Nominations open for 2024 honorary graduates

2 January 2024
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A head and shoulders photo of Annie Clements dressed in graduation robes and smiling
Annie Clements

The University of Suffolk has opened up nominations for honorary graduates to be recognised in 2024 – and members of the public can put forward their ideas for who should be honoured.

Each year the University confers a number of honorary degrees to extraordinary people in the community or well-known public figures to celebrate their achievements.

This year, five people with prominent links to Suffolk were honoured – historian, author and dialect coach Charlie Haylock; Rural Coffee Caravan chief executive Ann Osborn; former Ipswich mayor Hamil Clarke; broadcaster and author Zeb Soanes and nurse and campaigner Cathy Ryan.

Other well-known local figures who received honorary degrees from the University in prior years include former BBC Radio Suffolk presenters Mark Murphy and Stephen Foster; singers Nik Kershaw, Ed Sheeran MBE and Kerry Ellis; BBC journalist and presenter Bill Turnbull; and charity bosses Terry Baxter, Maureen Reynel MBE, Brian Tobin and Annie Clements (pictured).

Nomination forms have opened online, with members of the public, staff, alumni and students able to put forward their suggestions before April 30 2024 for who they think should be honoured.

The University is looking for individuals in recognition for their outstanding achievement or distinction in the following:

•    Their contribution to the educational or cultural wellbeing of society or to business, industry or enterprise;
•    For academic distinction or services to academic disciplines of particular interest to the University;
•    For public or community service that exceeds professional or job requirements;
•    Achievement in the face of disadvantage;
•    For an exceptional contribution to the University.

Honorary awards will not normally be conferred on serving politicians, a serving or retired member of the University governing body or the governing body of a partner college, or an employee of the University or partner colleges.

Professor Helen Langton MBE, Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of Suffolk, said: “Alongside celebrating the achievements of our students, recognising the work of those in our communities with honorary degrees is a really important part of our graduation ceremonies.

“It may be someone who has achieved extraordinary things in the face of adversity, those who go above and beyond in the community or those who have made an exceptional contribution to the University.

“We have opened our nominations process for 2024 and we really look forward to seeing the suggestions put forward for us to consider for next year.”

Nominations can be submitted by completing the form online here as well as full information on making a nomination.

Nominations are strictly confidential and those submitting a form should not approach or discuss their intention with the people they are looking to nominate. 

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