Spurs 'legend' among those awarded honorary degrees


By Teddy Coward, Investigations Editor

Former Tottenham defender Gary Mabbutt MBE is amongst those who received an honorary degree from the University of Bristol last Friday, 19 July, alongside two former students: engineering expert, Professor Howard Wheater, and Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice.

Bristol-born Mabbutt, who captained Spurs to FA Cup victory in 1991, has been given an honorary Doctor of Laws, in recognition of his footballing achievements, his role on the FA’s International Development Committee and his active campaigning to raise awareness of diabetes – he was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 17.

Professor Howard Wheater, who undertook his PhD in Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol in 1977 was also given the distinction on Friday. He was given the honorary Doctor of Engineering as a result of his expertise on hydrological processes, which have been used globally to help regions and governments manage water resources and water quality issues.

CEO of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, who was given a CBE for services to consumers in the New Years’ Honours, subsequently received an honorary Doctor of Laws. Guy graduated from Bristol in 1976 with a Law degree.

On Monday, 22 July, Lisa Johnson, who is Manager of Direct Services at Women’s Aid and works closely with the University in the Centre for Gender and Violence; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town and founder of the Adopt-a-Learner Foundation, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng; and Professor Peter Landrock, Executive Chairman and co-founder of Cryptomathic, were also awarded honorary degrees.

This year,  a record number of women have received honorary degrees from the University, with 11 out of the 16 people honoured during this summer’s graduation ceremonies being women.

Other honorary degrees to be presented later this week will go to:

Professor Alan Baddeley – a psychologist known for his work in studying memory.

Dr Julie Maxton – Executive Director of the Royal Society, who is also a barrister and legal scholar.

Professor Diane Coyle – former vice-chairman of the BBC Trust and economist who used to advise the UK Treasury.

Christian Figueres – a Costan Rican diplomat, whose work helped bring about the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Kalpna Woolf – award-winning ex-BBC Head and founder of companies helping to bring about greater equality and diversity on company boards.

Emma Stibbon – British artist, known internationally, who formerly attended the University of the West of England.

Professor John Scott – distinguished sociologist and Fellow of The British Academy.

Featured Image credit: University of Bristol / Gary Mabbutt

Who do you think should be awarded an honorary degree?