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Northumbria awards honorary degrees at University’s latest congregations

25th March 2022

As congregation ceremonies returned to the University’s City Campus for the first time since the start of the pandemic, celebrations were in full swing as Northumbria marked the success of its latest graduates and honorary graduates whose ceremonies were postponed from Winter 2021. 

Former chair of Northumbria University’s Board of Governors, Chris Sayers has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

CS Hon Grad

Chris joined Northumbria University’s Board of Governors in 2010 and was appointed Chair in 2012. During his eight years in post, Chris was pivotal in leading the Board through the development of the University’s transformation vision and strategy – playing a vital role in helping Northumbria transform into a research-intensive modern university with a global reputation for academic excellence. 

In 2017 Chris was appointed Chair of the Committee of University Chairs, the representative body for the Chairs of UK universities, where he worked closely with the Office for Students, and ministers and civil servants in the Department for Education, debating pressing issues such as pension reform and student mental health. Chris’s terms of office as chair of both Northumbria and the Committee of University Chairs came to an end in 2020. 

Leading advocate for female empowerment, Dr Bothaina Hassan AlAnsari has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Dr AnAlsari Hon Grad

Considered as one of the most influential and inspirational Arab women, Dr AlAnsari was awarded the degree in recognition of her prominent place in Qatari business and her role in supporting the progression of Qatari women. 

Dr AlAnsari supports women to develop their capabilities in strategic planning and leadership, equipping them to lead their organisations through digitisation, branding and human resource development. As part of this commitment, she has served as a member of the Arab International Women’s Forum and the Qatari Businesswomen Forum. 

Her work and ambitions to support the progression of Arab women are closely aligned with one of Northumbria University’s core values; to provide diverse and equal opportunities in the workplace. 

Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords and former Victims’ Commissioner, the Right Honourable Baroness Newlove of Warrington, has received the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law.

Baroness Newlove Hon Grad

Lady Newlove has championed victims’ rights and tirelessly campaigned for community reform, particularly in relation to alcohol-related violence, since the murder of her husband and father of her three daughters, Garry Newlove, in 2007. 

Mr Newlove was attacked outside their home in Warrington, Cheshire after he confronted a gang of youths who were vandalising his wife’s car. This had not been an isolated incident but a long-running campaign of youth gang crime in the Padgate area of the town. The youths repeatedly kicked and punched Mr Newlove and he died just a few days later of his injuries. Three youths were sentenced to life imprisonment, two other suspects, also teenagers, were tried for the murder but found not guilty.  

In 2014, after producing a major report setting out priorities to help people make a difference in their neighbourhood in her role as Champion for Active Safer Communities, Lady Newlove became one of Northumbria University’s prestigious Eldon Lecturers, delivering a lecture entitled The Victim’s Code: Protection and Promotion of Victims’ Rights in the Criminal Justice System. 

Former Supreme Court Justice, The Right Honourable Lady Black of Derwent has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law. 

Lady Black Hon Grad

Having climbed to the top of the UK judiciary, Lady Jill Black has been a dedicated public servant for many years and has made enormous contributions to the legal and judicial sector.  

Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2017, Lady Black was only the second woman to serve on the country’s highest court. Following the UK’s first female Supreme Court Justice, Baroness Hale, who is also an honorary graduate of Northumbria University, her appointment was considered as one of the most significant landmarks for women in law.  

Alongside her exceptionally distinguished legal and judicial career, much of which was spent in the north of England, Lady Black is a generous supporter of Northumbria University’s Law School in her role as Eldon Professor. 

Northumbria’s honorary graduates were celebrated alongside more than 2,000 graduates who were joined by almost 4,500 of their guests. 

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