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News archive 2009

Honorary Degree ceremony

26 Nov 2009

Yesterday evening (25 November), the Chairman of Council, the Marquess of Douro, and the Principal, Professor Rick Trainor, conferred Honorary Degrees on seven highly-distinguished recipients at a ceremony in the College Chapel at the Strand Campus.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman of Council said: ‘We warmly congratulate today’s honorary graduates and greatly value their association with the College.’

Honorary Degrees of King’s College London are awarded to individuals who are of conspicuous merit as demonstrated by their outstanding academic or intellectual contribution to their field.

The new Honorary Graduates are:

Professor Eamon Duffy DD FBA – eminent historian of religion; Professor of the History of Christianity, University of Cambridge; former President, Magdalene College, Cambridge; former member of King’s staff. [Presentation and citation delivered by Professor Arthur Burns MA DPhil (Oxon) FRHistS, Professor of Modern British History]

Professor Peter Higgs FRS FRSE – Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Edinburgh; FKC (1998); international prize winner in particle physics and proposer of the bosonic particle that bears his name and which underpins the construction of the standard model that  describes three of the four forces of nature; alumnus. [Presentation and citation delivered by Professor Peter West BSc PhD FRS FKC, Professor of Theoretical Physics]

Professor M Qasim Jan – Vice Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and leading authority on the metamorphic petrology and geology of the Himalayas of Pakistan; alumnus.[Presentation and citation delivered by Professor E Brian Davies FRS FKC, Professor of Mathematics]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville FRS – Minister for Science and Technology (1998-2006); strong supporter of university-based research and knowledge transfer; business leader and philanthropist. [Presentation and citation delivered by Professor Alison Wolf MA (Oxon) MPhil (Oxon), Sir Roy Griffiths Professor of Public Sector Management]

Professor Lucia Santa Cruz – Dean of the College of Liberal Arts of the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez, Chile; previously Director of the Institute of Political Economy; member of the Academy of Social, Political and Moral Sciences of the Institute of Chile; alumna. [Presentation and citation delivered by Professor Robert Archer BA DPhil (Oxon) FAHA, Professor of Spanish & Spanish American Studies]

Professor Lap-Chee Tsui FRS – Vice Chancellor, University of Hong Kong; internationally renowned geneticist; winner of numerous prizes and awards.

[Presentation and citation delivered by Professor Ellen Solomon PhD FKC, Head of the Division of Genetics & Development]


Professor Marina Warner CBE FBA – Professor, Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex; distinguished scholar of literature and culture; novelist; well-known writer and broadcaster. [Presentation and citation delivered by Emeritus Professor Dame Jinty Nelson DBE FBA FKC, President of the King’s College London Association]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville responded on behalf of the Honorary Graduates. He spoke of their deep appreciation and pride at being associated with King's in this way. He also emphasised the importance, to the UK economy as well as to universities, of maintaining substantial government investment in university-based research and knowledge transfer. 

In his closing remarks, The Principal said: ‘I would like warmly to congratulate today’s new honorary doctors and to thank Lord Sainsbury very much for his gracious and generous speech. 

‘We are delighted that this group of highly distinguished people, from a wide range of countries and fields, will be associated with King’s, either for the first time or in a new capacity. The association with King’s of today’s graduates reinforces the disciplinary breadth and internationalism of the College – and adds considerably to our intellectual distinction.’

The Hon Mr Justice Edwin Cameron will be awarded an Honorary Degree on 18 January.

From 2008, King’s College London has awarded its own honorary degrees under degree-awarding powers granted by the Privy Council. Previously the College awarded honorary degrees of the University of London, of which King’s remains an active member.
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