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Children’s worker & leading UK poet among those to be honored by the University of Warwick


The University of Warwick has today announced the names of nine people who will received Honorary Degrees from the University during its Summer degree ceremonies this July.
Further details on the press opportunities available will be issued nearer the time but short bios on each person now follow along with details on the Honorary degree they are to receive.

Camila Batmanghelidjh – Hon MA (Honorary Master of Arts)

A Warwick graduate, Camila Batmanghelidjh is a psychotherapist and founder and leader of Kids Company – a London-based charity that provides emotional, practical and educational support for deprived and disturbed children. She also founded The Place to Be, offering psychotherapy and counselling to children in schools. It is now a national project and serves in excess of 20,000 children a year.

She won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2005, and was awarded the Woman of the Year award for 2006 in recognition of her work with Kids Company. She has written Shattered Lives: Children Who Live with Courage and Dignity.

Professor Avinash Dixit – Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)

Avinash Dixit is a distinguished economist, currently the Sherrerd University Professor of Economics at Princeton, who has made many influential contributions to economic theory – particularly in the fields of microeconomic theory, game theory. International trade, industrial organisation, growth and development theories, public economics, and political economy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and was the President of that society in 2001. He was Vice-President of the American Economic Association in 2002. He is also a Fellow of the US National Academy for Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

Professor Erwin L Hahn – Hon DSc (Honorary Doctor of Science)

Formerly Professor of Physics at Berkeley and now Professor Emeritus, Erwin L Hahn works in the fields of condensed matter physics and materials science. He has been awarded many international prizes (including: The Buckley Prize, American Physical Society; Prize of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance; Wolf Foundation Prize in Physics; Comstock Prize, National Academy of Sciences) and is a Fellow of many distinguished bodies including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society.

Professor Hahn has been particularly associated with research in NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance). One of his earliest significant contributions to this field was his key role in development of the pulse technique in the 1940’s which became a crucial NMR method for physicists and chemists investigating atoms and molecules. Additionally he discovered the phenomenon known as “spin echo”. Both Pulsed NMR and spin echoes played a crucial role in the development of magnetic resonance imaging which is now widely used in medicine.

Simon Halsey – Hon MA (Honorary Master of Arts)
Formerly Director of Music at the University of Warwick, Simon Halsey is now Chorus Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Rundfunk Chor. He has coached and directed choral groups across the world and co-founded the City of Birmingham Touring Opera.

He has been Chorus Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, and of the City of Birmingham Youth Chorus since he founded it in 1995. He also currently acts as Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir (Groot Omroepkoor). In addition, he is Artistic Director and founder of the professional choir European Voices, and Principal Conductor, Choral Programme for the Northern Sinfonia.

He has also been involved with numerous recordings, including a live recording of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the CBSC and the Vienna Philharmonic, under Simon Rattle. In 2006 he conducted the CBSC in their first completely choral recording, an album of English Choral Favourites

Professor Geoffrey Hill – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Geoffrey Hill, Professor of English Literature and Religion at Boston, is one of our most distinguished English poets. Born in Worcestershire, his childhood home features in one of his most widely read collections of poems, Mercian Hymns. He has won many awards, including the the Loines Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1983) and the T S Eliot Prize in 2000. In 1996 Professor Hill was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His publications include The Lords of Limit: Essays on Literature and Ideas (1984), The Enemy’s Country: Words, Contexture, and Other Circumstances of Language (1991), and three recent books of poems: Canaan (1997), The Triumph of Love (1998), and Speech! Speech! (2000). In March 2000, he gave the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Brasenose College, Oxford,

He is also an Associate Fellow of The University of Warwick’s Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature

Professor Christopher Peacocke – Hon DLitt (Honorary Doctor of Letters)
Professor Peacocke was Waynflete Professor of Metaphysical Philosophy at Oxford and is a Fellow of the British Academy. He is especially known for his work in philosophy of mind and epistemology. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at Columbia.

His publications include: Sense and Content, Oxford, 1983, Thoughts: An Essay on Content, Blackwell, 1986, A Study of Concepts, MIT, 1992, Being Known, Oxford, 1999 and The Realm of Reason, Oxford, 2003.

Professor David VandeLinde – Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)
In 1978 Professor David VandeLinde became the founding Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins, which, under his leadership, became recognised as one of the top engineering schools in the US. In 1992 he became Vice-Chancellor of University of Bath serving in that role for nine years.

Professor David VandeLinde was Warwick’s fourth Vice-Chancellor from 2001 to 2006 – a time of great progress and development for the University. Under his leadership, the University expanded into new areas of expertise. This period in particular saw the rapid growth of the new Warwick Medical School, and Warwick’s horticultural and growing arm, Warwick HRI joined the University. Warwick’s research income doubled during his time as Vice-Chancellor.
Eric Wood – Hon LLD (Honorary Doctor of Laws)

From 1995 until 2006, Eric Wood was County Education Officer (and in 2005 Acting Chief Executive) for Warwickshire – a local authority that has received the highest quality ratings in OFSTED inspections. During that time he developed a Strategic Plan for education in the county which OFSTED commended. An Ofsted inspection in 2004 on education for 14-19 year olds in the county described the council’s education leadership as outstanding.

Eric Wood served in a number of senior education roles in Staffordshire County Council before joining Warwick shire County Council in 1989. He served Warwickshire for almost 18 years as Deputy, then County Education Officer and as Acting Chief Executive of Warwickshire County Council

He is the Clerk to Warwickshire Police Authority and is Chair of the Youth Justice Board. He is Chair of the Independent /state School Partnership forum (a Ministerial appointment), Director of the Warwickshire careers Company, chair of Warwickshire Arts Zone and has been asked to advise many other local authorities on a range of issues.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Warwick 02476 523708
mobile 07767 655860


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