Honorary Graduates 2012
Most Reverend Desmond Tutu – Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)
Desmond Tutu was the first black South African Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. Having risen to worldwide fame in the 1980s as a central figure in South Africa’s fight against apartheid, he has used his high profile to campaign and fight numerous causes including AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.
Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Ian McMillan – Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)*
Ian McMillan has been an inspiration to many people in Yorkshire during his regular visits to schools, theatres, art centres, prisons and literary festivals where he shares his humour and passion for writing.
Ian appears regularly on television and radio and contributes articles to several national and regional newspapers. His poems have been published in many magazines and newspapers and broadcast on numerous television and radio shows. Ian also hosts the arts programme The Verb, which is broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Glynn Ryland – Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)
Glynn Ryland is an award winning media professional with a broad film and television career of 20 years. Glynn has worked predominantly in International roles for Universal Studios Networks (Worldwide Creative Manager) and NBC (Creative Director) launching and branding TV channels globally as well as producing promotional campaigns for many UK broadcasters, including ITV, MTV and BBC.
Glynn created a media support scheme for disadvantaged young talent while working for the trade charity of the UK film and TV industry: The Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund. Glynn set up and ran the BBC's first ever volunteering scheme, placing BBC staff with charities on media-related projects. Glynn currently works as Talent Manager for Channel 4, working with young people and new talent for the channel.
Julia Unwin CBE – Doctor of Laws (honoris causa)
Julia Unwin is Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust.
She was a member of the Housing Corporation Board for 10 years and a Charity Commissioner from 1998-2003. Julia was also Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency and worked as an independent consultant operating within government and the voluntary and corporate sectors. In that role, she focused on the development of services and in particular the governance and funding of voluntary organisations. Julia has researched and written extensively on the role, governance and funding of the voluntary sector.
She previously held a position as chair of the Refugee Council from 1995 until 1998, and is currently a member of the University of York’s Council and a member of Ashridge Business School’s Board of Governors. Julia was awarded a Fellowship of the City and Guilds of London Institute in October 2011.
Sandi Toksvig – Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)
Sandi was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated from Cambridge University with a first class degree. Sandi is well known for appearing on many Radio 4 programmes, she presented the travel programme Excess Baggage for ten years and is the current chair of The News Quiz. Her career has blended the worlds of theatre, television and radio in roles as diverse as Whose Line is it Anyway? QI, Big Night Out at the Little Palace Theatre (writer and performer) Pocket Dream (co-writer and performer) and as one of the original members of the Comedy Store Players.
Sandi is passionate about education and has recently been installed as Chancellor of Portsmouth University.
Dr Elizabeth White – Doctor of Health Sciences (honoris causa)
Dr Elizabeth White has been Head of Research and Development at the College of Occupational Therapists since 2002. Her remit includes the broad scope of knowledge management, specifically in relation to the strategic promotion of occupational therapy R&D, research governance, library and information services and information management.
Elizabeth has responsibility for the development of the United Kingdom Occupational Therapy Research Foundation, building research capacity within the profession and facilitating research activity amongst the College’s membership. She is a member of the Research Forum for Allied Health Professions and represents this group on the Core Executive of the Allied Health Professions Research Network.