Honorary Awards to recognise sporting excellence and community service

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SPORTING excellence and community service figure strongly among those chosen to receive an Honorary Award from the University of Derby.

Professor John Coyne, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “The University has always been very fortunate in the calibre of individuals accepting its Honorary Awards and the 2012 Awards Ceremonies will be no exception.

“We have three great supporters of British sport, three champions of work in the community, and an academic and artist at the top of his field. I am very much looking forward to seeing them honoured by the University in January.

“It is a very real personal pleasure that amongst them will be our former Chair of Governing Council, Dianne Jeffrey. Dianne’s inspirational guidance of our University over the past nine years has been pivotal in creating our current success.”

Around 2,000 students will graduate from the University at its annual Awards Ceremonies on January 19 and 20, in the Great Hall at the Assembly Rooms in Derby city-centre.

The 2012 honorary graduates will be:

Archie Gemmill: Former footballer Archie Gemmill represented Scotland 43 times. Brian Clough and Peter Taylor brought Archie to Derby County in 1970, where he played for seven years. During that time Derby County won the league championship twice. In retirement Archie has remained active in the sport, from coaching to supporting local and national football initiatives.

Mike Ingham MBE: Mike is BBC Radio 5 Live’s Chief Football Correspondent. A veteran broadcaster, he began his career at BBC Radio Derby in 1973. Since he began commentating on football in 1984 Mike has covered 25 FA Cup Finals and seven World Cups.

Dianne Jeffrey CBE: An ardent supporter of lifelong learning, she promotes the value of older people within society and in celebrating people’s achievements. Dianne has been an Honorary Colonel of the Derbyshire Army Cadet Force since 2003 and is also a Deputy Lieutenant. Dianne was Chair of the University’s Governing Council from 1999 to 2011, and is the founder and current Chair of Age UK.

George Mighty MBE: George has been active in the Derby community for almost 50 years. He has been part of the Derby West Indian Community Association since 1962, and its Chair since 1986. He has invested immeasurable time and energy into improving the city’s social cohesion.

Don Amott: Since leaving school aged 15 Don has built up a multi-million pound empire, which employs hundreds of people across Derbyshire and Lincolnshire. He was previously co-owner of Derby County Football Club and is currently its Honorary Vice-President. Don was also Chairman of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. He continues to support the community, keenly sponsoring several local sports teams and clubs.

Dr Emmanuel Cooper OBE: An internationally distinguished working potter, writer, exhibition creator and lecturer. His first solo show was in London in 1968 and he continues to exhibit. He is the author of many books on ceramics and was awarded an OBE for services to the arts.

Liz Burnley CBE DL: Liz has been a Girlguiding UK volunteer all her adult life and recently stood down as Chief Guide after five years. She is an active volunteer with the Motor Neurone Disease Association and a trustee of the WRVS.

Before the Derby Awards in January, the University’s Buxton Campus will host its own graduation ceremony on Saturday December 3.

The honoraries at that ceremony will be former High Peak MP Tom Levitt and Andrew Pugh, Managing Director of the Heights of Abraham in Matlock.

For more information about all the University’s upcoming Awards Ceremonies visit www.derby.ac.uk/graduation