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Honorary degrees for key figures in food & farming

Posted 25 August 2011

Justin King CBE

Harper Adams is delighted to announce the recipients of its 2011 honorary degrees and fellowships, which will be presented at Graduation on September 23.

Justin King CBE, Chief Executive of J Sainsbury PLC, will receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of his leading role in the development of high quality food retailing in the UK that is committed to sustainable principles, and working with the farming industry through programmes such as the Development Group scheme and the Farming for the Future initiative.

Mr King has also accepted the role of presenting the 600-plus students graduating from Harper Adams with their qualifications. 

A second honorary doctorate will be awarded to Dr Geoffrey Davies OBE, Managing Director of Alamo Group Europe Ltd, in recognition of his leading role in agricultural engineering in the UK and internationally and his support for economic development in the Marches area.  The Board of Governors also wished to recognise Dr Davies’s significant contribution to Harper Adams over many years, supporting individual students and, more broadly, the work of the University College and its Engineering Department.

Also receiving an honorary doctorate will be Mr Matthew Dempsey, Editor and Chief Executive of the Irish Farmers’ Journal, in recognition of his leading role in farming journalism and in particular his personal commitment to the communication of the importance of science and technology in the development of the farming industry in Ireland, the UK and in the wider global context.

Dr David Llewellyn, Principal of the University College, said: “We welcome the opportunity to recognise the distinguished contributions that our honorary graduates have made to the agri-food sector.  The importance of the sector to the wider public is being increasingly recognised as we all face up to the challenges of global food security.  

“In making these awards we wish to underline the importance of academia and industry working together to meet these challenges, and our commitment to continue to support the sector with high quality graduates and a strong base for applied research and knowledge transfer.”

In addition to the above, Mr Peter Bloxham and Mr Anthony Burgess will each be conferred with the Fellowship of Harper Adams University College. The fellowships provide a distinctive award of merit for individuals, other than current Governors or staff, who have, amongst other criteria, made a significant contribution to the industries, trades and professions served by the University College and who have not otherwise been recognised by the institution.  

Mr Bloxham has been awarded his Fellowship in recognition of the excellent work that he has undertaken in promoting and representing the University College’s interests in China, and in forging new relationships with Chinese institutions, including the Ministry of Agriculture; partner universities; UK Government representatives in China; and UK and Chinese businesses.

Mr Burgess will receive his Fellowship for the very significant contribution that he has made to the work of the University College, firstly as a Governor and Chairman of the Board of Governors, and more recently for the leadership and personal commitment shown to the establishment of the Harper Adams University College Development Trust, of which Mr Burgess is currently Chairman.

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