Barry McGuigan awarded honorary degree at Canterbury Cathedral ceremony

Former boxing champion Barry McGuigan MBE and comedians Phill Jupitus and Mark Steel have received honorary degrees from the University in ceremonies at Canterbury Cathedral.

Barry McGuigan MBE is a retired professional boxer from Clones in the Republic of Ireland. Known as The Clones Cyclone, Barry McGuigan became WBA and lineal featherweight champion. He is the current President of the Professional Boxing Association and founder of Cyclone Promotions.

Barry McGuigan received a Doctor of the University degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 11 July. Introducing Barry McGuigan, Dr Peter Nicholls, the University’s Dean of Kent Health, said he had made an ‘outstanding contribution’ both to sport and to services for the education of young people.

Mark Steel is a stand-up comedian, broadcaster, newspaper columnist and author. He has made many appearances on radio and television shows and written regular columns in newspapers including the Guardian. Mark Steel received a Doctor of Arts degree, in recognition of his contribution to British popular culture, at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on 10 July.

Phill Jupitus is a stand-up comedian, actor and performance poet. He was a team captain on BBC Two’s popular music quiz Never Mind the Buzzcocks from its inception in 1996 until it finished in 2015. He also appears on several other TV panel shows, including QI. Phill Jupitus received a Doctor of Arts degree, in recognition of his contribution to British popular culture, at Canterbury Cathedral on 10 July.

Other honorary degrees awarded have been: Diplomat Baroness Ashton of Upholland is a Life Peer who served as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and First Vice President of the European Commission from 2009 to 2014. She received a Doctor of Civil Law degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 11 July.

Attorney general Lisa Madigan was elected to a fourth term as Illinois Attorney General in November 2014. She is the senior-most female Attorney General in the United States and the longest serving Attorney General in Illinois history. She regularly testifies before Congress on consumer and criminal issues. In 1986-87 she studied at Kent as part of an exchange with Georgetown. She received a Doctor of Civil Law degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 11 July.

Criminal barrister Courtenay Griffiths QC is a barrister, notable for his defence within a number of high-profile cases. He is widely regarded as one of the most outstanding jury advocates of his generation. He received a Doctor of Laws degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 12 July.

Businessman Jeremy Middleton CBE is a high-profile investor and entrepreneur based in the north east of England. He graduated from Kent in 1981 with a degree in History and is the founder and Managing Director of the private investment company Middleton Enterprises Ltd which backs early-stage and developing businesses. He received a Doctor of the University degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 12 July.

Human rights lawyer Jocelyn Cockburn is a leading Civil Liberties lawyer who has been at the centre of some of the most politically sensitive cases in the last decade. She received a Doctor of Laws degree at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on 12 July.

Scientist Professor Mark Edmund Smith has been Vice-Chancellor of Lancaster University since January 2012, having previously been Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Warwick University. He received a Doctor of Science degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 13 July.

Computer scientist Professor Simon Peyton Jones is a British computer scientist who researches the implementation and applications of functional programming languages, particularly lazy functional programming. He received a Doctor of Science degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 13 July.

Political philosopher Professor Quentin Skinner is regarded as one of the founders of the ‘Cambridge School’ of the history of political thought. He is currently the Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities and Co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London. He received a Doctor of Letters degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 13 July.

Geneticist Professor Dame Linda Partridge is a leading evolutionary biologist who specialises in ageing research. She is Director of the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London and the founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne, Germany. She received a Doctor of Science degree at Canterbury Cathedral on 14 July.

Sportswoman Millicent Knight is a visually impaired Paralympic athlete who competes for ParalympicsGB in alpine skiing in the slalom and giant slalom events. In 2014, she became Great Britain’s Youngest Winter Paralympian at the age of fifteen when she competed in Sochi, Russia. She received a Doctor of the University degree at Rochester Cathedral on 18 July.

Jonathan Yeo is a British artist who has exhibited in Europe, North America and East Asia. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading figurative artists and has been the subject of several mid-career retrospectives. Jonathan Yeo, who graduated from Kent in 1993 with a degree in English and Film, received a Doctor of Arts degree, in recognition of his career as an artist and portrait painter, at Rochester Cathedral on 18 July.