Eight leading figures from the worlds of law, history, the arts and science have received honorary degrees at Encaenia, the annual honorary degree ceremony [watch the video].
The Honourable Andrew Li Kwok Nang, the first Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong, and Dame Anne Owers, the Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, were made Doctors of Civil Law. The historian Professor Anthony Grafton and the playwright Sir Tom Stoppard were made Doctors of Letters. Professor Ingrid Daubechies, mathematician; Baroness Grey-Thompson, Paralympian and crossbench peer; and Mr Colin Smith, