Dave Holmes OBE, Professor Helen Marshall OBE, John Chesworth and Alison Robinson were recognised
Four people who have dedicated their careers to education, aerospace and law have been recognised with honorary awards from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Honorary Doctorates have been bestowed upon UCLan alumnus Lancastrian David Holmes OBE, who has spent nearly 40 years working at BAE Systems, and Professor Helen Marshall OBE, who has dedicated her career to the higher education sector.
Proud Prestonian John Chesworth, Executive Chairman of Harrison Dury, and Alison Robinson, former Chief Executive and Principal of Myerscough College, have been recognised with Honorary Fellowships.
Dave began his career with British Aerospace in 1984 as a craft apprentice and he is now the Managing Director of FalconWorks, overseeing the development of next generation capabilities, products and systems.
"To be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from this prestigious institution is a humbling moment for me"— New UCLan Honorary Doctorate David Holmes OBE
He received his special award for his significant contribution towards advanced aerospace manufacturing, technology and engineering.
Dave said: “To be awarded an Honorary Doctorate from this prestigious institution is a humbling moment for me. To be awarded this in recognition of the contribution I have made towards the aerospace sector and skills development is even more so.
“My own journey with the University started way back in 1986, a day release student walking up Marsh Lane from our factory. The campus is most certainly a different place today and it is the beating heart of Preston.”
Helen has worked at four UK universities during her long and distinguished career, including at UCLan where she was Head of Quality Assurance and Enhancement. She then took on the roles of Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cumbria, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of South Wales and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford, before she retired in August this year.
"I really valued and enjoyed my time here. I went from first rung of the academic ladder to a senior management role"— Professor Helen Marshall OBE, new UCLan Honorary Doctorate
She was recognised for her significant contribution to the higher education sector after holding senior positions at four universities.
Helen commented: “It is an honour to receive this award from this University. Back in 1982 this was Preston Polytechnic and the place I started my academic career. I really valued and enjoyed my time here. I went from first rung of the academic ladder to a senior management role.”
John, who is Chair of both the Preston Towns Fund Bid and the Preston Partnership, was recognised for his significant contribution to the regeneration of the city.
The proud Prestonian is Executive Chairman of Harrison Dury, where he has practised as a solicitor for more than 25 years, and sits on the board of Preston’s Business Improvement District. John is Chair of both the Preston Towns Fund Bid and the Preston Partnership, a trustee of St Catherine’s Hospice, where he currently sits as Chair, and is a member of Preston Youth Zone’s committee.
"I am extremely grateful to accept the Honorary Fellowship of the University of Central Lancashire, an institution I attended as a postgraduate in 1993 a year after it became a University"— New Honorary Fellow John Chesworth
He said: “I am extremely grateful to accept the Honorary Fellowship of the University of Central Lancashire, an institution I attended as a postgraduate in 1993 a year after it became a University.
“Since that time the progress of the University has been nothing short of breath-taking, and as a very proud Prestonian who likes to have good things to shout about the city, the University continues to be in the vanguard when it comes to positive stories about the city.”
Alison, who has held senior positions at two local colleges for nearly 20 years, was acknowledged for her significant contribution to the further education sector in Lancashire. She was Runshaw College’s Assistant Principal before becoming Chief Executive and Principal of Myerscough College.
"With the help of this University, I have certainly achieved things I never thought was possible"— New UCLan Honorary Fellow Alison Robinson
The UCLan alumna led the college on a £35m development scheme, oversaw two new educational centres and supported UCLan’s new School of Veterinary Medicine before she retired in summer.
She added: “The University’s mission is to help people to seize every opportunity to flourish in education, at work and for life through the combination of academic excellence and real-world teaching. With the help of this University, I have certainly achieved things I never thought was possible and I know that the graduands here today will do the same.”
Television presenter AJ Odudu, from Blackburn, also received an Honorary Fellowship during the three days of celebrations, which saw nearly 2,500 students take to the graduation stage in UCLan’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.