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BAFTA nominated actress receives Honorary Doctorate

18 Oct 2016 8:45PM

Actress and the curator of Aldeburgh’s Documentary Film Festival, Diana Quick, has today received an Honorary Doctorate from the University.

The BAFTA nominated actress, known for playing Julia Flyte in the television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, received her award in front of over 100 students from the Faculty of Arts, Business and Applied Social Science at Ipswich’s Town Hall.

Diana lives near Aldeburgh and has curated the town’s annual Documentary Film Festival for the last six years.

She said “I regard this as a great honour. Suffolk is absolutely my adopted county, I love it so much that when I am driving down from London I still after having a home had here since the early 1980s go hooray when I come to Suffolk. It has a very unique combination of great tranquillity and rural peace and latterly a great sense of innovation and expansion and of new activities culturally. It is an exciting place to be. It feels to me that Ipswich itself as a town changing dramatically certainly since I first came here as a small child when it was a small market town with a not very thriving dockland and a lot of slightly derelict areas. It is now full of exciting and interesting enterprises in the Arts.”

“The University seems to be very innovative in its approach to the courses its offering and I am particularly excited in the work they are doing with less advantaged children to foster them from an early stage and to bring them up to where they might think that university can be a place for them too. I am very conscious that we live in a society which all too often is divided by class and by the opportunities that come or don’t come with where you have the luck or bad luck to be born.”

She had this message for those graduating “If there is something you want to do just stick to it. What I have observed in my lifetime is that the people that succeed aren’t always the people with the most opportunities at the beginning or with the most apparent innate talent, they are the ones that stick with it and who keep trying and remain tenacious and it is remarkable what you can achieve then.”

Diana added “I am very lucky to be joined by my family tonight and my close friends here and the youngest member of my family is my nine week old granddaughter so who knows perhaps in 18 years or so she might be enrolling at the University.”

“I wish the University great good luck and fortunate as it steps out on to this really very innovative path for it and I know it is an opportunity to reinvent and to make things better.”

Diana was joined at the ceremony by her lifetime partner actor Bill Nighy. He said “I’m deeply gratified that Diana should be honoured in this way I can’t think of anyone, generally speaking and specifically in terms of Suffolk, who is more worthy of such an honour. She is a rare and remarkable person and has a proper sense of civic responsibility. I admire her as much as I admire anyone and it’s thoughtful and righteous that the University should choose to bestow this doctorate upon her.”

Diana and Bill’s daughter Mary, son in law Louie and close friends Jonathan and Annabel Franklin also attended the ceremony.

Honorary Awards recognise notable contributions to the educational or cultural well-being of society. This can be in business, industry, commerce or enterprise, for academic distinction, for public or community service or an exceptional involvement in the University.

1,342 students will be conferred at ceremonies in Ipswich this week. The ceremonies mark the graduation of the last full student cohort of University Campus Suffolk. Next autumn will see the conferral of the first degrees awarded by the University of Suffolk.


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