Students Staff

31 December 2015

Honoured for helping to develop higher education in Suffolk

Celia Edey

Celia Edey

One of the key players in the development of University Campus Suffolk and its plans to become an independent university has been awarded the OBE in the New Year’s Honours.

Celia Edey is honoured for her exemplary contribution to higher education in Essex and Suffolk. This began when she joined the Council of the University of Essex in 2006, becoming University Treasurer in 2010.

In 2009 she joined the Board of University Campus Suffolk (UCS), initially as an Essex representative, and subsequently as an independent member, and now Deputy Chair.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “Celia has provided us with invaluable support, both as a champion and a critical friend.

“She has brought passion and conviction to her engagement with the University of Essex and University Campus Suffolk, taking on significant responsibilities to help us make a lasting contribution to the communities we serve. We are delighted that Celia’s contribution has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.”

Provost and Chief Executive of UCS Richard Lister described Celia’s ‘unflinching commitment to the UCS values and mission of raising the levels of educational aspiration and attainment in Suffolk’, noting that ”Celia has exceeded, by a considerable margin, the contributions that might ordinarily be expected of a non-executive director, taking on significant responsibilities to actively assist us in making a real and lasting contribution to the communities we serve. This honour is thoroughly deserved and I offer Celia my warmest congratulations”.

Nobody has worked more tirelessly than Celia to support UCS through its early years according to Brian Summers, Registrar of the University of East Anglia. He describes Celia as ‘a passionate advocate of UCS's mission to grow participation in higher education in Suffolk and to bring the recognised economic and cultural benefits of a university to the region’.

Celia said she was ‘’ surprised and humbled” to learn of her award, adding ”It has been a privilege to work alongside talented and committed colleagues to help the progress of UCS towards independence. I passionately believe we offer transformational opportunities to many - both young and not-so-young - from Suffolk and the wider region for whom higher education has, in the past, been an unachievable dream. What greater reward can there be than to see the difference we can make to the lives of those who achieve their dreams through studying at UCS?’

Celia’s outstanding record of public service spans 30 years. In addition to UCS and the University of Essex, she has sustained significant commitment to other education and health charities and the criminal justice system. As with her contribution to higher education, in each of these other areas, she has gone considerably beyond the normal expectation.

She served as a Magistrate in Essex from 1984 for 23 years, holding the roles of Chair and Deputy Chair of the Essex Magistrates Courts Committee for a total of ten years. She was also a member of the management committee of the Central Council of Magistrates’ Courts Committees. She continued to support the criminal justice system through her Deputy Chairmanship of the Chelmsford Prison Visitors’ Centre. For 12 years, through the 1980s and 1990s, as a Non-Executive Director of the British Lung Foundation, she served on its Ethics Committee and set up its national Fundraising Committee. She was a founding trustee in the Romilly Forshall Foundation, an overseas children’s charity.

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