Oscar-winning Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is to be given an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree during graduation week at the University of Lincoln.
He will be amongst almost 3,500 students collecting their degrees in 11 graduation ceremonies at Lincoln Cathedral next week.
He is one of the UK’s most distinguished screenwriters, with his television series, Downton Abbey, enjoying extraordinary success around the world. In 2011, Downton won six Emmy Awards, including Best Writer and Best Mini Series, as well as a Golden Globe, the Producer’s Guild Award and the prize for Best Drama at the National Television Awards. It was nominated for 16 Emmys for the second season, and this year was nominated for 12. Julian won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Gosford Park, his first-ever cinema script.
Dame Stephanie Shirley will also be honoured, as she becomes an Honorary Doctor of Science. Having arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939, Dame Stephanie has gone on to become one of the country’s most celebrated entrepreneurs and philanthropists.
An early pioneer of computing, Dame Stephanie adopted the name ‘Steve’ to aid her in the business world as she created a software house, offering part-time and flexible employment to professional women with dependents. She ensured that a quarter of her FTSE 250 Company was put into the hands of her staff, and when it was acquired years later began distributing her wealth to charitable causes. The Shirley Foundation is now one of the top 50 grant-giving foundations in the UK.
They will be joined by Andrea Spyropoulos, the President of the Royal College of Nursing, Barbara Dickson OBE, Scotland’s best-selling female album singer, Joshua Rozenberg, the acclaimed legal commentator and journalist, Chris Warmoth, Senior Vice President for the Carlsberg Group, and Professor Claire Cross from the University of York.
Roger Buttery, Trustee of the University of Lincoln’s Students’ Union and former member of the University’s Governing Body, will also accept an Honorary Fellowship.
The University of Lincoln’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Mary Stuart, says: “Graduation represents an opportunity to reflect on years of hard work and dedication, and look forward to many exciting times ahead. It is important to share this time with the friends, family and tutors who have supported our students throughout their degree courses, and we are also pleased to be recognising the outstanding accomplishments of our Honorary Graduates, who are inspirational to us all.”
Among the undergraduate students attending the ceremonies will be national cheerleading champion Kirstie Hudson, who graduates from the Lincoln Business School before taking up a role at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and Emma Everitt, who graduates with a Journalism degree having already secured a coveted position reporting on one of the biggest football clubs in the world, at Manchester United TV (MUTV).
This year’s ceremonies will also include the first cohort of BSc (Hons) Biology degree students to graduate from the University of Lincoln’s School of Life Sciences. Graduates have gone on to study at MSc and PhD level, as well as start their careers in medical microbiology and related fields.
Graduation ceremonies take place from Monday 8th – Thursday 11th September 2014 at 10:30am, 2:30pm and 7:30pm.