A shoe designer to the stars, the human rights lawyer who fought for justice after the Stephen Lawrence murder, a survivor of the Bosnian concentration camps and a Lawrence Olivier Award- winning actor are among the people being presented with an honorary degree at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) over the coming 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 will see thousands of students receive their degrees from the university’s four faculties - Arts, Design and Humanities, Business and Law, Health and Life Sciences and the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media.
There are a total of 22 separate ceremonies, which will be held at The Venue@DMU between Friday 12 July and Saturday 20 July.
The inspirational men and women receiving honorary degrees are:
Professor Zhang Xiaofu – Saturday 13 July – (not pictured) Professor Xiaofu is receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Music. He is a pioneer of electroacoustic music in both his home country, China, and worldwide. A respected composer, academic and performer, he launched the Musicacoustica festival in Beijing 25 years ago to open Chinese music to the world, which it continues to do. DMU has been involved with Musicacoustica through the work of the university’s Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre, created to make innovative sounds accessible to all.
Adrian Lester – Monday 15 July - will become an Honorary Doctor of Arts. He is an Olivier Award-winning actor, writer and director, and champion of diversity and inclusion in the arts. Best known for playing ‘Mickey Bricks’ in TV’s Hustle, he took the title role in Henry V at the National Theatre and has spoken about creating ‘a utopia’ where ‘pretty much any actor can play anything’.
Imran Khan – Wednesday 17 July – will be made an Honorary Doctor of Law. He is a respected lawyer dedicated to tackling issues around racism, human rights, criminal justice, immigration and asylum. His work with the Lawrence family during their pursuit of justice for their murdered son Stephen Lawrence has been described as a defining moment, for Khan and for British society. He is representing the bereaved, survivors and relatives at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Iqbal Khan – Friday 19 July - to be made an Honorary Doctor of Arts. He is a theatrical director behind notable, convention-challenging work at The Royal Shakespeare Company, at The Globe, and also at The Haymarket in Leicester. His belief in diverse casting and rethinking plays’ settings has shown British theatre a way to shake up Shakespeare and other classics, and Khan says directors have a responsibility ‘to go to schools’ and inspire students.
Sophia Webster – Saturday 20 July – Sophia is receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Design. Sophia is a British shoe and accessory designer with an eponymous fashion label renowned for its wit and sophistication, whose creations have been described as ‘almost edible’. An international name in fashion with a flagship Mayfair store and shoes sold through 200 high-end shops, Sophia’s celebrity-endorsed designs – everyone from Kendall Jenner to Oprah Winfrey have been seen in them - are hand-drawn and conceptualised. She is a supporter of young talent and has coached design students, and employed DMU graduates.
Kemal Pervanic – Saturday 20 July - is to be made an Honorary Doctor of Letters. Kemal is a writer, human rights activist and ‘peace-builder’ whose life changed after he was interned and held in the notorious Omarska concentration camp, set up by Bosnian Serb forces in the early days of the Bosnian War. After fleeing the camp, where hundreds died, Kemal began rebuilding his life in England and founded Most Mira, a charity whose name means ‘Bridge of Peace’ and which brings together divided communities, with a focus on young people living in Bosnia.
Posted on Thursday 11th July 2019