The University of Gloucestershire has today announced the names of outstanding individuals connected to Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds who will receive honorary awards at this year’s graduation ceremonies.

Honorary awards will be given to:

· Carol Francis, magistrate and community champion – Honorary Fellowship

· Andy Hunt, CEO of the British Olympic Association – Honorary Doctor of Philosophy

· Alex James, writer, musician and cheesemaker – Honorary Doctor of Arts

· Rt Rev James Jones, Former Bishop of Liverpool- Honorary Doctor of Philosophy
· Robert Macfarlane, writer, critic and radio broadcaster – Honorary Doctor of Letters

· Ian Mean, content director and former editor of The Citizen – Honorary Doctor of Philosophy

· Diane Savory OBE, Chair, Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership – Honorary Doctor of Philosophy

· Michael Tripp, former group CEO, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Deputy Chair of Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership – Honorary Doctor of Philosophy

· Dale Vince, MD of Ecotricity and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers FC – Honorary Doctor of Philosophy

The University confers honorary awards each year on a small number of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution locally, nationally or internationally. The recipients have achieved great distinction in their particular field and additionally have a link with Gloucestershire or the University.

The awards will be presented at the graduation ceremonies later this year at the annual graduation ceremonies, alongside around 2,000 University of Gloucestershire graduates who have completed undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses.

Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire said: “I am delighted that the University will be conferring honorary doctorates on this eminent group of individuals. Each has achieved great distinction in his or her chosen field and all have some connection with the county of Gloucestershire.

“The University is proud to be able honour and celebrate their achievements through these awards.”

The graduation ceremonies will take place at The Centaur, Cheltenham Racecourse between 6 – 8 November and at Gloucester Cathedral on 14 – 15 November 2013.

Previous Honorary Doctors and Fellows of the University of Gloucestershire can be viewed here

Biographical information

Carol Francis
Carol was born in Gloucester and attended Widden Street and St Paul’s Primary Schools. She then went on to Winifred Cullis Secondary school.

Carol’s public participation roles include LEA Governor of St. Paul’s school, Parent Governor of Beaufort Community School, a member of the County Council’s multicultural Advisory Group, a Director of Barton, Tredworth & Eastgate Trust, and a parent Representative on Gloucester’s Education Achievement Zone Forum. Carol has also been the Chairperson of the City Council’s Race Equality Forum and has twice held the role of Chairperson of the Gloucestershire County Council’s Black Workers Network and has been Chairperson of the Jamaican Club. In 1993, she was presented with the “Black Achievers Award” for services to the community.

Carol was appointed as a local Magistrate in 1989.

In May 2000, Carol made local history by being elected the first black female city councillor of the Eastgate Ward. In July 2001, she made history again by becoming the first Black Sheriff and Deputy Mayor of Gloucester City. Carol was the 870th Sheriff of Gloucester.

In March 2008, Carol was asked to join a task force set up by Harriet Harman, the then deputy Prime Minster, to encourage more Black Asian and Minority Ethnic women into public Service. Carol represented the South West of England.

In October 2008 Carol received an award from The Association of Jamaican Nationals for her contribution to the development of the Jamaican Community and other Nationals in the UK and overseas. In 2011 Gloucester City Homes (GCH) presented Carol with an award for Community recognition.

Carol currently volunteers with Gloucester FM presenting a range of different programmes. She is a resident representative on the Ryecroft Approved Premises Community Liaison Group and is employed by Gloucestershire County Council. Carol is also a wife, mother of two and grandmother to three. She continues to sit as a Magistrate.

Andrew Hunt
Andrew has lived in Cheltenham or the surrounding area of the Cotswolds for the past sixteen years. Born in Watford, Hertfordshire, Andrew was educated at Watford Boys Grammar School and has had a distinguished business career over 28 years developing and leading businesses within Sport, Business Process Outsourcing, Technology, Consulting and Marketing.

In 2008, Andrew was appointed the CEO of the British Olympic Association and Chef de Mission for Team GB at the London 2012 Games, where Team GB achieved its greatest success in 104 years. Andrew was a non-executive Director of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and a member of the European Olympic Games Commission.

In May 2013, Andrew was appointed Managing Partner of Progressive Media Group, a non-executive Director of Gloucester Rugby Club and a Special Advisor to the Board of Commonwealth Games England.

Alex James

A writer, musician and cheesemaker, Alex James is best known as the bass player in Blur. The first instalment of his memoir, Bit of a Blur, was released in 2007, and the second volume, All Cheeses Great and Small was published in 2011. He writes a weekly column on all things food for The Sun, as well as a regular column on farm and family life in the Sunday Telegraph.

An award winning cheesemaker and creator of ‘Alex James Presents’ – a range of British artisan cheeses – Alex is currently developing a continental range of cheeses due to be launched in supermarkets later this year.

Alex will host the food and music festival Jamie Oliver presents The Big Feastival with Alex James for the second year on his farm this year.

Alex James is married and lives on a farm in Oxfordshire with his wife and five children.

The Rt Rev James Jones

Bishop James, former Bishop of Liverpool, was educated at the Duke of York Royal Military School in Dover. He read Theology at Exeter University. He was ordained in 1981 after a career in teaching and the media. He served as a curate in Bristol and as a vicar in Croydon before becoming Bishop of Hull in 1994 then Bishop of Liverpool in 1998. He has served as Bishop to Prisons, in the House of Lords, as a WWF Ambassador and chaired the Independent Panel on Forestry and the Independent Panel on Hillsborough.

Bishop James has written a number of books including Jesus and the Earth and broadcasts regularly. He is married to Sarah, and their eldest daughter Harriet and her husband Mark are both graduates of the University.

