11 December 2013
Stephen Clark, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Governing Body, Michael Morpurgo, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor and Dr John Moss, Dean of Education
Author of the world renowned children’s story War Horse, Michael Morpurgo OBE, and the Director of Security and Resilience for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Sir Ian Johnston CBE QPM DL, have been awarded an Honorary Doctorate and Honorary Fellowship respectively by Canterbury Christ Church University.
The former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morgurgo has written over 130 children’s books, including Private Peaceful, The Butterfly Lion, Little Foxes and the bestseller War Horse, which has been adapted into a successful film and West End play.
Before his career writing children’s novels, Morpurgo grew up in the South East, attending The King’s School in Canterbury. He went on to study English at university, and later taught in a primary school in Kent.
In 1976, Morpurgo and his wife, Claire, started the charity ‘Farms for City Children’, that gives teachers and pupils from urban schools the opportunity to live and work on a farm for a week. The charity has three farms around the United Kingdom in Pembrokeshire, Gloucestershire and North Devon, where Morpurgo and his family currently live.
Stephen Clark, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Governing Body, Sir Ian Johnston, Dr Dominic Wood, Head of Department, Law and Criminal Justice Studies and Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor
The University’s second Honorary graduate is Sir Ian Johnston CBE QPM DL, who has held high profile positions within the police service. Sir Johnston’s distinguished career includes the roles of Assistant Chief Constable for Kent Police, Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, and his most recent role, the Director of Security of the Olympic and Paralympic Games before retiring in 2009.
Acting as an external examiner for the BSc (Hons) Policing degree, as well as for the MSc Policing course at Canterbury Christ Church University, Sir Johnston has been connected with the University for over ten years.
Even after retirement, Sir Johnston holds the chair of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Crime Business Area as well as remaining an external examiner for the University up until 2012.
Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, welcomed the new Honorary graduates. He said: “We are delighted to award Michael Morpurgo with an Honorary Doctorate and Sir Ian Johnston an Honorary Fellowship. Both have achieved great distinction within their careers and have had a significant impact upon different sections of society.”
The Honorary graduates received their awards at a ceremony in Canterbury Cathedral on Friday, 29 November.
Notes to Editor
- The University awards Honorary Fellowships and Doctorates to celebrate extraordinary achievement. Honorary Fellows are awarded to individuals who have a substantial connection with the University, Kent or whose work is strongly associated with our University’s academic disciplines. Honorary Doctorates are recommended to those who have made an outstanding national or international contribution to public life.
Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services.
With nearly 20,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.
- 94% of our most recent UK graduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
- We are the number one choice for local people looking to study at university in Kent (2012 UCAS).
- We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.
*2011/12 Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey