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Honorary graduates 2015 announced

An inspirational female entrepreneur, a successful businessman and a Portsmouth-based physicist are among those who will be receiving honorary degrees from the University of Portsmouth this year.

A human rights lawyer who has paved the way for women in her profession, an eminent chartered surveyor and the former head of the University Board of Governors will also be honoured.

Karen Blackett

Karen Blackett

Karen Blackett is a graduate of the University and is currently running the largest media agency in the UK, MediaCom. She was recently named Britain’s most powerful black person by UK Powerlist 2015, beating the likes of Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and Hollywood star Idris Elba. In June 2014 Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to media and communications.

Will King

Will King

Another Portsmouth graduate, Will King is also receiving an honorary degree. Will graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1987 and created his own shaving brand, King of Shaves.  In 2015 King of Shaves celebrated its 22nd anniversary, with products stocked by some of the world’s leading retailers in the UK, USA and many other countries. Will stepped down as CEO in October 2014 and is now a regular on the ‘Speakers for Schools’ programme founded by Robert Peston, and is a Director of E2Exchange – the UK’s ‘Institute of Entrepreneurs’.

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE

Jim Al-Khalili

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE is a Southsea resident as well as a physicist, author and broadcaster based at the University of Surrey where he also holds a chair in Public Engagement in Science. He receives this honour due to his outstanding work in promoting public engagement in science, his links with the Portsmouth community and his presentations at local schools and colleges as well as his links with departments in the University.

He is a regular presenter of TV science documentaries, including the Bafta nominated BBC series, Chemistry: A Volatile History, but is probably best known as presenter of the weekly BBC Radio 4 programme, The Life Scientific.

Helena Kennedy

Helena Kennedy

Leading barrister Helena Kennedy QC has acted in many of the most prominent cases during the last 30 years and was a seminal force in promoting equal opportunities for women at the Bar. A former chair of the Human Genetics Commission and the British Council, she has a strong interest in education and a special commitment to the arts. She is a former chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, currently president of the School of Oriental and African Studies and has received over 30 honorary degrees. She spoke at the 2015 Chancellor’s Dinner as Sandi Toksvig’s special guest.

Michael Newey

Michael Newey

Michael Newey is a chartered surveyor with a 28-year career that has seen him rise to global president of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He graduated from Portsmouth Polytechnic in 1986, and has been chosen due to his success in the field, as well as his loyal support of the University, particularly his involvement with the quantity surveying and property development degrees.

Stuart Iles

Stuart Iles

Stuart Iles was Chairman of the Board of Governors at the University from 2009 until 2014 overseeing the many changes at the University that followed government policy during this period. He is being honoured in recognition of the time he dedicated to the University, above and beyond the call of duty.

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  1. I am delighted to be honoured, thank you 🙂 See you in July!

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