Honorary Graduands announced for 2011

Jun 21 2011 5:00PM

This autumn, UCS students will graduate in formal ceremonies held across Suffolk and Great Yarmouth. UCS is looking forward to recognising the achievements of its students and welcoming them to its official ceremonies.

As part of the formality of graduation, UCS will also welcome a number of notable individuals to the ceremonies and present them with Honorary Awards.

This year, Honorary Awards will be given to:

Celia Anderson|

Gary Avis|

June Brown|

Simon Clegg|

Terry Hunt|

William Kendall|

Dr Akmal Makhdum|

Yvonne Mason|

Nigel Pickover|

Further information about our Honorary Graduands is available below.


Celia Anderson – Honorary Fellowship (Lowestoft)
Celia Anderson led the Skills for Energy programmes in the East of England as part of a pilot programme by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It is widely held as an exemplar and is a unique collaborative partnership between public, private, and education sectors, addressing the energy industry’s skills issues.

She now works for the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR), leading and delivering routes into the industry for people of all skill levels and up-skilling the existing workforce. 


Gary Avis – Honorary Doctorate (Ipswich)
Gary Avis is widely recognised as a Ballet Master and Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. Born in Ipswich, Gary was awarded a contract to dance with The Royal Ballet Company at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden where he was promoted to Soloist.

A leading dance actor of his generation, Gary has performed at many of the great opera houses around the world and continues to perform an incredible variety of the most demanding roles in The Royal Ballet repertory including: Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker, Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, Orion in Sylvia, Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, Monsieur GM in Manon and Ugly Sister in Cinderella. He is perhaps best known for his award winning partnership with the great British Prima Ballerina, Darcey Bussell.

In addition to creating roles with Bussell at Covent Garden, he also partnered her in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth as her farewell performance at Covent Garden, broadcast live by BBC Television around the world. He subsequently joined her as a special guest with Katherine Jenkins on their Viva La Diva Arena Tour and as her guest partner on the cult BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing.

With an international career now in its 22nd year, he has created roles for and worked with many of the world’s greatest Choreographers including Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Twyla Tharp, Glen Tetley, Mark Morris, Ronald Hynd, Christopher Bruce, Christopher Wheeldon, William Tuckett, David Bintley, Ashley Page and Alastair Marriott. 


June Brown – Honorary Doctorate (Ipswich)
June Brown MBE is a British actress best known for her role as the busy-body, chain-smoking gossip Dot Cotton in the long running British soap opera EastEnders for which she received a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2005 British Soap Awards.

Born in Needham Market, June’s career began over 40 years ago with the TV drama The Buried Man and since then the veteran actress has earned theatre credits for both acting and directing, making high profile television appearances on shows such as Doctor Who, Coronation Street, Minder, The Bill and The Sweeney.

In addition to her on-screen activities, June has been active in British theatre directing Pin Money (by Malcolm Needs) in London, and Double D in London and Edinburgh. She played the character Mrs Danvers in a production of Rebecca and has starred in a variety of other plays such as An Inspector Calls, The Lion in Winter and A View from the Bridge, as well as numerous pantomimes, including The Witches - in which her sister also performed. 


Simon Clegg – Honorary Doctorate (Ipswich)
Simon Clegg is one of the country’s most experienced sports leaders, becoming the British Olympic Association’s first Chief Executive in 1997 and leading the national campaign to persuade the government and the Mayor of London to support a bid by London for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2009 he became Chief Executive of Ipswich Town Football Club. He was awarded an OBE in 2001, a CBE in 2005 and in 2008 he received the British Sports Journalist’s JL Manning Award for outstanding contribution to sport off the field of play. 


Terry Hunt – Honorary Fellowship (Bury St Edmunds)
Terry Hunt has been Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times since 1996- a well established local paper at the heart of the community and actively supports the Arts across Suffolk.

Terry joined the East Anglian Daily Times as a junior reporter at Bury St Edmunds in 1979 and had a wide variety of editorial roles, including news editor, sports editor and district chief reporter, before becoming editor of the Evening Star in October 1993. In May 1996, he was appointed to the editorship of the East Anglian Daily Times.

Away from work, Terry is a life-long supporter of Ipswich Town, has run two London Marathons and is a patron of the Thomas Cardinal Wolsey Project, a special trust to honour Ipswich’s most famous son. 


William Kendall – Honorary Doctorate (Ipswich)
William Kendall is an environmentalist, entrepreneur and Suffolk organic farmer. He ran The New Covent Garden Soup Company for most of its first 10 years before buying the then tiny Green & Black’s organic chocolate business.

In addition to serving as senior non-executive director of Adnams plc since 2002, William is also a director of Notcutts, the Suffolk based garden centre chain and is the Founder of Nemadi Advisors Limited, where he also serves as Chairman.

William invests in early stage and branded businesses and his portfolio currently includes a sheep’s wool insulation manufacturer, Sleeperz, a new lifestyle hotel group, and Moyses Stevens, the royal florist. 


Dr Akmal Makhdum – Honorary Fellowship (Ipswich)
Dr Akmal Makhdum is deputy medical director and consultant psychiatrist at Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

He holds prominent roles within the British-Pakistani healthcare community and is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the All British Pakistani Doctors Forum, which was set up in 2007 to represent over 6,000 NHS doctors in the UK who are from Pakistani cultural descent. He is also lead representative for the British-Pakistani medical community on the General Medical Council’s Equality and Diversity forum.

Dr Makhdum was the founder and first Chair of the British Pakistani Psychiatrists Association, which is the second largest association of psychiatrists in the UK. 


Yvonne Mason – Honorary Fellowship (Great Yarmouth)
Yvonne Mason is the successful businesswoman who sold her internationally successful business Fender Care back in 2005 to setup The Mason Trust to inspire Suffolk and Norfolk’s young people to achieve their dreams.

She provides motivational talks for students, encouraging them to consider the possibilities of working in the offshore, energy and maritime industries when they finish their education. The trust also funds a wide range of projects and individuals, from young carers to confidence-building activity holidays, from websites to radio stations, as well as developing partnerships with local and international businesses.

Yvonne also organised the first Norfolk Climate Run in 2010 in which 1,200 Norfolk teenagers participated, promoting the impact of climate change on the county and encouraging young people to explore the opportunities available to them in education and training.


Nigel Pickover – Honorary Fellowship (Ipswich)
Nigel Pickover has been editor of the Evening Star in Ipswich since 1996. Starting as a cub reporter when he was 17, Nigel has enjoyed 35 years in daily newspapers.

Before moving to Ipswich, Nigel worked for The Star in Sheffield as crime reporter and later moved on to the newsdesk and features desk, including a period as a sub-editor. After ten years in Yorkshire, and following subbing shifts on the Daily Mail, he left to join the Daily Express in Manchester and was promoted to Deputy Chief Sub-Editor before joining the Yorkshire Evening Press in York.

In 1994 he joined the Evening Star as Deputy Editor and was promoted to the Editor’s chair in 1996 where under his command, the newspaper has become one Britain’s most successful and campaigning daily titles- winning more than a dozen Newspaper of the Year titles, including a unique hat-trick of Press Gazette Daily Newspaper gongs.