The awards will be presented at this year's graduation ceremonies

Each year, Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has the opportunity to award Honorary Doctorates and Honorary Fellowships at its graduation ceremonies. Current BGU staff, students and University Council members were invited to nominate candidates for honorary awards.

Honorary Fellowship is awarded in recognition of outstanding contributions to the University; whilst Honorary Doctorate is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to academic achievement, social, economic or cultural life.

We're pleased to announce this year's award recipients, who will be honoured at graduation celebrations in July 2024.

Bishop Grosseteste University Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Stanton said: "As we approach this year's graduation ceremonies, I am delighted to announce the recipients of this year's Honorary Doctorates and Honorary Fellowships. We recognise these individuals for their enrichment of academic, social, economic, or cultural spheres, embodying the spirit of our institution.

“Their contributions inspire us and serve as beacons of achievement for our entire community, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and welcoming them into the esteemed ranks of our honorary awardees."

9th May 2024

Honorary Doctorates

Peter Levy

Peter was born in 1955 in the South of England but has lived in the north since he was 19. He has presented at three commercial radio stations in the 1970’s, including the well-known Radio City in Liverpool. Peter joined the BBC and Look North in 1987 and has been on the TV ever since.

In 2002, Peter started a new edition of Look North just for Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire. He has also presented political debates and Children in Need. Peter had a cameo role in every series of Still Open All Hours and has been in a pantomime and narrated numerous stage shows.

Peter’s hobbies are walking and theatre and spends a lot of time at the New Theatre Royal in Lincoln.

Peter has won many awards for broadcasting over the years including Radio News broadcaster of the year in 1996 and twice the Royal Television Society in Yorkshire presenter of the year. Peter was also given the Lord Mayor of Hull’s civic crown award for his charity work.

Peter Levy has been in broadcasting for 49 years.

Hannah Gold Photo1

Hannah Gold

Hannah Gold worked in the film and magazine industries before taking time out to pursue her dream of writing. The Last Bear was her middle-grade debut which became a Sunday Times bestseller and won a multitude of national awards, including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2022. Since then, she has written The Lost Whale, Finding Bear, and her brand-new book, Turtle Moon.

Hannah's books have sold over 230,000 copies in the UK alone and been translated into 27 languages. She is also an ambassador for Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and lives in Lincolnshire with her tortoise and her husband.

Distinguished Honorary Fellowships

Alex Baxter

Following service in specialist units of the Royal Navy, Alex moved to apply these experiences to the development of applications in the world of commercial aviation, where as General Manager at a regional airport his forward-looking approach and creative ability developed new terminal, fuelling, security and ground services infrastructure, thus increasing passenger numbers and route expansion. Alex built on these unique skill combinations, moving to take up post as a senior Director at a UK information technology firm, where successful growth in UK, Canada, United States, Australia, and Hong Kong led to an approach and his subsequent appointment as Chief Executive (ROW) for a United States company based out of Rochester N.Y. Moved to join Smiths Detection UK Civil Businesses (Smiths Group plc (FTSE 100 Company) in 2003 as its President, also serving as a Director of Smiths Military Division. His successful track record delivered complex security infrastructure programmes within secure government areas and at major sporting events.

He successfully drove Smiths UK Civil business forward securing long term major delivery and technical support contracts with British Airports Authority; adding in 2008 a Smiths major events portfolio supporting FIFA World Cup South Africa, Military Games Brazil, Commonwealth Games India, Glasgow, Asian Games Ashgabat Turkmenistan, Winter Olympics Whistler Canada, Sochi Russian Federation. Summer Olympics London 2012.

Alex left Smiths Group in late 2009 to work with a German Detection equipment manufacturer and currently works with an emerging Cyber firm as an advisor and serves as a Director of a UK detection company supporting border and port security systems in central Europe and Afghanistan border regions.


A passionate believer in the interest of the Armed Forces Community, Alex holds current public service appointments as Chairman for the Veterans Advisory & Pensions Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber and previously as Justice of the Peace (magistrate) in both criminal & youth courts, Justice/Judge in the Family Proceedings court for the Humber and South Yorkshire Cluster. Also, a member of the Reserve Forces & Cadet Association for Yorkshire & Humber and Chairman of Governors at Franklin Sixth Form College and served as Corporate Fellow (Governor) of St James School Grimsby. Alex is also Armed Forces Champion for North East Lincolnshire Council, a member of the NHS Armed Forces Network and in June 2015 completed his terms as Mayor and Chairman of North East Lincolnshire Council.

