In 1986 the former Oxford Polytechnic awarded its first honorary degree. The recipient was the late Olive Gibbs, twice Lord Mayor of Oxford and a long-standing supporter of our institution. Over the next few years the Polytechnic continued to confer the occasional honorary award, generally in acknowledgment of past service given to the institution, whether as a member of staff or a governor or as an individual whose work and support had contributed to the growth of the institution.
The regular practice of conferring honorary degrees and fellowships at our annual awards ceremonies was introduced in 1993, in the wake of the institution gaining university status.
Since then Oxford Brookes University has conferred close to 240 honorary awards on a diverse range of individuals from the worlds of science and technology, medicine and health care, art, academia, industry, entertainment, voluntary work and many other fields.
In some cases the award was conferred on retirement or towards the end of a distinguished career; in others it acknowledged a remarkable display of youthful genius and more recently the awards have been given to some who continue to contribute to their field of expertise and to the work of the University.
In many cases the recipients have been well known individuals, their achievements already widely celebrated, both locally and nationally; in a few their contribution has been best known here at Oxford Brookes. The only common denominator amongst all, beyond that they have made a notable contribution to society, is that they set a wonderful example to our students.
All staff, students, governors and the Chancellor are eligible to make nominations throughout the year for honorary degrees to be presented at the graduation ceremonies in June or September.
For full information on how to nominate someone and the requirements of a nominee, please see the Honorary Conferments Committee website.
Honorary Degrees are conferred on individuals at some of our graduation ceremonies that are held in June and September. These are chosen carefully and with consideration for how their particular strengths link in to the work of the University and the conferment of the degree allows Brookes to acknowledge those whom we admire and respect, it also ensures that our students who hear an Honorary Graduate speak are sent off with a final reminder of what can be achieved in and around their respective fields.
In these pages, where possible we’ve gathered together all the individuals the University has acknowledged over the years, adding a brief note about their achievements and some of the things they’ve gone on to do since the award was made, and how they have engaged with Brookes. These are kept as up to date as possible.
We look forward, wherever possible, to continuing our relationship with our honorary graduates and our honorary fellows.