Students Staff

09 July 2008

Students to celebrate graduation

Colchester Campus


Students celebrate graduation

Colchester archaeologist Philip Crummy and Chief Executive of Colchester's Mercury Theatre Dee Evans are among those who will pick up honorary degrees from the University at graduation ceremonies.

Joining them will be more than 2,000 Essex students who will recieve undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the nine ceremonies held on 16, 17 and 18 July.

Honorary degrees will be awarded to:
Philip Crummy MA, FSA, MIFA has been Director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust since 1971. During that time he has overseen numerous archaeological digs including the recent discovery of the first Roman chariot racing track in Britain. He has published widely on the archaeological history of Colchester and edited the annual publication, The Colchester Archaeologist, for the last 20 years.

Dee Evans has been Chief Executive of Colchester's Mercury Theatre since 1998. Since then she has helped transform it into one of country’s most respected theatres and has also been responsible for driving the Theatre’s educational and outreach initiatives. Launched in 1998 she has developed the Mercury Theatre Company whose actors are committed to working extensively in the community and to performing the classic repertoire and new writing. She In addition, she has made a significant contribution to Colchester, chairing the local strategic partnership Colchester 2020 for two years.

Tim Melville-Ross CBE, FCIS, FCIB has been instrumental in the recent successes of the University having joined the University Council in 1994 and taken on the role of Chair in 2001. In January 2008 he was appointed the new Chair of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Manganese Bronze plc, Royal London Mutual Insurance Ltd, DTZ Holdings plc and Bovis Homes Group plc. He was previously Chief Executive of the Nationwide Building Society, Director-General of the Institute of Directors and Chair of Investors in People UK. He was awarded the CBE in 2005 for services to workplace learning and development.

Jack Petchey OBE is a prominent businessman and property developer who, in the last decade, has devoted much of his time and energy to supporting young people in east London and Essex. The Jack Petchey Foundation, which he established in 1999 with his own money, gives grants to programmes and projects that benefit those aged between 11 and 25 and has committed £150 million to schools and youth projects over the next decade. In 2004 he was awarded the OBE for services to young people.

Professor Derrick Swartz, is a leading figure in South African higher education and a former anti-apartheid activist. A teacher, and later a community researcher and political activist he came to the UK to study for a Masters and PhD in sociology at Essex. On returning to South Africa he founded the Institute of Government at the University of Fort Hare and was appointed Vice-Chancellor in 1999, a position he held until January 2008, and is widely credited with bringing about the University's academic renewal and financial turnaround. He is currently serving as Vice-Chancellor and CEO of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in SA.

BBC radio presenter, Dotun Adebayo will be presented with the 2008 Alumnus of the Year Award. A Philosophy graduate, Dotun Adebayo started his career as a music journalist for publications including NME, Melody Maker, Time Out and Echoes. Today, he combines presenting on Radio Five Live and BBC London with guest slots on BBC 2's the Culture Show and Newsnight Review. Dotun is also an accomplished writer and publisher and founded the publishing company X Press. In summer 2007, Dotun launched Britain's first general interest black internet television station,, which aims to represent under-servced or neglected minority viewers.

Unfortunately actress Juliet Stevenson is unable to attend the Graduation celebrations this year to collect her honorary doctorate.


1. You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/crew to cover the graduation ceremonies on 16, 17 and18 July. If you would like to attend, or for further information please contact the University of Essex Communications office on 01206 872807 or e-mail 2. Listed below is a timetable of the ceremonies including details of when the Honorary Graduands will receive their degrees, Each honorary graduand can be photographed, by arrangement, in the 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony: Ceremony 1: Wednesday 16 July, 10am Honorary Graduand: Jack Petchey OBE Ceremony 2: Wednesday 16 July, 1pm Alumnus of the Year: Dotun Adebayo Ceremony 3: Wednesday 16 July 4pm Honorary Graduand: Professor Derrick Swartz Ceremony 6: Thursday 17 July 4pm Honorary Graduand: Tim Melville-Ross Ceremony 7: Friday 18 July 10am Honorary Graduand: Philip Crummy Ceremony 8: Friday 18 July 1pm Honorary Graduand: Dee Evans

...more news releases