ARU Alison?

Gregory Lewis 30 October 2008

Alison Richard, the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University, is to be awarded an honorary degree – from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU).

She will be awarded the Doctorate of Science at an Anglia Ruskin graduation ceremony over the weekend of 12th-13th November. The ceremony will see several others receive honorary degrees.

Notable recipients, of local importance, include Julie Spence, head of Cambridgeshire Constabulary and novelist Ali Smith, who is currently living in Cambridge. Jimmy Doherty, star of ‘Jimmy’s Farm’ and ‘Jimmy Doherty’s Farming Heroes’, will be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Science for his work on the study of insects and raising of rare breed animals.

Professor Michael Horne, vice-chancellor of ARU praised the university’s, “hard-working, high-calibre graduates”, adding that ARU “hope they will be inspired by the stories of our distinguished honorary graduates to go on to emulate their success.”

In praise of Professor Richard, ARU said that she had brought “sweeping institutional change at Cambridge.” They also brought attention to her gender, saying that she had broken “every ‘glass barrier’ that exists for women to get where she is today,” and has “helped and inspired many others to do the same.”

Professor Richard, who graduated in anthropology from Cambridge University, is the first female Vice Chancellor of the university since the role ceased to be purely ceremonial.

After gaining a Doctorate from London University, she moved into American academia, eventually becoming provost of Yale University. Since returning to Cambridge in 2003, her achievements at the University were marked last year, when Cambridge was awarded the prestigious title of Sunday Times University of the Year.

Cambridge University declined to comment as the degree has not yet been awarded.

Gregory Lewis