Professor Watkins will become a Baroness and sit on the crossbenches after the Independent House of Lords Appointments Commission made the announcement.
The peerage is recognition of the work that Mary, Emeritus Professor of Healthcare Leadership at the University, has undertaken throughout her career in the fields of nursing, education, social enterprise and housing.
“I am honoured by this appointment,” said Professor Watkins. “As a nurse, I have been driven by the desire to improve patient care; as an academic I aimed to instil that ethos in students; and through my work in mental health and housing I endeavour to ensure that those most in need are considered when developing strategy.
“So I am truly humbled to be made a member of the House of Lords, and I promise to go on championing the contribution of nursing and the South West in this new and exciting phase of my life.”
Professor David Coslett, Interim Vice-Chancellor at Plymouth University, said: “We are delighted that Mary has been honoured for her life’s work in nursing and education. She has made an invaluable contribution, not just to this University, but to the region and nationally, particularly in the sphere of nursing education.”
James Brent, Chairman of the Board of Governors, added: “This is a truly deserved honour for Mary, who has made an immense difference across many key areas of society and will no doubt continue to do so from her seat in the House of Lords.”