University of Leicester |

eBulletin
Home >> News and Events >> [eBulletin] >> People

 

Honorary Graduate's Speech: Mr Chris d'Lacey, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Mr Chris d'Lacey, distinguished author, a technician in the University's Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences, was awarded his honorary degree for his contribution to children's literature. Chris d'Lacey is a prominent writer of books for children, who has published thirteen books in the last six years. His first novel Fly, Cherokee, Fly was highly commended for the Literary Association Carnegie Medal. He engages in an active programme of visits to schools, encouraging young people to write creatively. He received his honorary degree on Friday, July 12 during the morning degree ceremony. The following is his response after the degree ceremony oration. 

Thank you, just to shoot a few short words. I was visiting a school in Ipswich recently, and I was talking to a group of small children, and had been babbling away for about ten minutes or so when a little girl in the front row who could have only been about six years old raised her hand. So I paused to see what her question was and she said “ Excuse me Mr d’Lacey - when are you going to stop talking about you and start talking about books ”. 
 
Well, I hope she isn’t here today because I am going to talk almost exclusively about me and so that’s kids for you. I am very, very flattered to receive this Doctorate. All of us, particularly creative people, like to be acknowledged for the things we do and I am very fortunate in this regard anyway I that I already received a steady stream of positive feed back from children who read and enjoy my books. 
Chris d'Lacey
Chris d'Lacey, on stage at De Montfort Hall during the degree ceremony on July 12, responding to the oration in his honour.
[pic: Paul Smith]

Thank you, just to shoot a few short words. I was visiting a school in Ipswich recently, and I was talking to a group of small children, and had been babbling away for about ten minutes or so when a little girl in the front row who could have only been about six years old raised her hand. So I paused to see what her question was and she said “Excuse me Mr d’Lacey - when are you going to stop talking about you and start talking about books”. 
 
Well, I hope she isn’t here today because I am going to talk almost exclusively about me and so that’s kids for you. I am very, very flattered to receive this Doctorate. All of us, particularly creative people, like to be acknowledged for the things we do and I am very fortunate in this regard anyway I that I already received a steady stream of positive feedback from children who read and enjoy my books. 
 
I receive letters of glowing admiration from them, sometimes telling me where I might have done better or sometimes telling me that they preferred the book to Harry Potter, for instance, and I keep those in a little gilt-edged book marked 'negotiations for next contract'.
  
My favourite is actually the boy who recently came to my house to post his letter of thanks by hand and apparently tip-toed all the way down the street and posted the letter though the letter box in absolute silence, desperate not to disturb me just in case I was working on the sequel to his favourite novel!
  
But this degree is a wonderful compliment - it perfectly endorses what I do in schools and libraries for our youth. I suppose you don’t get this far without the help of one or two people, and I would like to thank first of all, my wife, for her support over the years, she is the best critic and editor that I know, also both sets of parents for their love and support, my colleagues in the University, who have always taken a great interest in my other life as it were and have given me great encouragement and support down the years, and the University itself for I think providing me with an environment in which I could explore my creativity and allow it to flourish, and of course not forgetting the University Library Bookshop - who carry a comprehensive range of d’Lacey titles all freely available for £9.99 - very reasonable! 
 
So, on behalf of myself and my fellow honorand, thank you very much indeed and I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

July 2002

Back to People
Back to [eBulletin] index


[University Home][University Index A-Z][University Search][University Help]

Last updated: 26 July 2002 17:00
Created by: Rachel Tunstall
Maintained by: Barbara Whiteman

This document has been approved by the head of department or section.
If you are an authorised user you may edit this document through your Web browser.