Honorary Fellows 2015

Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee

For outstanding contribution to education in Malaysia

Image of Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUSenator Al-Habshee is the Chairman of Kolej Teknologi YPC-iTWEB (Kolej YPC) in Malaysia, a not-for-profit organisation, which offers opportunities for students from less privileged backgrounds to undertake higher education by providing scholarships and financial assistance.

The ethos of Kolej YPC is ‘Education for everybody’, and its mission is to provide affordable education opportunities for all. It specifically aims to equip students with the most current knowledge and skills in business and technology, to ensure that future generations are well prepared to face the progressive and ever-changing world of this industry.

Read the oration for Senator Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-Habshee.

Professor Viv Bennett

For outstanding services to public health nursing

Image of Viv Bennett accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUViv has been Nurse Director for Public Health England since 2012. As the Government’s Principal Advisor on Public Health Nursing, she provides high quality and independent nursing advice to ministers and officials on policy issues and public health nursing and is the national lead for developing public health nursing and midwifery. She leads the national programme ‘Best Start for All Our Children’ and the Health Visiting and School Nurse Development programmes. 

Viv’s professional responsibilities including the national health care professionals programme ‘Caring for the Population’s Health’ and advising WHO Europe on nursing and midwifery strategy. She is a ‘digital social media champion’ using blogs and twitter to connect with professionals, partners and the public on health and wellbeing. Viv has a Masters degree at University Bristol in health and social policy, is an Honorary Fellow and Visiting Professor at King’s College London, and is a Fellow of the Queen’s Nursing Institute and the Institute of Health Visiting.

Read the oration for Professor Viv Bennett.

Ramsey Campbell

For outstanding contribution to literature

Image of Ramsey Campbell accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUBorn in Liverpool, Ramsey attended St Edwards’ College, and has lived all of his life on Merseyside. He is a writer, editor and critic who has been a creative force for over 50 years. He is perhaps the world’s most decorated author of horror, winning four World Fantasy Awards, ten British Fantasy Awards, three Bram Stoker Awards, and the Horror Writers’ Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Ramsey has a longstanding relationship with BBC Radio Merseyside, where he regularly broadcasts, having reviewed films for the station for almost forty years. In recent years the Liverpool Echo included him as a member of ‘The Scouserati’ – the 366 most influential Scousers on the planet.

Read the oration for Ramsey Campbell.

David Charters

For his contribution to writing and communications

Image of David Charters accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUDavid has been a journalist on Merseyside for 50 years, starting at the Birkenhead News. He freelanced for national and regional publications, as well as TV and radio, before joining the Liverpool Daily Post, where he held several positions in the reporters' room and the newsdesk, before becoming a feature writer, winning numerous awards. He is best known for his weekly column, which ran for almost 25 years until the Post ceased publication. For more than two years, he has been writing a Friday column in the Wirral edition of the Echo.  

He is the author of a number of books; Liverpool: The World In One City, Great Liverpudlians, and Life, Love and Washing Up and the play, A Dream Of Wilfred Owen. David is a founder judge in the Liverpool Athenaeum competition for young writers. The poem David wrote in memory of the lives lost in the Hillsborough Disaster is cast in bronze on the memorial at the bottom of St John's Gardens, Liverpool.

Read the oration for David Charters.

Lady Grantchester

For her contribution to arts, business and community

Image of Lady Grantchester accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMULady Grantchester, Betty Suenson-Taylor (née Betty Moores) is a member of the Moores family and the daughter of Sir John Moores. LJMU took its name from Sir John Moores, founder of the Littlewoods empire and one of the great civic leaders of his time. Lady Grantchester was educated at Newnham College, Cambridge and was a Director of Littlewoods between 1977 and 1997.  

She is a great supporter of alma mater and in particular, the Lucy Cavendish College which encourages mature women back into education. Lady Grantchester is the lead patron of the John Moores Painting prize, a biennial competition celebrating contemporary art in the UK that was established by her father, and the John Moores Painting Prize China, supporting emerging artists in the region.

Read the oration for Lady Grantchester.

Andrew Miller MP

For outstanding services to science and technology in politics

Image of Andrew Miller accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUAndrew was Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston from 1992-2015. He was educated in Malta and at the London School of Economics, and holds a Diploma in Industrial Relations.  He has been Chair of both the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee and the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee during the last Parliament. He represented 70,000 electors and as well as dealing with numerous widely diverse issues at constituency level, in addition to other Parliamentary roles. 

