Academic Year 2016/17
The University has been pleased to welcome the following Honorary Doctors in the academic year 2016/17:
Mr Harry Christophers CBE
Harry Christophers is known internationally as Founder and Conductor of The Sixteen choir and orchestra. He is also Artistic Director of Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society, and Principal Guest Conductor of the Granada Symphony Orchestra. Educated locally at the King’s School, the young Christophers was also a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral.
Harry has directed The Sixteen throughout Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region, gaining a distinguished reputation for his work in Renaissance, Baroque and 21st-century music.He has won numerous awards, including the coveted Gramophone Award for Early Music and the prestigious Classical Brit Award in 2005 for his disc Renaissance. His CD of Monteverdi’s Vespers was nominated for a 2016 Grammy, and his second recording of Handel’s Messiahon The Sixteen’s own label CORO won the prestigious MIDEM Classical Award 2009 among others.
In 2007 he featured with The Sixteen in the BBC television series Sacred Music – the latest programme devoted to Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 was aired in March 2015.
Harry Christophers received a CBE for services to music in the Queen’s 2012Birthday Honours List.
Mr Tom Hart Dyke
Tom Hart Dyke is an English horticulturist, author and plant hunter as well as son and heir of Guy and Sarah Hart Dyke at the family seat of Lullingstone Castle, Eynsford, Kent. He is the designer of the World Garden of Plants located on the property. The World Garden contains approximately 8,000 species of plants, many collected by Hart Dyke from their native environments.
Educated in Kent, Tom first shot to international prominence in 2000, when he was kidnapped by suspected FARC guerrillas in the Darién Gap between Panama and Colombia while hunting for rare orchids, a plant for which he has a particular passion. He was held captive for nine months and threatened with death. He kept himself going by creating a design for a garden containing plants collected on histrips, laid out in the shape of a world map according to their continent of origin. After his safe return home to Lullingstone Castle, Tom realised his dream and the World Garden was created.
Mr Stephen Firm OBE
Stephen Firn is the Programme Director of the New Care Model Programme in Tertiary Mental Health Services, NHS England, having recently stepped down as Chief Executive of Oxleas NHS Trust. Oxleas Trust was the first Mental HealthTrust to receive Foundation status, and Stephen is one of the longest service Chief Executives of a Trust in the UK (2002 – 2016).
Having first qualified as a nurse in 1985, Stephen has worked in a range of clinical, teaching, research, and managerial positions. In 2000, he advised the Department of Health on the implementation of the Adult Mental Health National Service Framework. He is a member of the Board of South London Academic Health Sciences Network.
Stephen received an OBE for services to health, particularly mental health, in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List.
Major Peter Norton GC
Major Peter Norton is a retired Major in the Royal Logistics Corps. Brought up in Margate, Major Norton enlisted in the British Army as a Private in 1983 and roseover a twenty-year career to the highest non-commissioned rank of Conductor before then being commissioned as a Captain in 2002. Retiring on medical grounds in 2013, Major Norton saw 30 years of active service in the British Army which included tours in Northern Ireland and Iraq. While serving in Iraq in July 2005 he led his Combined Explosives Exploitation unit to assist a US patrol which had succumbed to an IED attack.
As the unit was securing the attack area a secondary IED exploded, costing Pete his left leg and arm, and he suffered other serious injuries to his right leg and lower back. Notwithstanding these grievous wounds, he refused medical evacuation and continued to command his unit until the area was secured and other IEDs had been identified and disabled. For this conduct Major Norton was awarded the George Cross in 2006. Since his team contained two special agents of the FBI, Norton was also awarded the US FBI Star in 2009. Pete now runs his own consultancy business, is the Chairman of the Victoria Cross & George Cross Association and is also a Trustee and Patron of ‘Help for Heroes’.
Professor Tom Purves
Tom Purves is the former CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars and the current Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club (RAC). His career in the automobile industry has spanned four decades and began with a Student Engineering Apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce Car Division. After 19 years with Rolls-Royce,Tom joined BMW, representing the firm on the board of Rover after it was sold to the German firm. From 1999 to 2008, he was Chairman and CEO of BMW for North America, and also Chairman and Regional Manager for the Americas. While he was in the States, BMW acquired the Rolls-Royce marquein a development that has become legendary in the UK motor industry.
Since retiring as CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in 2010, Tom has been an Advisory Council Member of Lotus Cars Ltd, a Visiting Professor at Canterbury Christ Church University and a Trustee of On Course Foundation. He is on the board of the Motor Sports Association and Chairman of The Royal Automobile Club and Scottish Motor Sport.