University of Leicester eBulletin

University of Leicester Announces Honorary Degrees for Distinguished Personalities

June 2002
No 131

The Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, a Leicester-born international movie director and a popular local children's author are among a host of celebrated people who are to be honoured by the University of Leicester

They will be awarded honorary degrees on the occasion of the University of Leicester’s 80th anniversary degree ceremonies between July 10–12.

A renowned sculptress who has given a famous sculpture to Leicester, an international conservationist who studied at the University and a classical violinist are also among the recipients of the degrees in front of thousands of students and their families.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Robert Burgess said: “We are delighted to honour a group of people whose achievements have contributed so much to many aspects of public life. They have all contributed so much to their respective areas of expertise and in many cases have established close links with the University, the City and County. They are also excellent role models for our students.”

Recipients of the University of Leicester 2002 honorary degrees are as follows:

Professor Peter Atkins, Doctor of Science (DSc)

Professor of Chemistry, University of Oxford. For his contributions to chemistry. Professor Atkins was an undergraduate and postgraduate student at the University of Leicester. He has written college textbooks as well as books on science (particularly chemistry) for general audiences, such as Molecules; The Second Law; Atoms, Electrons, and Change; The Periodic Kingdom.

Professor Maurice Beresford, FBA  Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Emeritus Professor of Economic History, University of Leeds.  For his contribution to the study of local history. Professor Beresford’s research has transformed the world of medieval archaeology and stimulated the study of landscape history.

Dr Helaine Blumenfeld, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Dr Helaine Blumenfeld Sculptress. For her contribution to the visual arts. Dr Blumenfeld has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom, Italy and the USA as well as having major public sculptures installed in the USA and France. In 1990 she donated her sculpture, ‘Souls’, to the University of Leicester and recently contributed to an exhibition at the Richard Attenborough Centre at the University of Leicester.  

Left: Dr Helaine Blumenfeld, with her sculpture, Souls, which is situated on the lawn in front of the University's Fielding Johnson Building

Ms Lynne Brindley, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Lynne Brindley Chief Executive, British Library. For her contribution to the national and international development of library and information services. She lives in the local area. She is a former Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds and a member of the Library & Information Commission since 1998.  

Mr Tim Brooks, Doctor of Laws (LLD)

Tim Brooks Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire. For his contribution to public life in Leicestershire over several decades. Mr Brooks, a JP, has been Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire since 1989 and is a former High Sheriff of the county.

Mr Chris d’Lacey, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)  

Chris d'Lacey Distinguished children’s author. He is a technician in the University’s Department of Pre-Clinical Sciences. For his contribution to children’s literature. Chris d’Lacey is a prominent children’s writer 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.   

Mr Stephen Frears, Doctor of Letters (DLitt)

Film director, (films include My Beautiful Launderette and Dangerous Liaisons). For his contribution to film making. He was born in Leicester and is internationally renowned for his movies.

Professor Dame Julia Higgins FRS CBE, Doctor of  Science (DSc)  

Professor Dame Julia Higgins Professor of Polymer Science, Imperial College, London.  For her contribution to science and the promotion of programmes for women in science. Dame Julia is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. As Chairman of the Athena project, a UK-wide initiative that aims to advance women in science, engineering and technology in higher education, she is seen as a role model for younger women considering a career in science.  

Professor David King FRS, Doctor of Science (DSc)

Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government and Head of the Office of Science and Technology. For his contribution to science. Professor King is a Fellow of the Royal Society and has been Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Cambridge since 1988.

Ms Tasmin Little, Doctor of Music (DMus)

One of the world’s most accomplished classical violinists.  For her contribution to music.  Ms Little was educated at the Yehudi Menuhin School and Guildhall School of Music and has performed as a soloist around the world.

Mrs Hazel Thornton, Doctor of Science (DSc)  

Hazel Thornton Founding Chairman, Consumers’ Advisory Group for Clinical Trials.  For her contribution to medicine and patient care.  

Dr David Western, Doctor of Science (DSc)

Chairman of the African Conservation Centre, Nairobi and former Head of the Kenya Wildlife Service. For his contribution to wildlife conservation. He was an undergraduate student of the University of Leicester  and is considered to be one of the top conservation ecologists in the world.

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