The Science Council recognised him as “one of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists” of 2014 and in November 2014 he was awarded an honorary DSc by the University of Chester. Andrew is a keen supporter of the work of the Astrophysics Research Institute and recently hosted a special event for the team in the House of Commons to help promote their work within Parliament.

Read the oration for Andrew Miller MP.

Ronald Muirhead

In recognition of his outstanding service to the Office of the Lord Lieutenancy of Merseyside

Image of Ronald Muirhead accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUA research scientist by profession, Ronald Muirhead was born in Glasgow in 1935. He started his academic career at Aberdeen University, pursing a medical degree. He switched from medicine to the more academic pursuit of biochemistry, attracted to the life of a research scientist. 

He was appointed as a research biochemist at the Cardiothoracic Centre in Liverpool.

He has been a steadfast supporter and partner to his wife Dame Lorna Muirhead, Lord Lieutenant of Liverpool.

Read the oration for Ronald Muirhead.

Professor Sir Howard Newby CBE

For outstanding services to higher education

Image of Sir Howard Newby accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUProfessor Sir Howard Newby CBE was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool from 2008 to 2014. Sir Howard grew up in Derbyshire and attended the University of Essex where he gained a BA and PhD. He was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of England (UWE), having also  been Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). 

He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton from 1994 to 2001 and Chairman and Chief Executive of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). 

From 1999 to 2001, Sir Howard was President of Universities UK, the UK body which represents the university sector. He was also President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 2001-2002. He was made a CBE in 1995 for services to social science and received a knighthood in 2000 for services to higher education. He helped to enhance the University of Liverpool's reputation as a centre for "knowledge exchange", extending its partner university in China.

Read the oration for Professor Sir Howard Newby CBE.

Dame Philippa Russell

For outstanding contribution to disability rights and unwavering support for carers, their families and disabled children

Image of Philippa Russell accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUDame Philippa Russell has been chair of the UK government Standing Commission on Carers since 2007; the independent advisory body providing expert advice to Ministers and the Carers Strategy Cross-Government Programme Board. She was formerly Director of the Council for Disabled Children and a Commissioner with the Disability Rights Commission. 

She is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was awarded an OBE for her work with children with special educational needs and their families, and the CBE for services to disabled people.

In the 2009 Queens Birthday Honours List, she was made a Dame. In 1990 she was awarded the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Centenary International Award for women who have contributed to the field of learning disability and in 2004 she was awarded the 4Children Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in developing childcare and other services for disabled children and their families. In 2005 she received the RADAR (Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation) Lifetime Achievement Award for the furtherance of the human and civil rights of disabled people.

Read the oration for Dame Philippa Russell.

Deborah Shackleton

In recognition of outstanding services to social housing, regeneration and education

Image of Deborah Shackleton accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMUDeborah was born in Huddersfield and brought up in Derbyshire. She read mathematics at Oxford University. 

Helping other people to put down roots has been at the heart of Deborah’s professional life. Until her retirement in 2011, she was Chief Executive of the Riverside Group, a not-for-profit charitable housing association and property company with over 52,000 homes available for rent in 200 local authorities across England and Wales.

Deborah served as Governor at Liverpool John Moores University from 2003 to 2014.

Her vision and inspirational leadership was recognised in 2009 when she was awarded a CBE for services to the housing sector.

Read the oration for Deborah Shackleton.

Most Reverend Justin Welby

For outstanding contribution to society and for speaking out against social injustices, both at home and on an international platform

Image of Archbishop Justin Welby accepting their Honorary Fellowship at LJMU

He was ordained Deacon in 1992 and spent 15 years serving Coventry Diocese. He was made a Canon of Coventry Cathedral in 2002 and five years later was installed as Dean of Liverpool. During his time at Liverpool, he brought the Cathedral into greater contact with the local community, working with asylum seekers in partnership with neighbouring churches.

In 2011, he was announced as the new Bishop of Durham and went on to become the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury on 4 February 2013.

As an expert on the politics and history of Kenya and Nigeria, he has lectured on reconciliation at the US State Department. He was also a member of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.