Institute for Social Renewal

2012 Honorary Degrees

2012 Honorary Degree

Four of the world’s most eminent social and political figures received honorary degrees from Newcastle University in December 2012. The Mittal brothers, Shami Chakrabarti and Garry Runciman all became special honorary graduates of Newcastle University for their outstanding contributions to societies in the UK and across the world.

To mark to launch of the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal (NISR) the University chose to award individuals whose interests represented communities most affected by social, political and economic change.

Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE, Director of NISR, said: “Social Renewal is about tackling the big questions and our role as a civic university is to make a difference to the world around us in both thought and action. We celebrate this idea in honour of people who have made outstanding contributions to society in answering the big questions.”

Videos of our Honorary Degree graduates talking about what social renewal means to them are below.


Dr Martin Luther King

The Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal was launched in 2012 – but the University’s commitments to the ideas behind it stretch back many years. No event defines this more than when Dr Martin Luther King was made an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law on at the University on 13 November 1967. Newcastle was the only UK University to honour the inspirational campaigner during his lifetime.

You can see the film of his degree ceremony and speech, where he talked about the struggle against racism.