Posted 20 September
“The conferral of an honorary doctorate is the highest honour a university can bestow. The achievements and impact of Margaret Boanas made her a natural choice."
Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, Margaret Boanas, receives her Honorary Doctorate from Professor Ken Sloan, Vice-Chancellor of Harper Adams University
Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, Margaret Boanas has received an Honorary Doctorate from Harper Adams University.
The award was made at the inaugural Harper Together staff conference at the University, with Margaret as a Guest of Honour throughout the day before receiving her award at a ceremony in the afternoon.
Professor Jude Capper, the ABP Chair of Sustainable Beef and Sheep Production at Harper Adams, gave the oration before Margaret received her degree – describing her as ‘a truly inspirational friend and colleague, with an illustrious career within the meat industry.’
Professor Capper set out the roles which Margaret had undertaken in the meat industry since 1974 and some of the roles which she still holds.
Margaret is Chairman of the International Meat Association, a former Vice President of the European Meat trade Association with responsibility for International Trade, and a member of the new Government Food and Drink Export Council, which was set up earlier this year by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and DEFRA.
Professor Capper highlighted how inspirational Margaret has been in changing perceptions in her industry, noting: “Admittedly, life wasn’t always easy in the meat industry in the 1970s. Margaret would often walk into a meat plant with a male colleague and staff would inevitably talk to the man, assuming he was in charge until he said: ‘No, it’s her you need to speak to.’
“This would have been intimidating for some, but Margaret has always been at the forefront of changing attitudes, being an amazing example of how women in the meat industry can succeed and earn the respect and admiration of their colleagues and customers.”
Margaret became a Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Butchers in 1997, and in 2021 was the third woman to become Master – with Harper Adams University Chancellor, Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal, and Patricia Dart preceding her.
Professor Capper added: “I should note that the support offered by Margaret and the Worshipful Company to Harper Adams has been invaluable, with five Masters of Research posts currently funded at the University through initiatives which began while Margaret was Master, including one relating to her nominated charity, Farms For City Children.
“As a fellow Liveryman of the Worshipful Company I can vouch for her excellence, but it’s not simply my opinion - another liveryman recently commented that Margaret was a truly great Master, not least because of her humanity and commitment to the industry.”
Presenting Margaret Boanas to Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan for her admission to the Degree of Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa, Professor Capper said: “Margaret will say that she is only here because of the immense support and mentoring she’s had from people in the industry – I would argue that she has paid this forward a hundred times over. She is a brilliant example to women of all skillsets and ages - throughout her career she has mentored and actively encouraged countless other women to achieve and fulfil their potential.”
What an amazing @HarperAdamsUni #HT23 event, including celebrating Dr Margaret Boanas's honorary doctorate in recognition of her wonderful and illustrious career within the meat industry. @MBoanas is such an inspiration to women throughout the industry!https://t.co/iL7PbA7BTz pic.twitter.com/MUGbhehbsQ— Prof. Jude Capper ?????? (@Bovidiva) September 20, 2023
Professor Sloan said: “The conferral of an honorary doctorate is the highest honour a university can bestow.
“The achievements and impact of Margaret Boanas made her a natural choice.
“I am particularly delighted that the conferral was part of our Harper Together event and is the first honorary degree to be awarded during my tenure.”
It’s official Dr M.Boanas DSc(h.c) don’t worry I will not get too big for my boots !— Mags (@MBoanas) September 19, 2023
Thank you Harper Adams University for the honour and a great day . #education #Diversity #foodsecurity pic.twitter.com/KzGobgQ3Ni
Speaking after receiving her Honorary Doctorate, Margaret Boanas said: "It was wonderful to take part in such a great event, and to meet so many members of the Harper Adams community during the day.
“My great thanks to Professor Ken Sloan as Vice-Chancellor, and others who were involved in deciding to honour me in this way, and I am looking forward to engaging with Harper Adams in the future.”