More information about each awardee can be found here.


Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) has announced the recipients of its Honorary Awards, which will be presented at upcoming graduation ceremonies in late July 2023.

Five awardees are set to receive Honorary Doctorates for their outstanding contributions to academic achievement, social, economic or cultural life.

Two Distinguished Honorary Fellowships will be awarded to individuals for exceptional contributions to the University and public life locally or regionally.

Among the Honorary Doctorate awardees are husband and wife, Claire and James Birch, whose fundraising efforts have supported several local projects, including the reinvigoration of Doddington Hall.

Charles Cormack, another recipient of an Honorary Doctorate, is recognised as a leader in international higher education. As the founder of the Ukraine Twinning initiative, his work paired UK and other international universities with Ukrainian universities to provide support and resources.

Dame Judith Mayhew-Jonas DBE will also receive an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her exceptional contributions over the course of her career, including as Dame Commander of the British Empire, Chairman of the Royal Opera House, Commissioner of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Chancellor of BGU.

Another recipient of the Honorary Doctorate is best-selling female historian Alison Weir acclaimed for her extensive body of work, including 21 history books and 14 historical novels, which have collectively sold three million copies worldwide.

Receiving a Distinguished Honorary Fellowship is Hannah Spencer, Managing Director of LAGAT College and Trustee and Vice Chair of the Lincolnshire Employment Accommodation Project (LEAP), which aims to tackle the issue of homelessness. Her work has so far helped over 1,500 individuals and families find stable housing and employment.

John O'Donoghue, a member of Lincoln BIG, will also receive a Distinguished Honorary Fellowship. His dedication to providing career opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students in Lincoln through his businesses has made a significant impact in the local area. He also acts as an external trustee for Bishop Grosseteste Students’ Union.

Bishop Grosseteste University Vice-Chancellor, The Rev’d Canon Professor Peter Neil said: “We are proud to be awarding this year’s honorary recipients for their expertise and service in their respective roles. I am delighted to welcome them to our wider BGU community.

“Each one of them is inspirational in their own right and all serve as excellent role models for our students in how to make a positive impact on society.”

The awards will be presented during graduation celebrations at Lincoln’s Cathedral. Awardees were nominated by students, retired staff, alumni, and current or former University Council members.

More information about each recipient can be found here.


3rd July 2023

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