University celebrates alumni success amongst honorary awards

11 September 2017

Canterbury Christ Church University is delighted to announce that BAFTA and Emmy award winning alumna was amongst the recipients of honorary awards at graduation ceremonies in September.

Each year, the University confers Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships in recognition of individuals who have made an outstanding contribution within their fields and to acknowledge those who have contributed significantly to the University community.

Alumna Kate Blewett is a well-known producer and director with 125 awards including a BAFTA for Best Documentary and six US Emmys for Outstanding Achievement. Her documentaries focus on social and human rights issues and have had international impact, bringing about great awareness and social transformation. 

university-celebrates-alumni-success-amongst-honorary-awards-intext2Kate Blewett

Her powerful 1995 film, The Dying Rooms, highlighted the conditions within Chinese orphanages, which was televised in 26 countries and made a strong impact. The documentary took two years to make as Kate and her colleague, Brian Woods, filmed undercover in very difficult conditions. It received numerous awards including an American Emmy, the Peabody Award and the Royal Television Society Award for International Current Affairs.


Phil Gallagher

Kate was made an Honorary Fellow.

Phil Gallagher was born in Kent and attended the University during the 1990s, having studied Radio, Film and Television and English. He has since gone on to find fame with his incredibly popular children’s character Mister Maker and in 2009 was nominated for Best Presenter at the BAFTA Children’s Awards.

Since its first transmission in 2007, Mister Makerhas become a worldwide hit and has played in over 100 countries around the globe. Phil has also taken Mister Maker on several Live UK and international theatre tours - including 18 sold out shows at the iconic Sydney Opera House.

Phil was made an Honorary Fellow.

Former Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the University’s Governing Body, Stephen Clark TD, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in recognition of his significant personal contribution to the University. He spent 14 years on the University’s Governing Body, having become a governor in 2003 and served two terms as Pro-Chancellor and Chair. He stepped down after the completion of his second term in July 2017.


LtoR: Pro-Chancellor Frank Martin, Stephen Clark TD, Vice-Chancellor Professor Rama Thirunamachandran

Stephen’s journey of 27 years in Higher Education began in 1990, when he led a review of the Urban Learning Foundation, which trained teachers for the London inner boroughs. A retired investment banker, with over 40 years’ experience in Wealth Management, Investment Banking, Stockbroking and Fund Management, Stephen is also Chairman of Medway Maritime Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a Freeman of the City of London and a supporter of military soldiers’ charities.

Sandra Matthews-Marsh was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for her achievements in a 25 year career, in both the local and national tourism industry.

Sandra has been Chief Executive for Visit Kent for the last 12 years, prior to which she was a Senior Director at Leeds Castle. In 2012 she was inducted into the Top 100 Club for the most influential women in the tourism and hospitality industry, and in 2014 was invested with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her services to Tourism.


Sandra Matthews-Marsh

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We would like to welcome our Honorary Doctors and Fellows, as well as congratulate them on their successful careers and the meaningful impact their contribution and work has had upon the University, wider community and society.”






Notes to editors

Canterbury Christ Church University

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

With 17,000 students across Kent and Medway, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional subject areas.

  • Over 94% of our UK undergraduates were in employment or further studies six months after completing their studies*.
  • We are one of the South East’s largest providers of education, training and skills leading to public service careers.

*2015/16 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey



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Last edited: 14/12/2018 23:33:00