Five outstanding individuals will be awarded Honorary Doctorates by Royal Holloway, University of London. The awards, which will be presented during the University’s summer graduation ceremonies, are made to people of great distinction, who are outstanding in their field, or those who have given exceptional service to the University.
Lynwen Brennan CBE, EVP and General Manager of Lucasfilm, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (Social Sciences), Honoris Causa. Lynwen’s career at Lucasfilm has spanned nearly 20 years. She has worked on blockbuster hits such as Star Wars, Iron Man, Avatar and Star Trek. Lynwen’s previous experience includes work within visual effects software development at corporations including Parallax Software, Avid Technology and Alias Wavefront. Lynwen previously graduated from Royal Holloway in 1988 with a BA in Geography.
Chris Packham, UK television presenter, award-winning photographer, author and conservationist, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa. A leading naturalist and figure in wildlife conservation, Chris is recognised for his outstanding work in television, including the documentary, Chris Packham: In search of The Lost Girl, highlighting the impact the use of palm oil is having on rainforests.
With a degree in History from Royal Holloway, and a background in accountancy, Jayne-Anne Gadhia CBE, was one of the founders of Virgin Direct in 1995. Now Chief Executive of Virgin Money, Jayne-Anne is an advocate of the importance of business making a positive impact on society, and was Business in the Community’s National Responsible Business Ambassador from 2016 to 2018. Jayne-Anne will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science (Economics), Honoris Causa.
After coming to England, aged six, following war in Bangladesh, Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara attended state schools and graduated with an LLB (Hons) from LSE. She was called to the Bar in 1990 and practised as a barrister for 24 years. She was the first BAME barrister to be elected to the Family Law Bar Association Committee and she also served on the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity committee. In 2004 she was appointed as an expert member of the Family Justice Council by the Lord Chancellor. She was appointed as a Circuit Judge in 2014, and presides over both family and criminal cases.
Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara played a key role in the creation of the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007, and was appointed by the Lord Chief Justice as a Diversity Community Relations Judge and a Judicial Role Model. Her Honour Judge Khatun Sapnara, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Laws, Honoris Causa. Her eldest son graduated from Royal Holloway in 2015, with a degree in Economics.
Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa. After arriving in England as an unaccompanied child refugee at the outbreak of the Second World War, Dame Stephanie founded an early software company that was eventually valued at £3bn. She started the company with just £6 as a crusade to encourage more women to pursue careers in computer science. As well as being a pioneering female entrepreneur Dame Shirley is also a leading philanthropist.
Paul Layzell, Principal of Royal Holloway said: “There are limited moments in our lives when we take the time to stand back and acknowledge what we have achieved, and the graduation period is one of those times for our Honorary Doctorates.
“Their achievements and success inspire and encourage our students as they move onto the next stage of their lives, and we are honoured that they are part of our community.”
Royal Holloway summer graduation ceremonies will be running 9 – 13 July 2018. Alongside the Honorary Graduands, Royal Holloway Biochemistry alumnus, Iain Ross, will be receiving an Honorary Fellowship during this period, in recognition of his work supporting the College Council over many years, including as Vice Chair of College Council.