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Graduation Ceremonies

Graduation is one of the most exciting times in the University’s calendar. Symphony Hall was alive at the start of September as thousands of students celebrated receiving their degrees.

Each year, the University makes a number of honorary awards that recognise outstanding service to the University, to the City of Birmingham and the West Midlands, or to public or professional life nationally and internationally. Here we take a look at our 2014 Honorary Graduates.

Vice-Chancellor Cliff Allan

"Graduation is a time to mark the end of our students’ time with us and celebrate their achievements. It is also a beginning, and we know that our graduates leave us well-prepared for the next chapters of their lives. Today our graduates become part of an outstanding body of Birmingham City University alumni who are shaping the world around us every day. I look forward to hearing the success stories of our Class of 2014."

Monday 1 September – morning ceremony

Gok Wan Honorary doctorate: Gok Wan
Fashion consultant, author and television presenter.

TV presenter and style guru Gok Wan has worked in the fashion industry for the best part of two decades. Initially training in performing arts, he entered the fashion industry through early work as a hair and make-up artist on titles such as The Sunday Times. Finding himself dissatisfied with beauty alone, Gok pursued his love of clothes as a fashion stylist and in 2006, he became a household name in Channel 4’s How to Look Good Naked.

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Also honouring Alumni of the Year...

Dan Griffiths and Leon Ostle

Monday 1 September – afternoon ceremony

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Also honouring Alumni of the Year...

Victoria Eggs

Adrian Fawcett Honorary doctorate: Adrian Fawcett
Chairman, Silentnight Group and Chairman of the Advisory Board at EuroSite Power Limited

Adrian Fawcett is Chairman of Silentnight Group. He has previously acted as CEO & Vice-President of a number of FTSE 100 and international companies including GHG, Punch Taverns plc, Interbrew plc and Bass Brewers plc. Adrian was voted 2014 finalist in the ‘Sunday Times’ Non-Executive Director of the year, having previously been awarded the ‘Institute of Directors’, Large Company Young Director of the Year and ‘Business Insider’, Entrepreneurial Director of the year.

Tuesday 2 September – morning ceremony

John Hudson OBE Honorary doctorate: John Hudson OBE
Chairman, Birmingham Airport

John Hudson OBE, a graduate of Birmingham City University (the Birmingham Polytechnic), has been Chairman of Birmingham Airport since 1997. His services to industry in the region led to an OBE in 2003. He is currently a Deputy Lieutenant for the West Midlands Lieutenancy. John has served as President of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the West Midlands Industrial Development Board and was a founding member of the CBI National Manufacturing Council.

Tuesday 2 September – afternoon ceremony

Robert Winston Honorary doctorate: Professor Robert Winston
Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London

IVF pioneer and broadcaster Robert Winston is Professor of Science and Society and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies at Imperial College London. He has presented award-winning TV and radio series including The Secret Life of Twins, Child of Our Time and The Human Body. He has written over 20 books and published extensively in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Winston sits on the Council of the University of Surrey, is Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University and Chairman of the Royal College of Music.

Wednesday 3 September – morning ceremony

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Also honouring Alumni of the Year...


Honorary doctorate:  Dame Christine Braddock
Chairman of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dame Christine Braddock, Chairman of Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has over 30 years’ experience in senior leadership of Further Education colleges. Her time as Principal and Chief Executive of Birmingham Metropolitan College saw her bring together three colleges to create Birmingham MET - now one of the largest and successful colleges in the country. She was made a Dame in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list in recognition of her commitment to improving and upholding teaching excellence.

Thursday 4 September – morning ceremony

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Also honouring Alumni of the Year...

Andy Weekes

Phil Smith Honorary doctorate: Phil Smith
Chief Executive UK & Ireland, Cisco Systems Ltd

Phil Smith is the UK & Ireland Chief Executive of Cisco Systems, the world's largest maker of internet networking equipment. Recently hailed by Computer Weekly as one of the most influential people in UK IT, Phil is Chair of both e-Skills UK and the UK Technology Strategy Board. Following on from Cisco's sponsorship of London 2012, Phil led Cisco’s investment in helping to create a lasting legacy from the Olympics by providing resources to support entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Thursday 4 September – afternoon ceremony

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Also honouring Alumni of the Year...

Charlotte Bray

Darren Henley OBE Honorary doctorate: Darren Henley OBE
Managing Director, Classic FM

Darren Henley, Managing Director of Classic FM, was appointed an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours for his services to music. Author of two independent government reviews into music and cultural education, Darren has also written 26 books about classical music and his radio work has been honoured by the Radio Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, the Classic Brit Awards and the Royal Philharmonic Society.