New Chancellor honours his personal heroes

The country’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, has been inaugurated as the Chancellor of the University and has conferred honorary degrees upon four ‘inspirational’ people including football celebrity Alan Shearer. Sir Liam, who became Chancellor of the University in August, was inaugurated during a ceremony in the University’s King’s Hall on Monday, 7 December, 2009.

Sir Liam said: “I lived and worked on Tyneside in a formative period of my life and career.  Nothing could give me greater pride than taking up the post of Chancellor in such a great city and in a university fit for the challenges of the 21st Century.”

The Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, Professor Chris Brink, said: “We are fortunate, therefore, to have found Sir Liam Donaldson as our new Chancellor. He embodies, in his person and his achievements, our vision of Newcastle as a world-class civic university.

“As the nation’s doctor, he is widely respected and internationally known. His work reflects excellence, with a purpose. Not least, he has a long-time affiliation with and affection for Newcastle and the Northeast," said Professor Brink.

In his first official duty as Chancellor, during the ceremony Sir Liam conferred honorary degrees upon four individuals who have, or a variety of reasons, inspired him. They are Karen Davis, President of The Commonwealth Fund; Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE, surgeon; Alan Shearer OBE, BBC presenter and England and Newcastle United footballer; and Fergus Walsh, BBC medical correspondent.

Sir Liam said: “The four Honorary Graduates represent different facets of my career and interests – medicine, international health, public communication and sport. Each is an outstanding figure in their field," he said.

Lord Darzi received an Honorary Doctor of Medicine (Hon MD), while Karen Davis, Alan Shearer and Fergus Walsh were awarded the degree of Honorary Doctor of Civil Law (Hon DCL).

In receiving an honorary DCL, Alan Shearer is following in the footsteps of the late Sir Bobby Robson, who was awarded an Honorary DCL in 2003. He has also recently accepted a patronage of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation, the NE cancer charity.

published on: 9th December 2009