Sheffield graduation fortnight comes to a close with honorary doctorates

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Sheffield Hallam University’s fortnight of graduation has come to a close, with several inspirational people celebrated with honorary doctorates.

Iconic film-maker and director of I, Daniel Blake, Ken Loach and gender equalities campaigner Baroness Zahida Manzoor both received Honorary Doctorates during the first week of ceremonies at Sheffield City Hall alongside hundreds of graduating students.

Ken, who also met film making students before the ceremony, said: “It’s very kind of the University - it’s probably a better degree than the one I actually got, which was a rather poor third so it’s an improvement on that! Meeting people at the start of their working life is always quite touching because you can see their hope and apprehension and you can’t help but wish them all the best.”

Former Hallam Vice-Chancellor Professor Phillip Jones, who retired from the University in December 2015, was also honoured for services to education and Sheffield. Upon receiving his Honorary Doctorate, Professor Jones said: “I am immensely proud to receive this Honorary Doctorate just as I was proud to be the Vice Chancellor of this fantastic University.”

The second week of graduation saw Honorary Doctorates awarded to Nick Matthew OBE, England’s most successful squash player, and internationally acclaimed expert on education Beatriz Pont.

Nick, three-time world champion and seven-time British national champion, said: “Sheffield Hallam has supported me right the way through my career, particularly in my formative years as a professional

“It was the University that taught me the meaning of being a professional. I thought that playing squash, you just had to be good within the four walls, I didn’t realise the science and everything on the outside that went into those four walls - it was the University that taught me all that.”

Other recipients included; Clive Stafford Smith OBE, a lawyer who specialises in death penalty cases and other civil rights issues; Sir (Robert) Alan Langlands, the twelfth Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leeds; Professor John Martin, the chair of Cardiovascular Medicine at University College London; David Moody, former Lord-Lieutenant for the region; and Baroness Vivien Stern CBE, a crossbench member of the House of Lords who works across the world as an advocate for human rights and social justice.

Hallam’s latest Honorary Doctorates received their honours during the University’s graduation fortnight which saw more than 7,200 students graduate at the City Hall.

You can see interviews with Ken Loach, Nick Matthew, Clive Stafford Smith and Beatriz Pont on our youtube channel.