applications to study with us as an undergraduate up by a stunning 35% and the funding council awarding us, through competitions with all other UK universities, a total of more than 1000 extra student places this year – only one other university did better."

Seven honorary awards were presented to leading figures in recognition of their outstanding achievements during the various ceremonies.

The ever-popular Rt Hon The Lord Hattersley received an Honorary Doctor of Letters award for his career as a distinguished politician, historian and broadcaster.

For over fifty years, Roy Hattersley has had an active and highly significant career at the heart of British politics. From 1964 to 1992 he was a Labour Member of Parliament. He first entered Parliament as the Labour MP for Birmingham Sparkbrook in 1964. 

He was born into a strong working class Labour family in Sheffield in 1932. With this northern working-class upbringing, Roy Hattersley gained a scholarship to the esteemed Sheffield City Grammar School and went to the University of Hull, where he read for a BSc in Economics and participated in student politics. After graduating he worked for a spell for a Sheffield steelworks and then for two years for the Workers’ Educational Association. 

In the 1960s Roy Hattersley held ministerial posts in Harold Wilson’s governments as Employment Minister under Barbara Castle and as deputy to Denis Healey in Defence. From 1974-6 he served under Harold Wilson again as Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.  He was appointed a privy councillor in 1975.  From 1976-79 he joined James Callaghan’s Cabinet as Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection.

He has been an ardent and longstanding supporter of the Common Market and Britain’s role in the European Economic Community.  In domestic politics, his advocacy of British comprehensive education has been a shining beacon for many years. 

In 1981 Roy Hattersley founded ‘Labour Solidarity’ to help prevent the break-up of the Labour Party.   While in opposition, Roy Hattersley has also held a large number of shadow portfolios, including Defence, Education and Science, and the Home Office.  In particular from 1983-1992, while in opposition,  he served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party during Neil Kinnock’s period as party leader, an important period of party reform and changing attitudes as Labour undertook the long haul back to office.

Roy Hattersley was made a life peer in 1993 as Baron Hattersley of Sparkbrook in the County of West Midlands and continues to represent Labour in the House of Lords to this day.

For as many years, Roy Hattersley has also been a prolific and popular writer, journalist, book reviewer and broadcaster. He has always been in demand on BBC radio and television programmes, such as Question Time and Any Questions?  As a senior statesman, he is a valued commentator- particularly at election time and during the party conference season.

Umar Khan Alisherzai, the Ambassador of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, received an Honorary Doctor of Education award for his services to international education.  

While he oversees the interests of the one and a half-million strong Pakistani community who live and work in Saudi Arabia, he is also passionate about building a democratic Pakistan, not only to improve its economic fortunes via improvements in international relations, but also to improve health, welfare and education options.

Born in 1948, Umar Khan belongs to the tribal areas of Pakistan, one of the most remote areas of the country, where not many children used to have the opportunity of school education or when they did get a chance, very few were able to continue to their secondary education.  Having completed his formal schooling, he moved to Peshawar where he completed his higher education with an MA in Economics from the University of Peshawar.

He joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in December 1976 and besides working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in pivotal appointments at home, including Director General of Policy Planning, he has held several diplomatic appointments overseas in Afghanistan, Qatar, UAE and now in Saudi Arabia.

Umar Khan Alisherzai is a great supporter of education, even working with the Taliban to persuade leaders in Afghanistan to open schools for girls under the strict regime.  Working closely with Anglia Ruskin University on initiatives surrounding higher education, he is keen to see young men and women from Pakistan go abroad to destinations for higher education study to increase their potential to make a valuable economic and social contribution to their communities.

Sir Robin Saxby received an Honorary Doctor of Technology award for his services to the information technology industry. He is a highly respected engineer, manager and entrepreneur.

He was born in Derbyshire, educated at Chesterfield Boys Grammar and obtained a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) from Liverpool University. His early career was in design and development with Rank Bush Murphy and Pye TMC.  He spent eleven years with Motorola Semiconductors in a variety of sales, marketing and engineering management roles, before taking up the post as Chief Executive Officer of Henderson Security Systems. He subsequently moved back to the semiconductor electronic industry as UK Managing Director, Vice-President Northern Europe and Head of the US branch, of European Silicon Structures.

He started with ARM in 1991 with backing from Acorn, Apple and VLSI Technology. ARM is one of the outstanding British engineering successes in the last 40 years.  It has pioneered a new technology, a new business model and rose in 10 short years from a 12 person start up to a FTSE-100 company. Sir Robin was knighted in 2002 for services to the IT industry.

