Leading lights receive honorary degrees

Olympic rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger will receive an honorary award from Buckinghamshire New University

Olympic rowing gold medallist Katherine Grainger, the BBC’s Director of Music Bob Shennan and Darren Henley, the Managing Director of Classic FM, are set to receive honorary awards during a week of graduation celebrations at Buckinghamshire New University.

Katherine, who is Britain’s most successful international female rower; Bob, who is also Controller of BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, and BBC Asian Network; and Darren, who was appointed an OBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List, will join 1,500 students and other honorary graduands at the University’s graduation ceremonies to be held at the Wycombe Swan Theatre.

In addition, Frances Alexander, who lives in High Wycombe, is a former Chair of Wycombe District Council and Mayor of High Wycombe and current Chair of Wycombe Environment Centre; Charles Vernon, a highly committed University supporter and recently-retired Group CEO of international company Gloster Furniture; and Barbara Poole, who is Chief Executive of the voluntary organisation People’s Voices, in Prestwood, Buckinghamshire, will also be recognised at this year’s ceremonies.

They will be joined by Brian Tranter, former Deputy Chair of Bucks New University’s Council, who lives in High Wycombe; Professor David Sines, former Pro Vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Society & Health at Bucks New University; and Dr Abdullah Dahlan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Business & Technology (UBT) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in being recognised.

Katherine Grainger has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate to mark her success and achievements in sport as an Olympic and World Champion rower and will receive her award on Wednesday 10 September. Katherine’s international rowing career took off in 1997 and since then she has won six World Championships. Uniquely in the UK, she has won World Championship medals in all available Olympic boat classes. She won three Olympic Silver rowing medals at Sydney, Athens and Beijing and in 2012 she won the Olympic Gold with Anna Watkins in the double scull. 

Katherine said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to accept an Honorary Doctorate from Bucks New University. It was a wonderful surprise and huge honour when I received the letter, and having such close ties to High Wycombe makes it even more special.”

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