Leading Figures to be Honoured With Doctorates

26th September 2014

One of the UK's most respected equal rights lawyers, an actor best known for his portrayal as Frank Gallagher, and the man responsible for bringing the largest bicycle race in the world to the streets of Sheffield are to be recognised with honorary doctorates from Sheffield Hallam University this year.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC is one of the UK's most distinguished lawyers. During her career she has worked on many high profile cases including the Guildford Four Appeal, the Michael Bettany Espionage case, the Jihadist fertiliser bomb plot, and the recent transatlantic bomb plot. Helena has also done much to campaign for equality. She has championed law reform for women, especially relating to sexual and domestic violence and has contributed to the fight for equal opportunities for women in the legal profession. Sheffield Hallam will open the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice in January which encompasses leading research in the area of human rights and a broad range of teaching and learning opportunities. She will be awarded an honorary doctorate for her services to the law and human rights. David Threlfall, studied art at Sheffield Hallam University for a year before heading across the Pennines to study drama in Manchester. An accomplished actor, David has amassed a range of television and film credits since his acting debut in 1977, including Mike Leigh's Kiss of Death, Spooks, Patriot Games, Hot Fuzz and his role as Tommy Cooper in the television film Tommy Cooper: Not Like That, Like This. David is probably best known for his portrayal of unemployed alcoholic Frank Gallagher in the BAFTA award winning Channel 4 drama Shameless, for which he won a Royal Television Society award. He has also directed several episodes of the show. David is a great role model for Sheffield Hallam's own stage and screen students, and is an excellent ambassador for the arts, for which he will be awarded an honorary doctorate. Gary Verity has been the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, since 2008. In the role he has successfully raised the national and international profile of Yorkshire as both a holiday destination and a place of outstanding natural beauty. Gary led the winning bid to bring the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014 to Yorkshire, beating other heavyweight bidders such as Florence, Barcelona, Utrecht, Berlin and Scotland to the post. Sheffield Hallam was proud to officially sponsor the event which saw millions of spectators line the city streets to watch some of the best cyclists in the world fly past in what was described by Tour director Christian Prudhomme as "the grandest of Grand Départs." In his spare time Gary is an award-winning sheep farmer and was awarded the title Yorkshireman of the Year 2012 for his outstanding charity work, raising more than £500,000 for cancer charities in Yorkshire since 2004. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the region. Dianne Jeffrey CBE has given her time generously over the years to public health, welfare and education causes. After graduating with a psychology degree, Dianne began her career by designing learning classes for sales staff at her family's Sheffield-based furniture business, Cantors. Dianne's natural affinity for leadership has seen her appointed chair of the NHS Confederation, and The University of Derby's Governing Council, where she was instrumental in helping the University achieve financial security and academic reputation. Currently, she chairs the charity AgeUK which helps inspire, enable and support older people. Upon hearing about her nomination Diane said: -I can't quite believe I've been nominated to receive an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University. Having the opportunity to address hundreds of graduates who are about to embark upon the next chapter of their lives is a true privilege and it will most definitely be one of the highlights of my career. Heather Croall became the director of Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2006. She turned a two day event into a five day international festival which now plays host to top names in the documentary film industry, as well as 20,000 public attendees. Heather is a documentary film-maker herself, having co-produced films such as The Big Melt and Velorama, commissioned to mark the arrival of the 2014 Tour de France to Yorkshire. Heather was named by The Alliance of Women Film Journalists as 2013's Ambassador of Women's Films for her work "to boost documentary film and open opportunities for women filmmakers." Heather will be awarded an honorary doctorate for services to film and culture. Professor John Brooks has a strong connection with Sheffield, having previously been Professor of Engineering Physics at Sheffield Hallam. He is now the Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University where he is currently leading on a £350 million investment programme in new teaching and learning facilities. Professor Brooks is a firm believer that education should be available to all who will benefit from it, which resonates strongly with the Sheffield Hallam's vision of broadening horizons. He will be awarded an honorary doctorate for his services to education. Martin Temple's connection to Sheffield comes in the form of steel. He previously worked for Avesta-Sheffield - a major steel producer and British Steel Stainless - and is currently chairman of the Design Council, the national strategic body for design industries which champions creative and intelligent design. Martin was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2005 for services to Engineering, and will receive an honorary doctorate for services to design and manufacturing. Chung Wei Ping has won numerous entrepreneurial and hospitality awards. He co-founded a well-known chain of Hong Kong restaurants and has devoted much of his working life to improving standards in hospitality and catering. He works closely with the University's Business School and is being awarded an honorary doctorate for his contribution to the global hospitality business. Ceremonies will take place at Sheffield City Hall between 10-21 November.

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