Press Release

01 December 2011

The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, Admiral the Lord Boyce, received an Honorary Doctorate from Canterbury Christ Church University on Friday 25 November.

From left: Admiral The Lord Boyce, The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr Peter Hermitage QPM, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Body, Professor Robin Baker CMG, Vice-Chancellor
From left: Admiral The Lord Boyce, The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr Peter Hermitage QPM, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Body, Professor Robin Baker CMG, Vice-Chancellor

Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah, Booker Prize nominee, also received an Honorary Fellowship during the day's graduation ceremonies.

The awards were presented at the University’s Cathedral Graduation ceremony in Canterbury, also attended by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams, The Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Boyce was appointed as a Knight of the Garter in June, a rare honour bestowed by the Queen for contribution to national life or service to the Queen. The order of the Garter is the nation’s highest order of chivalry.

Lord Boyce was appointed First Sea Lord in 1998 and Chief of the Defence Staff in 2001, and was head of the Armed Forces at the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  He was elevated to the peerage in 2003 and was appointed Lord Warden and Admiral of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle in 2004.  

In the past, the position was one of the most powerful figures in England having been held by occupants such as William Pitt, the Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Robert Menzies and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Alongside Lord Boyce, Abdulrazak Gurnah received an Honorary Fellowship at the ceremony, attended by hundreds of students and their families. Born in Zanzibar where he lived until he was 18, he now teaches literature at the University of Kent. He is a graduate of Canterbury Christ Church University.

Abdulrazak Gurnah is author of seven novels, including ‘Paradise’ – shortlisted for both the Booker and the Whitbread Prizes, ‘By the Sea’ – long listed for the Booker Prize and awarded the RFI Temoin du monde prize and ‘Desertion’ - shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize.

The Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Robin Baker CMG, said: “We are delighted that both Admiral the Lord Boyce and Abdulrazak Gurnah are joining the Christ Church community of honorary appointees. Their contributions in their different fields of endeavour to the county of Kent and the United Kingdom have been immense.”

The Cathedral graduation ceremony also awarded Gavin Devereux with a PhD in Sports and Exercise Science.  Gavin is the first student to be awarded a Canterbury Christ Church PhD after the University was given research awarding powers.

To find out more about the students who graduated at the ceremony, visit www.youtube.co.uk/christchurchuni to view short video clips featuring students who received prizes for their work.

Notes to Editor

Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.

With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

We are the third highest university in England for student employability, with 94.3% of our recent graduates in employment or further study six months after graduating*.

  • Christ Church is the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2010 UCAS).
  • We are the South East’s largest provider of courses for public service careers (outside of London).
  • In 2012 we will celebrate our Golden Jubilee, reflecting on 50 years of higher education and innovation.

*2009/10 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey

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Last edited: 05/12/2017 04:26:00