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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Student news

Congratulations to all students and Honorary Graduates being awarded degrees this week.

(22 June 2018)

A Naval Commander, a High Court Judge, an Anthropology Professor, and a leading historian will receive honorary degrees from Durham University this week, graduating along with around 4,400 students from 83 countries.

Commander David Childs, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane, and Professors Veena Das and John Morrill will join thousands of graduating students at the University’s Summer Congregation ceremonies, held this week in the majestic Durham Cathedral – part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and almost 1,000 years old.

Professor Morrill and Commander Childs will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt), Professor Das will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science, and the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice McFarlane will receive an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law.

Commander David Childs

David Childs CBE spent almost 30 years in the Royal Navy, achieving the rank of Commander. Later, he helped to establish the National Memorial Arboretum – commemorating the memories of British servicewomen and men.

A former Director of the Mary Rose Trust, Commander Childs is a frequent visitor to Durham University and has delivered both student and public lectures.

The Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane

After studying law at Durham University, Sir Andrew Ewart McFarlane was called to the Bar in 1977. He was appointed a Queen’s Counsel 11 years later. Sir Andrew was appointed a High Court judge in 2005 and a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2011. He is recognised for his longstanding and invaluable contribution to the family justice system. 

Sir Andrew co-founded the Durham Revue and was President of Durham Students’ Union. He is closely involved with Durham Law School (in 2012 the Lord Justice McFarlane Prize was established to reward undergraduate students taking the LLB module on Law of Family Relationships) and is an active member of Collingwood College.

Professor Veena Das

Professor Veena Das is based at John Hopkins University, USA, where she is the Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology. Before this, she spent over 30 years teaching at the Delhi School of Economics, India.

A Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Scientists from Developing Countries, Professor Das is a well-established figure in Socio-Cultural Anthropology.

Professor Das is known especially for her work on the anthropology of violence, public health, and ethnography; and her analyses of the relationship between anthropology and philosophy. She has previously lectured and run workshops – including a postgraduate masterclass – at Durham University.

Professor John Morrill

Professor John Morrill is an expert on the early modern history of Britain and Ireland, and has written or edited 24 books and more than 100 essays and articles. He was a founding editor of The Bibliography of British and Irish History – a unique resource containing almost 600,000 records.

A Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Professor Morrill has been a Visiting Professor in Durham University’s History Department since 2015, offering invaluable support and expertise to postgraduate students.

Congregation, Summer 2018

Durham University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, said: “Congregation is a very special occasion for our students who, through their dedication, intelligence and ingenuity, will take their place among the most sought after graduates in the world.

“It is always enriching and inspiring to see them receive their degrees, and I wish them every success for their next adventure.

Watch the ceremonies live online

All the graduation ceremonies taking place throughout the week, will be live streamed online, to allow family and friends unable to travel to Durham to be part of the celebrations.

Click here to watch Summer Congregation.