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The University announces further honorary awards for graduation ceremonies across the county

16 Sep 2015 10:30AM

Further recipients of honorary awards at the University's graduation ceremonies have been announced.

Operations Director at Adnams Karen Hester will receive an honorary doctorate.

While the following will receive honorary fellowships; Chief Executive of East Anglias Childrens Hospices (EACH), Graham Butland, Chairman of Ipswich Central Management and Inspire Suffolk Terry Baxter, Managing Director of Muntons Alan Ridealgh, founder of Suffolk based manufacturing company, Warren Services Richard Bridgman, High Steward of Great Yarmouth Henry Cator OBE and Lowestoft actor Reece Ritchie.

Karen Hester joined Adnams in 1988 as a part-time cleaner. Today, as Chief Operating Officer, she is responsible for over 400 employees, ensuring the smooth daily operations of the Company. Karen won East of England Business Woman of the Year in 2008 and First Women Business of the Year in 2013. Most recently, Karen became the first woman to be appointed to the Adnams Board as an Executive Director since the Company formed in 1872.

Under Graham Butlands leadership, EACH has become one of the leading childrens hospices in the world and is one of the regions largest charities, with hospices in Milton, Quidenham and Ipswich. Graham Butland oversaw the Treehouse Appeal, a multi-million pound fundraising drive to build a new hospice in Ipswich, increasing the provision of support on offer.

Upon learning of the recognition to be bestowed upon him, Graham said "I am delighted to receive this honorary award. I am so lucky to have the best job in East Anglia heading up an organisation which has such a great team of staff and volunteers. The commitment of all of them to providing first class care and support to children and young people with life threatening illnesses is enormous. I regard the award as one for everybody connected with EACH, including our children and families who face challenges that thankfully most of us will never experience."

Ipswich-born Terry Baxter will receive an honorary fellowship. He has been the Chairman of Ipswich Central Management Ltd since 2013 and Chief Executive of the Education and Sport Charity Inspire Suffolk for seven years. Terry was formerly the breakfast presenter on BBC Radio Suffolk and Director of Communications at Ipswich Town Football Club.

He said "It is a great privilege to be recognised by UCS in the granting of an Honorary Fellowship. As someone who was born in Ipswich and now works and lives here, it is so exciting to see how much the Campus has achieved in its relatively short life and even more thrilling to hear about its plans for independence. I'd like to thank the Provost, Richard Lister and all who have seen fit to both surprise and honour me in this way."

AlanRidealgh joined Suffolk-based, family owned Muntons, a company that specialises in producing malt and malted ingredients for the food and drinks industry, in 1980. Alan joined Muntons at their Bridlington, East Yorkshire site rising in the ranks at the company. Alan went from Trainee Grain Buyer to Regional Grain Buyer to Deputy Managing Director and then Managing Director in January 2006, working at Bridlington and the head office in Stowmarket.

Richard Bridgman started his career carrying out a five year apprenticeship as a toolmaker in Surrey. He worked his way up through the ranks gaining hands on experience in all aspects of manufacturing. He was promoted to the role of Production Manager when the company moved to Brandon in Suffolk which he ran for many years. He formed his own engineering company Warren Services in 1990; this year celebrating 25 years of successful trading. His passion is training apprentices, which he recognised very early on, was the only answer to fill the skill shortage. He has been training his own apprentices for the last 20 years and still believes this is the best approach to training the workforce of the future.

His son has now taken over the company as Managing Director, with Richard as Chairman. Richard still remains closely involved in developing the companys Apprenticeship and Training Programme. Warren regularly holds open days for local students and other businesses to help them see what apprenticeship training involves; many previous apprentices now hold key positions within the company.

Former High Sheriff of Norfolk, Henry Cator OBE, runs his own mixed farm producing pedigree British White beef. He is currently Chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of England as well as the Association of Drainage Authorities which is the membership organisation representing all of the 140 Internal Drainage Boards in England and Wales. He is also Chairman of Trustees for the Norwich Cathedral Trust having successfully lead the campaign to raise 12.3M for the building of the new Refectory and Hostry buildings at Norwich Cathedral.

Reece Ritchie is a Lowestoft born actor who, after training with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, was spotted performing a monologue by a casting director at the Soho Theatre. This led to him playing the character Moha in Roland Emmerichs Warner Bros. prehistoric epic 10,000BC. Since then he has appeared in an array of studio films including Peter Jacksons 2009 film The Lovely Bones (based on Alice Seabolds novel of the same name), Disneys Prince of Persia, and more recently starring alongside actor Dwayne Johnson in the 2014 blockbuster Hercles. His stage credits include playing the pivotal role of Puck in Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream alongside Dame Judi Dench. He is currently shooting the British film Lies We Tell, alongside Harvey Keitel, Gabriel Byrne and Toyah Willcox.

Others receiving honorary awards are Suffolk singer songwriter Ed Sheeran, Akenfield authorRonald Blythe, former competitive ice dancer, bronze medallist and former Dancing on Ice judge Nicky Slater and Maureen Reynel, MBE, of Suffolk charity, FIND, a Christian-based charity providing emergency assistance to families or individuals affected by poverty or dispossession.

Honorary awards recognise notable contributions to the educational or cultural well-being of society, in business, industry, commerce or enterprise, for academic distinction, for public or community service or an exceptional contribution to the Univsersity.

Richard Lister, Vice Chancellor, said: "We are delighted to be able to welcome such a distinguished group of individuals as Honorary Graduates and Fellows. The range of backgrounds and professions that are represented and the quality of those accepting the award will enhance both the Graduation Ceremonies themselves and the life of the university in the future."

The honorary awards will be presented during formal graduation ceremonies celebrating the successes of approximately 1,800 students held across Suffolk and Great Yarmouth between 26 September and 21 October.