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Annual Review, 2005-2006

Honorary graduates

Since its inception, the University has awarded over 200 honorary degrees to people from all walks of life. Actors, musicians, writers, politicians, journalists, local dignitaries, and sportsmen and women have been honoured, as well as internationally-renowned academics. During 2005-2006, honorary degrees were awarded to the following:


Nick Broomfield Nick Broomfield is a British documentary filmmaker who graduated from the University with a BA in Politics. His films include The Leader, The Driver, Kurt and Courtney, and the critically acclaimed Aileen: The Life and Death of a Serial Killer which was, in part, the inspiration for the Oscar-winning movie Monster. Since making this documentary, Nick has become involved with anti-death penalty groups Amicus and MC International. Nick's latest film, His Big White Self, a follow-up to The Leader, was broadcast on Channel 4.


Shami Chakrabarti Shami Chakrabarti became Director of Liberty, one of the UK's leading human rights and civil liberties organisations, in September 2003. She was previously an active member of the Social Democrat Party and then worked as a barrister at the Home Office before joining Liberty in 2001. Shami spent the next two years campaigning against the increasingly severe anti-terrorist measures that followed 9/11 and is a prominent opponent of counter-terrorism legislation.


The Right Honourable Sir Philip Otton PC The Right Honourable Sir Philip Otton PC is a retired judge of the Court of Appeal. He was appointed a High Court Judge (Queen's Bench Division) in 1983, to the Court of Appeal in 1985 and to the Court of Appeal in Gibraltar in 2004. He continues to sit in the Privy Council and the Court of Appeal on occasions. Sir Philip was President of the Society of Construction Law, President of the Personal Injury Bar Association and is an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Judicial Administration at Birmingham University. In 2004 he was re-appointed, by the Prime Minister, as a Surveillance Commissioner, a post he will hold until 2007. He has also been a Visitor to the University since 2000.


Anne Owers Anne Owers, CBE is the first woman to hold the post of HM Chief Inspector of Prisons. She is a veteran human rights campaigner, and was Director of Justice, an all-party legal organisation dubbed the ‘conscience of the legal profession'. As Director of Justice, Anne was a member of various government committees, including the Home Office Task Force on the implementation of the Human Rights Act. Perhaps her greatest triumph has been the setting up of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which investigates miscarriages of justice, such as the case of Derek Bentley.



Professor Simon Schama, CBE Professor Simon Schama, CBE studied History at Cambridge before lecturing at Cambridge and Oxford. After 13 years as a professor at Harvard University, he is now at Columbia University. He has produced numerous publications, as well as writing and presenting the fifteen-part series A History of Britain for the BBC and the History Channel, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. He also wrote three books to accompany the series. After the publication, in 2005, of Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution, he began work on an eight-part television and book series, The Power of Art, to be broadcast in spring 2007. Professor Schama also writes for The New Yorker, where he was art critic between 1995 and 1998.


Stewart Till, CBE Stewart Till, CBE graduated from Essex with an MA in American Politics and is now Chairman and CEO of United International Pictures (UIP), the world's leading distributor of feature length motion pictures. He is responsible for overseeing the distribution of Paramount, Universal and DreamWorks productions. Stewart previously worked in advertising, before moving to hold positions at WEA Records and CBS/Fox Video. He helped orchestrate the launch of Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television network and was Head of Movies at BSkyB. Stewart is Chairman of the UK Film Council, which is a government-backed strategic agency for film in the UK, and was awarded a CBE in the 2000 New Year's Honours.


Rose Tremain Rose Tremain is the author of nine novels and four collections of short stories, the latest of which is The Darkness of Wallis Simpson. Her 1989 novel Restoration, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award, was made into a film in 1995. Rose has won the Whitbread Novel Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger. Her most recent novel, The Colour, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2003, is now being made into a film. Rose taught on the Creative Writing scheme at the University of East Anglia from 1988 to 1995. She was a Booker Prize judge in 1998 and 2000. Her works have been published in 25 countries worldwide.


Sir John Tusa Sir John Tusa has been Managing Director of the Barbican Centre since 1995. He studied at Trinity College, Cambridge before joining the BBC in 1979 to work on Newsnight. He was named Royal Television Society's TV Journalist of the Year in 1983 and received BAFTA's Richard Dimbleby Award in 1995. In 1982 he launched the pioneering BBC2 history programme Timewatch. Sir John was made Managing Director of the BBC External Services, later BBC World Service, in 1988, where he established BBC World Service Television. He has co-authored two books of contemporary history and writes for national newspapers. In 2003 he gave the University's Annual Burrows Lecture on East Tilbury's Bata Shoe Factory. In 1998 he received the Order of the White Rose of Finland, Knight First Class.


Reem Al Mealla, second-year BSc Marine and Freshwater Biology student, Hamad Town, Bahrain