Eight distinguished individuals were awarded Honorary Degrees today by The Chancellor, Lord Sainsbury.

Pictured Back Row L - R: Michael Rawlins, Hisashi Owada, John Eliot Gardiner, James Mirrlees, Julia Neuberger, Neil MacGregor

Front Row L - R: Paula Rego, The Chancellor, The Vice-Chancellor, Judith Thomson


Rabbi Baroness Neuberger

Rabbi Baroness Neuberger, DBE, Senior Rabbi of  the West London Synagogue since 2011, read oriental studies at Newnham College (Associate 1983–96) and completed a Rabbinic Diploma at Leo Baeck College, London (Lecturer and Associate Fellow 1979–97). Rabbi of the South London Liberal Synagogue 1977–89, she has chaired an NHS Trust, the Patients Association, the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity and the Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients, been Prime Minister’s Champion for Volunteering and a Civil Service Commissioner, and was Chief Executive of the King’s Fund 1997–2004.She was  Chancellor of the University of Ulster 1994–2000 and Bloomberg Professor of Divinity at Harvard in 2006, Julia Neuberger writes and broadcasts regularly on social, ethical and religious issues. She was appointed DBE in 2004, she was created a Life Peer in the same year.

Judge Hisashi Owada

An international legal scholar and diplomat and a Judge of the International Court of Justice since 2003 (President 2009–12), Judge Professor Hisashi Owada took his BA at the University of Tokyo before coming to Trinity College, of which he is now an Honorary Fellow, to complete an LLB. In the field of foreign affairs, he has been Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Japan and to the OECD and the UN, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and Senior Adviser to the President of the World Bank. In academia he has held numerous professorial appointments in Japan and abroad and membership of the Institut de Droit International since 2001 (President 2011–13). Hisashi Owada was appointed an Officier of the Légion d’honneur of France and has received the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany for his distinguished contribution to Japan–European relations.

Professor Sir James Mirrlees

James Mirrlees read mathematics and natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and then mathematics at Trinity College, before gaining his Cambridge PhD in 1963 with a thesis on optimal economic planning. First elected a Fellow of Trinity in that year, he then held teaching posts at both Cambridge and Oxford before returning to Cambridge in 1995 as Professor of Political Economy (now emeritus). A Distinguished Professor-at-Large and the Founding Master of Morningside College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1984 and received the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2009. James Mirrlees was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences, conjointly with William Vickrey, in 1996. He was knighted in 1998.

Professor Sir Michael Rawlins

A physician and pharmacologist, Michael Rawlins trained in general medicine and then in clinical pharmacology at the St Thomas’ and Hammersmith Hospitals, London and at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. Professor of Clinical Pharmacology (now emeritus) at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and a Consultant Physician at the Newcastle NHS Hospitals 1973–2006, he is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Currently Chair of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and of UK Biobank, from 1999–2013 he was the first Chair of what is now the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. He delivered the 2008 Harveian Oration to the Royal College of Physicians, received the Galen Medal from the Society of Apothecaries in 2010, and was President of the Royal Society of Medicine 2012–14. Michael Rawlins was knighted in 1999.

Mr Neil MacGregor

The art historian and museum director Neil MacGregor read French and German at New College, Oxford and studied philosophy at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He then took an LLB at the University of Edinburgh and was called to the Scottish Bar before deciding to study seventeenth and nineteenth century art at the Courtauld Institute in London. After a lectureship at the University of Reading, he became Editor of The Burlington Magazine in 1981 and was subsequently Director of the National Gallery 1987–2002. Director of the British Museum since 2002, Neil MacGregor was appointed to the Order of Merit in 2010 and made an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Dame Paula Rego

Painter and printmaker Paula Rego has been an Honorary Fellow of Murray Edwards College since 2013. Born in Lisbon, she studied at the Slade School of Fine Art in London 1952–56, and her work is now represented in collections worldwide. A Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art since 1989 (and later Honorary Doctor), she was the first National Gallery Associate Artist in 1990. She received the Grã Cruz da Ordem de Sant'Iago da Espada from the President of Portugal in 2004, a museum of her work, the Casa das Histórias Paula Rego, opened at Cascais in 2009, and there have been major retrospective exhibitions both in Britain and abroad. Winner of the MAPFRE Foundation Drawing Prize in Madrid in 2010, Paula Rego was appointed DBE in the same year.

Professor Judith Jarvis Thomson

Philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson took her BA degree at Barnard College before coming to Cambridge in 1950, to read philosophy at Newnham College, and later obtained her PhD at Columbia in 1959. After appointments at Barnard and at Boston University, she joined MIT in 1964, became a full Professor in 1969, and is currently Professor of Philosophy Emerita and former Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Philosophy. Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1989, she gave the Tanner Lectures on Human Values under the title ‘Goodness and Advice’ at Princeton in 1999. President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in 1992, Judith Jarvis Thomson was awarded the Quinn Prize by the Association in 2012, for her lifetime contribution to philosophy.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner

John Eliot Gardiner read history at King’s College, of which he is an Honorary Fellow, he was a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse and is President of the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig. After studying music and musicology in London and Paris, he was soon in demand as a freelance orchestral conductor. He is widely acknowledged as a key figure in the early music revival, founding and continuing to direct the English Baroque Soloists, the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. An Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and of King’s College London, he has also become a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur and has received the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Appointed CBE in 1990, John Eliot Gardiner was knighted in 1998.

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