Published on 27 June 2019
The University of Sunderland will give honorary awards to five distinguished figures from July 8 to 12 at their annual Graduation Ceremonies. They are:
- Martin Longstaff (singer, songwriter and teacher)
- The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley (Bishop of Ripon)
- Darren Henley OBE (Chief Executive, Arts Council England)
- Mitch Mitchell MBE QVS (Major General in the British Army)
- Nadine Shah (singer, songwriter and campaigner)
The honoraries will be joined by almost 3,000 graduates receiving awards from University Chancellor Emeli Sandé MBE.
Close to 12,000 people are expected to attend the Academic Awards at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, which are estimated to bring £1million annually to the region.
The region’s contribution to the music world will be recognised at the awards with two very different artists. Sunderland-born singer songwriter Martin Longstaff is perhaps better known as The Lake Poets. Though Martin has long been recognized as a great talent, Netflix’s documentary Sunderland 'Til I Die has brought his music onto the world stage, with his theme tune, Shipyards. Martin graduated from the University with a degree in Primary Education in 2012. He will receive an Honorary Doctorate of Arts alongside musician and campaigner Nadine Shah. Nadine was born in Whitburn and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize for her third album, Holiday Destination. As well as her music Miss Shah campaigns on mental health and inequality issues.
The arts – both musical and otherwise – are well represented by Honorary Doctor of Arts Darren Henley OBE, who isChief Executive, Arts Council England. Mr Henley has had a long and distinguished career in the arts, and is a frequent visitor to Sunderland and the north east. Mr Henley is a member of the Government's Creative Industries Council and a member of the UK Council of the Creative Industries Federation. He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to music.
The University and city’s close links with the military will be celebrated when Mitch Mitchell MBE QVS, aMajor General in the British Army receives an Honorary Doctor of Technology. Also honoured will be The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, who will be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education.
A full list of all honoraries and their awards follows below.
University of Sunderland Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell KCB commented: "I am delighted to play tribute to those who are receiving honorary awards at this summer’s graduation ceremonies. Without exception, they have all made a significant contribution in their chosen field of work. Not only that, they are an inspiration to our graduates who are celebrating their academic success before embarking on the next phase of life.
“The University of Sunderland has been life-changing for the class of 2019. Every individual recognised at graduation has the potential to make a major difference to our region and to wider society, both nationally and internationally. They are truly the tomorrow makers.”
Nadine Shah – Monday, 8 July
Singer, songwriter and campaigner
Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her outstanding career as a singer-songwriter and her personal campaign to support mental health and inequality issues.
Mitch Mitchell MBE QVS – Wednesday, 10 July
Major General in the British Army
Honorary Doctor of Technology in recognition of his work developing strategic thinking and leadership skills, across the network of armed forces.
The Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley – Thursday, 11 July
Bishop of Ripon
Honorary Doctor of Education in recognition of her academic success as a theologian, and in promoting diversity, in particular the ordination of women.
Darren Henley OBE – Thursday, 11 July
Chief Executive, Arts Council England
Honorary Doctor of Arts in recognition of his outstanding career championing the important role of culture and the creative industries in shaping society.
Martin Longstaff – Friday, 12 July
Singer, songwriter and teacher
Honorary Doctor of Arts in recognition of his outstanding career as a musician, championing Sunderland’s cultural transformation and inspiring the next generation.