Cambridge University figures recognised in New Year Honours list

Image credit: Jeroen Komen, World Economic Forum

Cambridge University alumni fared well in the 2018 New Year Honours list, with more than a dozen former students receiving recognition.

From the medical field is Sir Keith Peters, former Regius Professor of Physic at the University from 1987 to 2005. He was also head of the School of Clinical Medicine, and is currently an Honorary Fellow of Christ’s College and Clare Hall. Peters was previously knighted in 1993, and has now been advanced to Order of the British Empire.

Another medical man who has been recognised is Ian Goodyer, a Cambridge University-based Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist who has been awarded an OBE. A member of the Department of Psychiatry, his work focuses on connections between human development and psychopathology.

Renowned actor Hugh Laurie, who read English at Selwyn College and was President of the Footlights, is another Cantab on the list. He was previously made an OBE in 2007, and is now being honoured with the higher rank of CBE.

From the technological field is Suranga Chandratillake, who has an MA in Computer Science from the University and is the founder of blinkx, a search engine used to track down online video and audio content. Chandratillake graduated with a double first from Cambridge, and was the first web editor for the student newspaper Varsity during his time at the University. For his achievements in engineering and technology, he has been awarded an OBE.

Another well-known Cambridge alumnus who has been honoured is Nick Clegg, who will be appointed a knight bachelor. Clegg is the former deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader, and previously generated some controversy for joining the Conservatives in a coalition government following the 2010 general election. The raising of tuition fees during this coalition, despite an earlier Liberal Democrat manifesto pledge, also proved controversial.

Two other alumni, Anthony Habgood and Kenneth Aphunezi Olisa, will also be appointed knight bachelors – the former for services to UK Industry, the latter for services to business and philanthropy. Christopher Geidt and Philip McDougall Rutnam, both Trinity Hall alumni, are being knighted in the Order of the Bath.

Altogether, at least fourteen Cambridge alumni have been recognised in the New Year Honours list. They include Oxford professor of economic history Jane Humphries (CBE), Hay Festival director Peter Florence (CBE), and CEO of DeepMind Dr DEmis Hassabis (CBE). The Honours list, which dates back to around 1890, recognises notable services and contributions to Britain.

Other appointments this year include the knighting of Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and Bee Gee member Barry Gibb, the appointment of first British astronaut Helen Sharman to the Order of St Michael and St George, and former British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman to CBE.

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