Students Staff

16 July 2013

Annie Lennox and Laura Trott receive Honorary Degrees

Colchester Campus

Honorary Graduate Annie Lennox OBE at the University of Essex from University of Essex on Vimeo.

Internationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and human rights activist Annie Lennox and double Olympic cycling gold medallist Laura Trott were today presented with Honorary Degrees by the University of Essex.

Ms Lennox received her Honorary Degree in recognition of her work in political and social activism and her extensive campaigning for humanitarian causes. She was presented with the honour by the University’s Chancellor Lord Phillips of Sudbury during a packed Graduation ceremony at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall on the University’s Colchester Campus.

During the ceremony, the University’s Dr Pam Cox spoke about Ms Lennox’s support for a wide-range of humanitarian projects which have made vital, practical, life-saving differences – above all in South Africa. Dr Cox also mentioned Ms Lennox’s ‘SING’ campaign which works with women and children with HIV – raising awareness regarding preventing the transmission of the virus from mother to child.

After the ceremony Ms Lennox said: “The University of Essex has been recognised by both the Queen and Nelson Mandela for its involvement with the fight for human rights around the world, and I am delighted to receive this award in recognition of my work to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes and, in particular, for those affected by HIV and Aids. It is vital to work together to help people who need access to education, health care and justice.”

Ms Lennox is one of seven distinguished individuals to receive Honorary Degrees at this year’s Graduation at Essex, which will see 2,745 students graduate ΜΆ the University’s biggest Graduation ever held.

Also receiving an honorary degree today at the University of Essex was Essex-born double Olympic cycling gold medallist Laura Trott, in recognition of her significant achievements in European, World and Olympic cycling.

Honorary Graduate Laura Trott OBE at the University of Essex from University of Essex on Vimeo.

During her visit to the University's Colchester Campus Ms Trott was given a tour of the Human Performance Unit, one of the leading facilities of its kind in the country. 

She said: "It was really interesting to visit the Human Performance Unit. I normally only get to see the facilities at the English Institute of Sport so it is nice to come here and see what other people are doing."

Professor Chris Cooper, Director of the Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, gave the oration for Ms Trott and highlighted her spectacular sporting achievements including two Olympic golds and three world championships.

Ms Trott told those attending graduation: "You have the opportunity to pursue an academic path so your degree is your gold medal. Use the opportunities which life gives you - challenge yourself to do the best you can and follow your dreams."


For more information please contact the University of Essex Communications Office on 01206 872400 or e-mail:

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