News | Friday, 3rd July 2015

Honorary degree recipients announced

Great names from across science, business and the arts

THE recipients of honorary degrees from Manchester Metropolitan University this year include the head of the International Cycling Union, an internationally acclaimed photographer and a former Chief Executive of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Brian Cookson OBE will be presented with the award of honorary Doctor of Education, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to British and international cycling.

Cookson served as president of British Cycling from 1997 to 2013, was elected to the UCI Management Committee in 2009 and has been President of the UCI Road Commission since 2011.

Kevin Cummins will receive the title of honorary Doctor of Arts from Manchester School of Art in recognition of his outstanding achievements and position as an inspiration to the University’s students and graduates.

Kevin began to photograph rock bands in the mid-1970s in Manchester and is now internationally renowned for his work. He had a 25-year association with NME magazine, including 10 years as their chief photographer, was instrumental in establishing City Life magazine and was a founding contributor to The Face magazine.

Sir Richard Leese CBE will be given an honorary Doctor of Letters by the Faculty of Business and Law in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the North West region as a politician and leader of Manchester City Council, and for his generous support and commitment to the University.

Sir Richard has been leader of Manchester City Council since 1996. He was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2006 List after overseeing the 10-year regeneration of the city after the IRA bomb of 1996.

Jim Cumbes will receive the honorary title Doctor of Business Administration from the Faculty of Business and Law in recognition of his distinguished achievements in the fields of sport and business and the significant contribution he has made to the region.

He began his career as a professional cricketer back in 1962 and during this time also became a professional footballer with Tranmere Rovers. Following retirement as a professional from both sports, Jim originally turned his attention to working in the media, hosting a local radio programme and chat show before switching to a commercial role within cricket as commercial manager at Warwickshire. From there he joined Lancashire County Cricket Club as Marketing Manager, before very quickly being promoted to Sales and Marketing Manager, where he increased revenue by £5.5 million, becoming Chief Executive in 1997.

Poet Mike Garry will receive the title of honorary Doctor of Education in recognition of his generous support and continued commitment to promoting reading and literacy in young people throughout the UK, and the inspiration his career as a librarian and acclaimed poet represents to our students.

Mike Garry was a librarian for 15 years before becoming a poet. His work with young people in inner city Manchester won him awards from the Prince’s Trust and the National Literacy Trust and along with Rio Ferdinand, Ashley Cole and David Beckham, Mike became a “Champion Reader” recognised for his work in promoting reading to young people.

An ex student of Manchester Metropolitan University, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Library and Information Studies, Mike still does regular talks to students on this course, the creative writing course and with trainee teachers as well as working with 10,000 young people in schools throughout the UK.

Professor dr Henk Scholten will receive the award of honorary Doctor of Science from the Faculty of Science and Engineering in recognition of his distinguished achievements in the fields of education, business and research.

Henk is founder and CEO of Geodan, one of the largest European companies specialising in Geo-IT and in 2010 Geodan’s Eagle Crisis Management system was used in the relief efforts in response to flood disaster in Pakistan.

Dr Barbara Murray will receive an honorary Doctor of Health award from the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care in recognition of her significant contribution to healthcare in the region.

Dr Murray undertook her training in biomedical healthcare science at the University, working as a pathology scientist at North Manchester General Hospital before retraining to become a GP. Dr Murray has been a “TV doctor” in the programme Street Doctor and recently became the “resident” GP advisor to the BBC News based in Salford Quays. She is regularly seen on Breakfast TV and other news programmes.

Notes to editors

For more information, contact Kat Dibbits in the Manchester Metropolitan University press office on 0161 247 5278 or email

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