Currently Managing Director of Joint Services Major Events Team delivering all aspects of civil/military engagement and the Armed Forces Community Covenant on behalf of North East Lincolnshire Council. He is well-known as the architect and organiser of the region’s major flag-ship event which attracts massive numbers of visitors and substantially bolsters the local economy and reputation. A recipient of the ‘Prime Ministers’ Points–of-Light award and Commissioned Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Lincolnshire 2017.

Judith Jones


Judith Jones is an educationalist, an historian, and an academic who spent her career working in Lincoln and the East Midlands with a passionate interest in Lincoln, the County, its history, and its Cathedral; exploring, researching, and chronicling some of the momentous events in the cathedral’s history, such as the impact of the Henrician Reformation on the Cathedral community. In later years, she travelled the length and breadth of the country for the Sandford Trust evaluating educational projects large and small.

Judith was awarded her BA (Hons) degree at Nottingham University in Medieval and Modern History, and she went on to earn a Distinction in her PGCE.

Passionate about her subject, she taught History for many years at a Lincoln comprehensive school, relishing the task of inspiring young people of all abilities to enjoy studying the past. She herself went on to study part time for a Master’s degree in Local and Regional History and also became an Assistant Head.

Judith was later appointed to a part time lectureship in the Department of Continuing Education at Nottingham University, combining this with her work at Bishop Grosseteste University where she taught trainee Primary Education students and contributed towards delivering a module of the Heritage Studies degree. She found enormous satisfaction in writing and delivering various courses such as the Local History Study which involved leading her students on many field visits.

For over ten years she acted as a voluntary judge for the Sandford Award, visiting many important historical sites such as Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, Burghley House, and Blenheim Palace and giving advice on their educational programmes. She has recently helped a group of volunteers in Wellingore to research and publish a history of their village and has provided the historical content for a series of “Journeys of Faith “ pilgrimage guidebooks. Her latest work ,“Tombstones and Monuments in Lincoln Cathedral ,“is about to be published. An experienced guide herself, she currently helps to train the guides at Lincoln Cathedral and gives occasional lectures on a range of historical subjects, including Katherine Swynford and the Lincolnshire Uprising.

Paul Deane

Paul Deane is the Principal and Chief Executive of Grantham College, he has over 25 years proven experience of successful leadership in Further and Higher Education with eighteen of these spent in Lincolnshire.

Paul, originally an economics graduate from Manchester University, began his career in the private sector in retail buying & merchandising in London before completing a MSc in Software Development at Huddersfield University. This led to work in computer aided manufacturing across Europe as well as developing knowledge transfer between the University and local industry. After a brief period in local government Paul settled in further education in Leeds where he completed an MBA at Leeds University.

Paul has worked in a number of FE Colleges & Universities and joined Grantham College in 2013.


Paul is a former national board member of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), the organisation that provides digital solutions for UK education and research, and a founding director of the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology. The Lincolnshire Institute of Technology is an example of successful collaboration between the FE and HE sectors, and Paul is proud to have fostered excellent collaborations with both Bishop Grosseteste University and the University of Lincoln as well as other Further Education Colleges and providers in supporting the needs of people and the economy in the region.

Honorary Fellowship

Richard Hallsworth


Richard was born in Grimsby and attended The Humberston School where during his GCSE years, his interest in business first came to light. He went on to read Commerce at the University of Birmingham before returning to Grimsby to train as a Chartered Accountant. Richard is now the Managing Partner of Lincoln based accountants, Nicholsons, which employs more than 55 people locally.

Alongside his work with business and individual clients, Richard’s passion for business planning and strategy development remains strong and he heads the firm’s Business Advisory Services and Corporate Finance team.

Richard is an advocate of working with the community and enjoys “giving back”. He worked as part of the Business Improvement Group in Market Rasen to deliver high street regeneration through the government backed Portas Pilot Scheme, he supports local food banks and in 2016, became a Trustee for Bishop Grosseteste University.

Richard believes that volunteering has significant and mutual benefits for both parties. On the one hand, the community can access skills and resources which may not otherwise be possible and for the individual, there is the opportunity to grow, learn and meet new people.

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