Reverend Canon Ivor Moody received an Honorary Fellowship from Anglia Ruskin University. He is the newly-installed Vice Dean and Canon Pastor of Chelmsford Cathedral.  Formerly Canon Moody was the Chaplain of the Chelmsford campus of Anglia Ruskin University for almost 14 years. 

Canon Moody was born in Brighton and studied theology at Kings College London where he gained his Bachelor of Divinity and Associate of Kings College in 1980.  He then spent two years at the Community of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, studying for ordination.  He worked in the area of East London now being transformed by the Olympic development, Leigh on Sea and then as Vicar of St John’s Church, Tilbury Docks.

His ministry at Anglia Ruskin University was as enjoyable as it was productive.  In 2004,

he gained his MA in Pastoral Theology and in 2008, together with other members of the chaplaincy team, he published ‘Living and Learning’, the story of Chaplaincy at Anglia    Ruskin University, Chelmsford.

Canon Moody has taught many groups of students over the years, focusing on links between spirituality and various aspects of the higher education curriculum.

Throughout his time as Chaplain, he has, alongside many other staff from Anglia Ruskin, visited learning disability centres and a children’s home in Croatia with over 300 students from the Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses to help care for the patient clients there, and carry out a programme of restoration and repair of the centres’ buildings.

In addition to his new role as Vice Dean and Canon Pastor of Chelmsford Cathedral, he is also currently chair of the Mid Essex Inter Faith Forum, which seeks to bring together people from many faith communities in and around Essex, and chair of Essex Mind and Spirit, which looks at the relationship between spirituality and mental health.

(coming up ...)

Stephen Welfare received an Honorary Doctor of Science award for his achievements in healthcare. Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce with NHS East of England, he was previously the Chief Executive of the Essex Workforce Development Confederation and has held Board level positions with four NHS Organisations.

The NHS East of England covers one of the fastest growing regions in the UK, with a population of just below 5.6 million.  The East of England NHS budget is £8.2 billion and there are over 125,000 staff employed in the region.  As the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Workforce Stephen is responsible for overseeing the workforce and organisational development programmes associated with the new Coalition Government White Paper in the East of England.  Stephen drives the policies that support the delivery of high quality healthcare providing value for money through a dedicated, well trained and committed workforce that has the skills and confidence to deliver high quality patient care. 

He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and has a BA in Politics from the University of Warwick.

Lynne Berry OBE received an Honorary Doctor of Health Science award for her inspiring role within the Third Sector. She is Chief Executive of WRVS – a major national charity that enables older people to get more out of life by providing a range of practical services, powered by around 2 500 staff and 55 000 volunteers. 

Educated in Redditch, Worcestershire; at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology, a forerunner of Anglia Ruskin University; and University College Cardiff, Lynne Berry studied English and History before specialising in social sciences, public health, and cross-cultural studies. 

Lynne is WRVS' third Chief Executive.  She was appointed in 2007 having joined from the General Social Care Council. Previously she worked at the Equal Opportunities Commission and before that was Executive Director of the Charity Commission and Chief Executive of the Family Welfare Association.

Her earlier career has spanned central and local government, higher education, management development and training, community development and social work.

Her services to the social care sector were recognised in 2006 when she was awarded an OBE and it is for her continuing and inspiring role with the Third Sector that we recognise her today.

Peter Nardone received an Honorary Doctor of Arts award for his immense contribution to music and the arts.

He is the is the supremely talented singer, conductor and accompanist who is now the

Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral; and conductor of The Chelmsford Singers.

Born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, he studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, and while he was there, he won a Countess of Munster Scholarship which enabled him to further his study of music as a countertenor for a year at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.

Demonstrating his talent as a countertenor, Peter Nardone has performed in five continents with such groups as The Monteverdi Choir, The Tallis Scholars, The Taverner Choir and The English Concert, spreading his passion for music all over the globe.  As a solo singer, he has made over fifty recordings as well as singing in a wide array of internationally-acclaimed venues, including the Sydney Opera House, The Lincoln Centre, and The Wigmore Hall.

In 1986, Peter Nardone moved from Scotland to the South East of England, where he has pursued a career in professional music.   In 2000, Peter Nardone was appointed the Director of Music at Chelmsford Cathedral and Artistic Director of the Cathedral Festival. 

He works with conductor and composer John Rutter to run fundraising choral workshops, and also lends his support to Anglia Ruskin University’s Music Therapy Appeal.