Reporter 448, 6 March 2000

Honorary degrees 2000 - further information

Lord Melvyn Bragg is to be installed as the new Chancellor of the University of Leeds on 8 June next year. The ceremony will include the conferral of honorary degrees upon several other distinguished people with links to the Yorkshire area, who are to be recognised for outstanding contributions in their field.

Melvyn Bragg was born in Cumbria, and has forged a widely acclaimed career as both a novelist and broadcaster. His achievements include regular contributions and appearances on several television and radio programmes, including BBC radio’s Start the Week. He also edits and presents The South Bank Show for London Weekend Television. He became head of arts at LWT in 1982, and was appointed controller of arts and chairman of Border Television in 1990. He was made a life peer in 1998.

Lord Bragg has published several novels that have received widespread critical acclaim and written several film screenplays and works for theatre. Lord Bragg has consistently been a strong supporter of the arts, especially schemes encouraging the involvement of young people, such as the Woolwich Young Radio Playwrights Competition. Melvyn Bragg is well known for his promotion of arts and literature, but has also chaired several television debates discussing the implications of modern scientific advances and their implications.

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell, CBE, has been a Professor of Physics at the Open University since 1991. Professor Bell Burnell first rose to prominence during her PhD studies at the University of Cambridge where she discovered the first four pulsars, or neutron stars. Jocelyn Bell Burnell has since been recognised for her contributions to physics and astronomy on innumerable occasions, including the prestigious Michelson Medal in 1973 and the Herschel Medal in 1989. Professor Bell Burnell was born in Belfast and schooled in York, and describes herself as: "A role model, a spokeswoman, a representative, and a promoter of women in science in the UK".

Lord Alan Bullock was the founding Master of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford University, and a tutor in modern history. Lord Bullock was brought up in Bradford before studying at Oxford University. He was Vice Chancellor of Oxford University from 1969-73, and has held strong links with national advisory bodies on education throughout his life. Lord Bullock’s biographies of Adolf Hitler and Ernest Bevin (Labour politician and foreign secretary after World War II) are internationally renowned. Lord Bullock has also written and edited a number of other publications, including a Dictionary of Modern Thought.

Jude Kelly, OBE, has been the artistic director and chief executive of the West Yorkshire Playhouse since 1993, forging one of the country’s most dynamic and successful provincial theatres. Jude Kelly has spent her life in the performing arts, and is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education. She began her career in drama at the Leicester Phoenix theatre in 1975 and later became Director of plays at the National theatre of Brent and Festival Director at the York Festival and Mystery plays. Since then she has gone on to become the founding director of the Solent people’s theatre, the artistic director of Battersea Arts centre, and the British representative for culture on UNESCO. She was awarded an OBE for her lifelong contribution to theatre and the performing arts in 1997.

Robert Ogden, CBE, is the owner and founder of the Ogden Group of companies, which includes one of the largest independent coal recovery businesses in Europe. The Ogden group has won five Queen’s awards since its foundation in 1956. Mr. Ogden has been a generous benefactor of both the University and other charities throughout Yorkshire, and is a founder trustee of the Development Trust for the Mentally Handicapped which has raised over £10 million to support regional projects. He has recently established a scholarships scheme to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete their A levels and apply to University. Robert Ogden has pledged to raise £2 million next year for the National Autistic Society.

Colonel Alan Roberts, MBE, has had a distinguished medical and military career , notably as lead researcher and inventor of Indermil Tissue Adhesive. He has also made a series of valuable contributions to the University of Leeds as Pro-Chancellor for the past fourteen years. Colonel Roberts has worked in academic institutions from Bradford to Malaysia, and is presently the Professor of Biomaterials in Surgery at the University of Hull and Consultant Clinical Scientist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Bradford. He has also held a series of editorial and broadcasting appointments, in addition to having written a multitude of publications during the course of his career.

The installation will take place on 8 June, 2000 in the University’s Great Hall.

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