Canterbury Christ Church University conferred Frank Martin and John McParland with Honorary Doctorates during their September graduation ceremonies, in recognition of outstanding service and contributions in the fields of business, education and public life.

The ceremonies were held in the historic Canterbury Cathedral over two days, with more than 1,300 University students coming together to graduate and celebrate their achievements with family and friends.

Professor Rama Thirunamachandran, Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “We would like to congratulate all our graduating students and staff, and wish them well on the next step of their journey, knowing that they will always be a part of the Canterbury Christ Church University community.

“We would also like to offer a warm welcome to our new Honorary Doctors. Both Frank and John have dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy supporting the University, our region’s education and business communities, as well as individuals. We are delighted to celebrate their achievements with them.”

Frank Martin
Frank Martin

Frank Martin was a member of Canterbury Christ Church University’s Board of Governors for a successful 11 years until 2021. He held the position of Chair and Pro-Chancellor for 4 years and has more than 25-years’ experience in senior Business Management roles.

Throughout his time at the University, Frank made a significant contribution. In his role as Chair, he helped to develop, grow and lead the University through the implementation of key areas including the Estate Master Plan and Strategic Framework, 2015-2022, as well as providing strategic governance leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic. Frank’s strong career in director and Chief Executive Officer roles of national and international companies include Managing Director of Denby Pottery Ltd, Marketing Director of Hasbro, and Chief Executive of Hornby PLC from 2001 until 2013.

Frank has also held several voluntary and charitable positions and was appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport as a Non-Executive Director of Dover Harbour Board.  In 2017, he was made Deputy Chairman and Senior Non-Executive Director until retirement in June 2020. Frank is on the Board of Trustees as Vice Chairman for the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) based in Aylesford, Kent. In addition, he has held the office of Commodore of The Royal Temple Yacht Club and is still a Non-Executive 

John McParland
John McParland

John McParland was Principal of the John Wallis Church of England Academy in Ashford after a highly successful 10-year tenure, leading transformational change at the school.

John spent six years studying theology, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree and his faith and determination in teaching has been central to his success. John has held various roles in his career including Head of the RE Department (in only his second year of teaching), Deputy Head Teacher and Head Teacher.

He also studied counselling in the United States and has maintained leadership positions throughout his career. In his role as Principal of the John Wallis Church of England Academy, John steered an underperforming high school into a thriving, first-choice of education for children, pupils and sixth-form students, with the school becoming a successful 0 - 19 academy.

His vision for excellence and impact saw the John Wallis Church of England Academy acquire Specialist Technology status within two years and within three years under John’s leadership, the school secured a £2.2 million project to support significant new building facilities.

John has also managed the London County Gaelic Football and Hurling Teams and holds an FA coaching award.

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