University awards honorary degrees

Tenor Mark Padmore, businessman and philanthropist Zameer Choudrey, and local politician John Simmonds are to receive honorary degrees.

Mark Padmore is an award-winning British tenor who grew up in Canterbury. He attended St Thomas’ Primary School and the Simon Langton Grammar School. After University he gained a choral scholarship to King’s College Cambridge. He has sung with a number of professional choirs and since 2000 has increasingly performed as a recitalist. Most recently, he has appeared in Bach Passions with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. (He will receive a Doctor of Music in recognition of his contribution to Music at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday 21 November)

Zameer Choudrey
Businessman and philanthropist Zameer Choudrey is the Chief Executive of Bestway Group, a conglomerate with a turnover of £2.5billion. He graduated from the University of Kent in 1981 and is a Chartered Accountant by profession. As Chief Executive of Bestway, Zameer Choudrey successfully spearheaded the £100m acquisition of Batleys Limited and the Co-Operative Pharmacy. He is Chairman of the Bestway Foundation Pakistan and a member of the HRH Prince of Wales Pakistan Recovery Fund’s international leadership team. (He will receive a Doctor of Civil Law degree, in recognition of his contribution to services to public life and business at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday 21 November)

John Simmonds
John Simmonds MBE grew up in Broadstairs, attending Chatham House Grammar school in Ramsgate. A period of National Service followed before he began a career working in the branch network of Lloyds Bank. Mr Simmonds was elected to Kent County Council in June 2001. He was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for services to local government. He now represents Canterbury West following boundary changes. He is currently Deputy Leader of Kent County Council.

John Simmonds served as a member of the University of Kent’s Council from August 2002 until July 2014. He has played key roles during his 12 years of generous service to the University. He was appointed Deputy Chair of the Council and Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee on 1 August 2006. Mr Simmonds was Chair of the Council from 1 August 2011 until 31 July 2014. (He will receive a Doctor of the University degree, in recognition of his contribution to the University of Kent, at a ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral on Friday 21 November).

For more information contact Martin Herrema.