Inspirational men and women to be honoured with degrees from DMU

The woman who co-founded Specsavers, the head of a charity which works with victims of forced marriages and an award-winning TV news anchor are among the people who will receive honorary degrees from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) next week.

Honorary degrees are traditionally conferred during the summer and winter graduations at DMU, to recognise people who are an inspiration to graduates, due to outstanding achievements in their field and because of their contributions to learning.

DMU’s Summer Graduations, which begin on Saturday, will see thousands of students receive their degrees from the Faculties of Arts, Design and Humanities, Business and Law, Health and Life Sciences and Technology.

The five men and women who will receive honorary degrees alongside our graduands during the week are:

HONORANDS18 - Dame Mary

  • Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers. The business currently has 1,700 branches internationally, employs 30,000 staff and has a group revenue of £2.6 billion. Dame Mary’s business and global charity work has been built on the need to ‘put people first’ and work with and support communities. She is also a champion of women in education

HONORANDS18 - jasvinder

  • Jasvinder Sanghera, founder of Karma Nirvana. Jasvinder is a campaigner for human rights and an end to honour-based abuse and forced marriage. Her charity’s 25 years of campaigning was inspired by her own experience of escaping abuse and the threat of a forced marriage. Karma Nirvana provides training to the police, the NHS and social services. Its representatives act as expert witnesses in court, speak out in schools and raise awareness nationally and internationally. Campaigning by the charity saw forced marriage become a criminal offence in the UK in 2014

HONORANDS18 - Anne Davis

  • Anne Davies, award-winning journalist and broadcaster. Anne’s work in the media spans four decades, from Question Time to breakfast television, and she is best known locally for currently anchoring BBC East Midlands Today.  Anne Davies has a growing bond with DMU. She has been on campus on numerous memorable occasions, in her role as a journalist and as an undeniable, natural champion of fashion. Anne has a strong relationship with DMU’s Fashion and Textiles department and leads the annual Fashanne awards, which celebrates the talent from DMU and other institutions in the East Midlands


  • Bijna Dasani, Head of Architecture and Innovation for Lloyd’s Banking Group. Bijna graduated in 2005 after what she called an ‘extraordinary’ experience at DMU. Since then she has worked for some of the City’s big players, including Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs; she was also a Vice-President for Deutsche Bank. Bijna has been recognised on the International Women’s Day Young Achiever of the Year roll of honour, and was named in the 35 Women Under 35 list by Management Today, and as one of the top 50 Visionary Young Leaders in Business.


Professor John Wyver with actor Sir Patrick Stewart

  • Professor John Wyver, of Illuminations Media. John is a BAFTA and Emmy-winning producer, a writer, documentary-maker, digital scholar and historian of television and the arts. Notable are his ground-breaking performance films for television, including Richard II with Fiona Shaw; Macbeth, with Antony Sher and Harriet Walter, and a later production with Patrick Stewart; and the David Tennant-led Hamlet, made with the Royal Shakespeare Company.



Posted on Tuesday 10 July 2018

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