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Newcastle University bestows Honorary Doctorates


Broadcasting icon Angela Rippon, and philanthropist Paul Marshall, have received honorary doctorates from Newcastle University.  

Ms Rippon, who has worked in news and current affairs for over 40 years, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree at a ceremony today (3 December).

Also recognised with an Honorary Doctorate today is British investor and philanthropist, Paul Marshall. Mr Marshall is co-founder of the international children’s charity Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) and chairman of ARK Schools, one of the largest chains of academy schools in the country, which aims to close the achievement gap between children from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds.  

Angela Rippon was the face of BBC evening news for five years from 1975 to 1981, and has presented programmes ranging from Top Gear to Rip Off Britain and earlier this year co-hosted the quiz show Amazing Greys.

In recent years, she has become a highly visible ambassador for the Alzheimers’ Society and co-chairs the Prime Ministers’ Dementia Friendly Communities Champions Group alongside Alzheimer's Society Chief Executive, Jeremy Hughes, focusing on improving inclusion and quality of life for people living with dementia.

Ms Rippon has been highly supportive of the University’s research into ageing, and was in the region to give the closing keynote speech at the launch of Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing (NUIA)  yesterday (2 December). 

Newcastle University is already established as a world leader in research into ageing, its causes and social and health consequences. NUIA is Europe’s largest multi-disciplinary centre of expertise in ageing. Bringing together experts in areas such as the biological, medical and psychosocial aspects of healthy ageing, NUIA aims to work with businesses, older people’s organisations and individuals to develop new policies, products, services and solutions that will meet the needs of an ageing population.

Angela Rippon said:
"It is such an honour to receive this degree and through it, be associated with the ground breaking work being done by Newcastle University's Institute of Ageing.  By combining the research at the University and the work being done by the Alzheimer's society, I hope that we really can ensure that people affected by dementia can live well with the illness within society."

Ms Rippon was awarded her degree alongside students from the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, many of whom will go on to work in a range of fields related to healthy ageing.

Professor Louise Robinson, Director of Newcastle University Institute of Ageing, said:
“More of us are living longer and the consequences are profound. Within the next 20 years, nearly one in four of us living in the UK will be aged 65 or over. But while this presents clear challenges, there are opportunities too.
“Newcastle was one of the first universities to recognise the importance of studying ageing and NUIA will be home to the next generation of ageing research at Newcastle University, keeping us at the forefront of research in this crucial area and helping more people live better for longer.

“It’s fantastic that Angela Rippon, who is such a vocal and committed champion of the rights of people with dementia and their carers, has shown her support for our work, and I am delighted that she has accepted our invitation to receive an honorary degree.”

published on: 3 December 2014