Students graduate alongside pig farmer Jimmy Doherty and other distinguished honoraries in Cambridge

Published: 14 October 2008 at 12:10

Over 1500 students will graduate in Cambridge during two days of ceremonies staged by Anglia Ruskin University at Cambridge Corn Exchange (on 12 /13 November).

Over 1500 students will graduate in Cambridge during two days of ceremonies staged by Anglia Ruskin University at Cambridge Corn Exchange (on 12 /13 November).

The students, who will participate in separate graduation events, will be marking the completion of various degree courses at the University. They will represent the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, the Ashcroft International Business School, the Faculty of Science & Technology and the Faculty of Health and Social Care. Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne said:

“These hard-working, high calibre graduates are leaving us armed with the confidence and relevant academic qualifications they need to start or accelerate their careers.  We wish them every success in their chosen endeavours and hope they will be inspired by the stories of our distinguished honorary graduates to go on to emulate their success."

The honorary awards will be presented during the faculty-themed ceremonies to various individuals in recognition of their outstanding achievements. The much loved star of Jimmy's Farm, Jimmy Doherty, will be receiving an Honorary Doctor of Science Award for his academic achievements with respect to the study of insects, and for his talents raising rare breed animals, and bringing the attention of the public to the challenges of farming today through his programme Jimmy Doherty’s Farming Heroes.

Among the honorary list for 2008 is Professor Alison Richard, Vice Chancellor at the University of Cambridge, one of Britain’s oldest and most famous universities.

Originally from Kent, Professor Richard came to East Anglia to study anthropology at the University of Cambridge.  She later received her doctorate from London University.  In 1972, she moved to the USA to join Yale University and was here that she was made professor of anthropology in 1986 and later became director of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History.

She eventually became Provost of Yale, a role which saw her improve the University’s financial position and grow the academic offering there.  While she was there, she continued to develop her reputation as an eminent researcher, studying the ecology and social behaviour of wild primates.

After 21 years in the USA, Professor Richard came home to the UK joining the University of Cambridge. While in this post she has introduced sweeping institutional change. Her achievements were celebrated last year when Cambridge was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year title. 

Other recipients of honorary degrees will include Ali Smith, David Hall, Roy Helmore CBE and Walter Herriot OBE. 

Ali Smith is a most gifted writer of novels and short stories whose story telling style is loved by millions.  She is also a popular arts critic writing for the Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman and The Times Literary Supplement.

Born in Inverness in 1962, but now living in Cambridge, her first book, Free Love and Other Stories (1995), won the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award and a Scottish Arts Council Award, and the awards keep coming for her confident, inventive tales that are ingrained with wordplay, humour and profound intelligence.

She studied for her first degree in Aberdeen, before moving to Cambridge to do a PhD in American and Irish modernism.  It was at this point she began to write plays and short stories.

David Hall is famous for helping to form video art in Britain. Today, he is an inspiration to many students, past and present, from the Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University. 

His early experiments with broadcast television are unique. Not only are many of his video pieces classics but he has made important and often brilliant contributions to experimental film, installation and sculpture. 

The installations of David Hall, along with many of his videotapes, have concentrated upon the physical reality of TV. Appointed Honorary Professor at Dundee University in 2003 he has taught at the Royal College of Art, St Martin's School of Art, Chelsea College of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Nova Scotia College of Art and many others.

He has made work for broadcast by, among others, BBC TV, Channel 4 TV, Scottish TV, Canal+ TV and MTV.

Roy Helmore CBE is a name that is significant in the history of Anglia Ruskin University, particularly in one of its previous guises.  The flagship building on East Road, The Helmore Building, which sits at the very heart of the Cambridge campus, is named after him.

He was Principal of Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology

(CCAT) from 1977 to 1986, a forerunner of what is now this Cambridge and Chelmsford based University which today embraces much of the East of England.

At the time he came to the CCAT in 1977, it was offering a mixture of advanced courses (degree and equivalent) and non advanced (A Levels and National Diplomas). This mix in Cambridge was then referred to as the ‘seamless robe’ which was greatly admired nationally.

Walter Herriot OBE is one of the most important social entrepreneurs in the UK and a key contributor to the Cambridge technology base.

He started his career within the world of banking before making has name as the man who nurtures UK technology enterprise, and it is this pioneering role that has made him known throughout the East of England.

Walter has been the Managing Director of St John’s Innovation Centre Ltd since 1990.  The Innovation Centre, based in Cambridge, is regarded as a model for incubators, particularly those linked to universities, both nationally and internationally.