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Ceremonies Unit

Honorary Degrees

At certain Congregation ceremonies the University awards honorary degrees to candidates who have been nominated by University staff and approved by Senate. During the ceremony a speech (oration) of the life and work of the graduand is presented prior to conferring the award.

If you would like someone to be considered for an honorary award, view the nomination information.


The following honorary degrees will be awarded during Summer Congregation 2017

Dr Rob Catty - Honorary Master of Science on Wednesday 28 June at 11:00 am

Robert Catty was a partner in the Claypath and Unviersity Medical Group in Durham and now serves on the Ethics Committee of the Anthropology Department. Born and qualified in London, he has enjoyed a long and varied career in medical practice beginning in Antarctica and finishing in Africa. He has worked at the Medicial Research Council and as Medical Advisor for the Gateshead and South Tyneside Health Authority. While in general practice he was a trainer and examiner for the Royal College of General Practitioners, of which he is a fellow. Dr Catty is an active member of Durham Quakers.

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Sir Andrew Motion - Honorary Doctor of Letters on Thursday 29 June at 2:00 pm

Sir Andrew Motion, FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) is an English poet, novelist, and biographer, and was the UK's Poet Laureate between 1999 and 2009. He read English at Unviersity College Oxford and published his first volume of poetry at the age of 24. Sir Andrew has published over fifteen collections of poetry and is the co-founder and co-director of the Poetry Archive and Poetry by Heart; in 2009 he was knighted for his services to poetry. He was the inaugural Durham Book Festival Laureate in 2009, and is a member of Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study Steering Group. In 2015 he moved to Baltimore, USA to take up his current post of Homewood Professor of the Arts at Johns Hopkins University.

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