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MBE for former UCLan Director

05 January 2015

Rachel Atkinson

Lynne Duckworth honoured for services to higher education

A former University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Director has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Lynne Duckworth, who was Director of Advancement until her early retirement in December 2013, was honoured for her services to higher education.

While at UCLan the Prestonian managed the marketing, student recruitment, external relationships and partnership teams.

She said: “My first reaction was one of disbelief when I got the news at the end of November. Having been away from UCLan for a year I thought I was long forgotten! But then the thought that people had felt fit to nominate me and taken the time and trouble to fill in all the forms displaced any worries that I didn't deserve it and I decided to just relax and enjoy it. Mind you, the letter only asked if I would accept the honour if offered it so until my mum rang at 8.05am on New Year’s Eve to say she'd heard my name on Radio Lancashire I wasn't confident that it was actually happening.

I'd love to be able to share this award with everyone who helped bring it about. My family and friends of course, but also the University which gave me so many fantastic opportunities during the 20 years I worked there

"At 8.06am she told me I needed to get off the phone so that she could ring all her friends, which seemed to occupy her for most of the next two days.”

The 58-year-old, who started her working life as a careers adviser, was integral in creating the University’s highly regarded partnership network. Her vision and leadership skills then led to the successful delivery of Aimhigher Lancashire and her passion for widening participation continued through the creation of UCLan’s Junior University.

She said: “I'd love to be able to share this award with everyone who helped bring it about. My family and friends of course, but also the University which gave me so many fantastic opportunities during the 20 years I worked there, and above all my wonderful friends and former colleagues in Advancement, now Marketing.”

In addition to her University work, Lynne spent 15 years as a Governor and then Chair of the Governors at Runshaw College.

She added: “I was your typical first generation HE student from a working class family so I am thrilled that both my parents are alive to enjoy this moment. They are bursting with pride and determined to stay fit and well to make it down to London.

“I have been amazed at the warm and generous response from so many people, even those who I would never have dreamt would notice or be interested. I've been stopped in the street by someone who recognised me from the past, I had a phone call from New Zealand from my godfather who I haven't seen for 50 years, and I've had a lovely letter of congratulations from Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire. And of course amongst family and friends we are using it as a great excuse for lots of post-seasonal celebrations.”

Lynne will visit Buckingham Palace to receive her MBE sometime within the next seven months.