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Honours from the University of the Year

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is one of five distinguished figures to be awarded an honorary degree from Teesside University.

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The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu


The Archbishop will receive the degree of Doctor of Laws from the University’s Chancellor, Lord Sawyer of Darlington, in a special ceremony at Middlesbrough Town Hall on Friday 27 November.

The ceremony, which starts at 11.00am, will conclude five days of the University’s annual graduation celebrations. Teesside was recently awarded the accolade of University of the Year by The Times Higher magazine.

Dr John Sentamu was appointed in 2005 and is the Archbishop for the area in which Teesside University is located. Dr Sentamu is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda and practiced at the Bar and the Bench before he came to the UK in 1974 to study Theology at Selwyn College Cambridge where he obtained his master’s degree and doctorate. He is an outspoken speaker on a number of issues including modern day slavery, injustice and conflict.

In addition to the Archbishop, the following will also be awarded honorary degrees from the University on 27 November.

Paul Rodgers – Doctor of Letters
Singer-songwriter Paul Rodgers was born in Middlesbrough and the founding member and main songwriter of the bands Free, Bad Company and The Firm with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. Since 1968 he has toured internationally and recently as Queen + Paul Rodgers and as a solo artist. He has released 30 albums and sold over 90 million records. He has consistently been voted number one vocalist of all time. He and his wife Cynthia quietly support over 30 varied charities internationally and in 2008 he received the prestigious US Congress Proclamation for his humanitarianism, of only eight awarded.

Rob Smedley – Doctor of Professional Studies
Rob Smedley is originally from Normanby, Middlesbrough. He has built an outstanding career as an engineer in Formula 1 racing, first with Peugeot, followed by Williams and Jordan. He moved to work for Ferrari in 2007 and later was appointed as Felipe Massa’s race engineer. He is widely recognised as being one of the most respected engineers in the whole of Formula 1.

Adele Parks - Doctor of Letters
Adele comes from Stockton and studied English Language and Literature at Leicester University. She has sold over 1.5m copies of her romantic fiction novels in the UK with nine top ten bestsellers. Adele’s books have been translated into over 15 languages and she was official spokesperson for World Book Day in 2006 and 2007. She is also a supporter of numerous charities.

Trevor Arnold MBE – Doctor of Business Administration
Trevor Arnold is the former Managing Director of Thornaby-based K Home International where he spent 21 years securing contracts for Teesside. These contacts included the development of an 800-bed hospital in Abu Dhabi, as well as work on Dubai’s Atlantis Hotel – the world’s second seven-star hotel. Trevor saw the company win two Queen’s Awards for outstanding achievement in international trade.

04 November 2009

In the News

Paul takes mic for Free degree hit
Northern Echo (North Edition), 28/11/2009, p.30
An eclectic group of distinguished achievers were presented with honorary degrees from Teesside University. They were Dr John Sentamu, The Archbishop of York, singer-songwriter Paul Rodgers, Formula 1 racing engineer Rob Smedley, novelist Adele Parks and businessman Trevor Arnold.


The five degrees..
Stockton & Billingham Herald & Post, 12/11/2009, p.15
Rock singer Paul Rodgers, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and F1 engineer Rob Smedley are among those to receive honorary degrees from Teesside University this month.


Archbishop tells of joy at degree
Evening Gazette (Teesside), 10/11/2009, p.17
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and singer Paul Rodgers are to receive honorary degrees from Teesside University.


We are the champions!
Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 08/11/2009, p.25
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and singer Paul Rodgers are to receive honorary degrees from Teesside University.


We are the champions!
Sunday Sun (Newcastle), 08/11/2009, p.25
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and singer Paul Rodgers are to receive honorary degrees from Teesside University.


Rock it science!
Evening Gazette (Teesside), 05/11/2009, p.10
Teesside University is poised to hand out honorary degrees to rock singer Paul Rodgers, the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentanu and F1 engineer Rob Smedley.


Teesside University honorary degrees
BBC Radio Tees, 06/11/2009
Teesside University is awarding honorary degrees to the Archbishop of York, rock singer Paul Rogers and Rob Smedly. Professor Cliff Hardcastle says an honorary degree is a recognition of achievement in the external world.


Archbishop and rock star honoured
Yorkshire Post, 04/11/2009, p.6
Rock singer Paul Rodgers and the Archbishop of York have both been awarded honorary degrees from Teesside University.


Archbishop to receive honorary degree
Northern Echo (North Edition), 04/11/2009, p.2
The Archbishop of York is currently poised to join rock singer Paul Rodgers in receiving an honorary degree from Teesside University.