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New fellows of King's College London

Posted on 01/08/2016
Alex Beard central crop

(left to right) Professor Brian Holden Reid (member of King’s College London Council); Alex Beard CBE, and Deborah Bull, Assistant Principal (London).

The fellowship and honorary fellowship of King’s College London has been presented to 14 distinguished individuals at graduation ceremonies this summer.

Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House and alumnus of King’s, received his fellowship on 27 July. Composer Professor George Benjamin will be presented with his fellowship in January 2017.

Nearly 4,000 King’s graduates attended the university’s 11 graduation ceremonies, held at Southwark Cathedral on 30 June and 1 July, and at the Barbican Centre on 22, 25, 26 and 27 July. Graduates were presented to the Duke of Wellington, Chairman of the College Council until 31 July 2016, and other members of the College Council, and to the President & Principal of King’s, Professor Edward Byrne AC and King’s Vice and Assistant Principals.

The fellowship of King’s dates back to 1847 and marks contributions by exceptional individuals to King’s and/or to wider society. The fellowship is awarded to current or former staff, students and members of King’s Council in recognition of their exceptional achievement and/or service rendered to King’s. The honorary fellowship is awarded to individuals from outside King’s in recognition of their exceptional achievements.

The following 12 people have been elected fellows of King’s College London (FKC):

Alex Beard CBE is an alumnus of King’s and Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. In his previous roles at Tate, including as Deputy Director, he was instrumental in the creation of Tate Modern and Tate St Ives. He was appointed a CBE in 2012 for his services to the arts.

Professor George Benjamin CBE is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living composers. He is a highly distinguished conductor and pianist and has been Henry Purcell Professor of Music at King’s since 2001. His fellowship will be presented in January 2017.

Gus Christie is widely respected in the world of opera and the arts for his enterprising and successful Executive Chairmanship of Glyndebourne Productions since 2000. He is a King’s graduate in zoology.

Professor David Cooper is a world leader in the field of human transplantation and one of the most distinguished medical alumni of his generation. He is director of the xenotransplantation research group at the Thomas E Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he is a Professor of Surgery.

His Excellency Gudmundur Eiriksson is a highly respected alumnus of King’s, whose distinguished legal and diplomatic career has spanned four decades and four continents, including as Iceland’s Ambassador to India, as a member of the United Nations International Law Commission and as a Judge on the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.

Rola Gordon is the Board lead for cancer on the World questions | King’s answers fundraising Campaign Board, and a generous personal supporter of King’s cancer programmes. She is a King’s alumna and is currently undertaking her PhD at King’s.

Janice Hadlow has had a distinguished career as a television executive, as Controller of BBC Four and then Controller of BBC Two. A history graduate of King’s, she has made many history programmes, and has written a biography of George III and his family. 

The Very Reverend Dr David Ison became Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in 2012. He took his PhD at King’s and has continuing strong links with the College, including delivering the sermon at the 2015 Opening of Year Service.

The Rt Hon Professor the Lord Kakkar, Ajay Kakkar, is Professor of Surgery at UCL. He is a leader in academic health science in the UK, and one of King’s most distinguished medical alumni.

Dr Ming-Wai Lau is a leading Hong Kong businessman, philanthropist, scholar, athlete and alumnus of King’s. In 2012 he made an extraordinary gift to help create the Lau China Institute, which has brought King’s to the forefront in UK research and teaching on contemporary China. 

Professor Clare A Lees is an internationally renowned scholar in the field of mediaeval studies, where she is highly esteemed for her innovative and creative approach to her subject, both in research and teaching.

Professor Jim van Os is one of the most distinguished academic psychiatrists in Europe, renowned for revolutionising the understanding of schizophrenia. He is Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology at the Maastricht University Medical Centre, Holland. 

The following three people have received an Honorary Fellowship of King’s College London (Hon FKC):

Antony Beevor FRSL is one of Britain’s most distinguished historians: the author of a series of prize-winning books in 30 different languages on the Second World War and the Spanish Civil War which are read and admired around the world. He is a visiting professor at the University of Kent.

Anastasios Paul (Tasso) Leventis CBE is a successful businessman. Since 2002 he has been chairman of the A G Leventis Foundation, a philanthropic foundation which has generously supported a range of programmes at King’s. 

Professor Heather Stevens CBE is a businesswoman and philanthropist who helped to set up Admiral Insurance Ltd in 1993. She is Chair of The Waterloo Foundation, founded with her husband David in 2007, which funds work related to international development, the environment and neurodevelopment.


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