Nik Kershaw among University of Suffolk’s 2019 honorary graduates

PUBLISHED: 12:27 28 August 2019 | UPDATED: 12:27 28 August 2019




Musician Nik Kershaw and actress Kerry Ellis are among the high profile names to be awarded honorary degrees by the University of Suffolk.

The honorary awards recognise the excellence of seven individuals in their respective fields Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLKThe honorary awards recognise the excellence of seven individuals in their respective fields Picture: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK

The pair are among seven big names in the county to receive the prizes, given out during graduation ceremonies in October.

Kershaw - who receives an Honorary Doctorate - grew up in Ipswich before rising to fame in the mid-1980s, performing at events such as Live Aid in 1985.

Elton John famously described him as "the best songwriter of his generation".

He has worked with artists including Cliff Richard, Bonnie Tyler, Gary Barlow, Sia and Imogen Heap - collecting nominations for three Ivor Novellos and four Brit Awards.

Ellis, who was born and raised in Suffolk, has had success off and on the stage, hitting the charts with her debut album, Anthems.

Seven outstanding members of Suffolk's business, arts and charity sectors will receive honorary awards from the university in October Picture: DAVID VINCENTSeven outstanding members of Suffolk's business, arts and charity sectors will receive honorary awards from the university in October Picture: DAVID VINCENT

She has appeared as Meat in Queen's We Will Rock You and was the first British Elphaba in the worldwide smash, Wicked.

Her other leading role credits include Nancy in Oliver!, Eliza Doolittle My Fair Lady, Ellen in Miss Saigon and Fantine in Les Miserables.

She will receive an Honorary Fellowship.

The other recepients of honorary prizes are:

Sarah Holmes - New Wolsey Theatre chief executive - Honorary Doctorate

Sarah Holmes Picture: MIKE KWASNIAKSarah Holmes Picture: MIKE KWASNIAK

Holmes began her career in her native New Zealand at Downstage Theatre, Wellington before moving to the UK in 1980 and working in every aspect of theatre management.

Since becoming the chief executive of the New Wolsey Theatre in 2000, Sarah has curated a programme combining the highest quality touring and home-grown work in a theatre designed to be appealing and accessible to all.

She said: "As someone who never undertook higher education, I am particularly thrilled to be awarded with an honorary doctorate - at last I get a picture of me in gown and mortar board along with the rest of my family.

"I believe this delightful honour is recognition of the close ties between the University and the New Wolsey Theatre, but also of the importance of arts and culture in a full and rounded education.

"At a time when the position of the creative arts within the core curricula is under increasing threat, or disappearing altogether, such recognition is extremely welcome."

Ian Livingstone CBE Picture: JUSTIN SUTCLIFFEIan Livingstone CBE Picture: JUSTIN SUTCLIFFE

Ian Livingstone CBE - gaming entrepreneur - Honorary Doctorate

Livingstone co-founded iconic games company Games Workshop with Steve Jackson in 1975, launching Dungeons and Dragons in Europe and later Warhammer.

In 1982, he co-authored The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, the first interactive gamebook in the Fighting Fantasy series which has sold almost 20 million copies worldwide. He wrote 15 of the titles, including City of Thieves, Forest of Doom and Deathtrap Dungeon.

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While serving as executive chairman of Eidos plc, he launched global video games blockbusters including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. He was awarded a BAFTA Special Award for his contribution to the video games industry and said of his honorary award: "I believe the arts and sciences should no longer be a question of either/or and must be brought together to encourage creativity and innovation.


"Creativity is a core strength of the UK and gives us an edge as a nation. I'm delighted that the University of Suffolk offers both arts courses and a BSc course in Computer Games programming."

Fred Langford - cybercrime expert - Honorary Doctorate

Langford, who was born and raised in Suffolk, will be recognised for his work at the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), an international charity which combats child sexual abuse images on the internet, where he has worked for 15 years.

He is becoming an internationally respected authority on cybersecurity, internet policy, child protection, online crime prevention and effective regulation.

He was a founding director of the UK Safer Internet Centre, is president of INHOPE, and a former trustee of the Marie Collins Foundation and Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative.

Rebecca Crearer Picture: SUFFOLK REFUGEE SUPPORTRebecca Crearer Picture: SUFFOLK REFUGEE SUPPORT

"I have worked for many years to protect the victims of online child sexual abuse and now have the opportunity to share what I've learned around the world to help others from many sectors, cultures and countries to develop their own responses to this horrendous crime," said Langford.

"It is a privilege to have my work acknowledged in this way, especially from the University of Suffolk."

Rebecca Crerar, refugee charity worker - Honorary Fellowship

Crerar started working with asylum seekers and refugees in Suffolk in 2000 in her role supporting asylum seekers into accommodation around the UK while they waited for their claims to be decided.

Her passion continued into 2005, when she became the volunteer coordinator of Suffolk Refugee Support, which was only a small charity at the time.


Since then, she has taken over the leadership of the charity and has enabled several thousand refugees and asylum seekers to gain vital help in the form of advice, English lessons, training and emotional support.

The charity has 20 members of staff, more than 80 volunteers and has successfully secured more than £3.5million in grants.

Crerar has been involved in national, regional and local planning for refugees and has recently been awarded, along with five other Suffolk women, the High Sheriff's Inspiring Leader Award 2019.

She said: "I am proud to live and work in this amazing county.

"I am accepting this award on behalf of the many refugees who have fought against unimaginable adversity to make this county their home, while remembering the many others who have lost their lives in the conflicts of the world."

Daemmon Reeve Picture: TREATTDaemmon Reeve Picture: TREATT

Daemmon Reeve, international businessman - Honorary Doctorate

Reeve joined Treatt in Bury St Edmunds, a global flavour and fragrance ingredients manufacturer, as a laboratory assistant in 1991.

Over the course of his career, he gained extensive industry experience and knowledge from his time in our technical, operational, sales and purchasing departments.

In July 2010, he was appointed chief executive of Treatt USA and became group chief executive in 2012.

Reeve said: "I am deeply honoured to receive this award. In my mind it's an award for all of my colleagues at Treatt who drive the culture and success of our growing global business."

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