Robert Macfarlane

Born in Oxford in 1976, Robert was brought up in Nottinghamshire. He studied English literature first at Cambridge University, then at Oxford, before returning to Cambridge to begin his PhD in 2000. He was made a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2002. He is the author of three award-winning books about landscape and imagination: Mountains of the Mind (2003), The Wild Places (2007), and The Old Ways (2012). His books have been published around the world, and have been adapted for television. He has collaborated with artists and musicians on various projects including a ‘jazz opera’ called Untrue Island, and a book called Holloway (2013). He is also known as an essayist, critic and radio broadcaster, and contributes regularly to Granta, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times among other publications.

He is the Chair of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for 2013.

Ian Mean
Ian Mean is Content Director for the Local World Media Group for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset & Dorset. He edited The Citizen for 10 years, having previously been northern news editor of the Daily Mail and editorial marketing manager of the Daily Mirror.

He is a Director of Marketing Gloucester; Chairman of the Gloucestershire NHS Organ Donation Committee, and Director of the Gloucestershire Community Foundation, and Honorary Vice President of Gloucestershire College. Ian was also a Vice-Chairman of the former Gloucester Heritage Urban Regeneration Company in Gloucester:

Ian started journalism on a local paper in South London aged 17, and spent more of his career in national newspapers as a reporter and on news desks.

Ian is a follower of Arsenal, England Cricket, and President of the Churchdown Male Voice Choir. He is married to Judy and they have nine grandchildren.

Diane Savory, OBE
Born in Cambridge, Diane was educated at St. George’s School, Harpenden. With a passion for fashion she went on to study Retail and Exhibition Design at Cassio College, Watford.
She then went on to learn her trade working in a number of smaller fashion and retail shops before joining Cult Clothing which was the predecessor of Supergroup PLC. Rapidly progressing through the organisation Diane became its Chief Operating Officer, transforming the company from a small local enterprise to the distinctive nationwide fashion retailer which it is today. In March 2010 she led SuperGroup PLC to full floatation on the London Stock Exchange and into the FTSE 250 with the company receiving the Award for the Best Initial Public Offering in Europe in 2010.
Diane’s passion had now expanded to all aspects of the business, wanting to develop, grow and get the most from individuals and business alike. She has mentored a number of businesses to help them succeed in today’s challenging environment and is a board member for a number of organisations. Diane is focused on Gloucestershire and is currently the Chair of GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, leading it to achieve trailblazer status at Central Government level in Retail. She has created a board representative of all areas of business, together with its various sectors combining with education to help promote, develop and grow Gloucestershire. Diane also represents Gloucestershire as part of the Retail policy Forum for Government to help regenerate our high streets
In 2013 Diane was made an OBE in recognition of her work with GFirst LEP and her contribution to business, together for the overall benefit and success of the county
Diane is also a Member of the Institute of Directors and a fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.

Michael Tripp

Born in Hove, Michael was educated at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School before reading Mathematics at Imperial College. He qualified as a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries and rose through the ranks at Guardian Royal Exchange, eventually heading up its UK personal lines business in the mid-1990s. After that he became a consulting actuary – firstly with Watson Wyatt then as a partner at Ernst & Young.

In 2007 he joined Ecclesiastical Insurance as Group CEO and in that role as well as leading the business globally, he contributed to the local communities of Gloucestershire – supporting the University, the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire, The Three Choirs Festival and as Deputy Chair of GFirst – the Local Enterprise Partnership.

He loves Gloucestershire, and also enjoys tennis, walking, the City of London, opera; he sings with a male voice choir (the Imperial Male Voice Choir) which raises money for charities through its concerts. As well as performing in the UK the choir has sung in Switzerland, France, Slovenia and later this year St Petersburg.

Dale Vince OBE

Dale Vince has been concerned about sustainability issues since he was a boy. After leaving school to pursue an alternative, low impact way of life, he eventually spent a decade living off the grid, generating his own power through a self-made windmill.

It was this sustainable lifestyle that inspired Dale to launch Ecotricity, the first green electricity company in the world, in 1996, marking the beginning of the now global green electricity market.

Dale’s mission was and remains to change the way electricity is made and used in Britain, but this mission has expanded to include the three causes of 80% of all personal carbon footprints, namely energy, transport and food.

As well as building wind and solar parks, Dale is established as a leading player in promoting electric vehicles in the UK: he installed the world’s first national network of charging points in 2011 and also developed the Nemesis electric super car, which smashed the UK electric land speed record in 2012.

Dale is also active in communicating the environmental message to the world of sport through his charity, the Sustainability in Sport Foundation, as well as through the football club which he supports, Forest Green Rovers FC, the only club in the world to receive a gold standard EMAS environmental accreditation.

Dale was made an OBE for services to the environment in 2004. He remains the MD of Ecotricity and Chairman of Forest Green Rovers FC.

About the University of Gloucestershire
The University of Gloucestershire gained official university status in 2001 but has existed as an educational establishment for nearly 200 years. Our heritage lies in the Mechanics Institutes of the 1830s, with our Francis Close Hall campus founded in 1847 as the Cheltenham Training College.

Today, we have three thriving campuses, Francis Close Hall and The Park in Cheltenham, and Oxstalls in Gloucester, which are home to approximately 10,000 students.
The University of Gloucestershire delivers approximately 100 undergraduate course choices including accounting, law, business and management, fine art, TV production, humanities, sport sciences, natural and social sciences, leisure and tourism, social work and education plus a diverse range of postgraduate and research degrees, and professional courses.

For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @uniofglos

Source: University of Gloucestershire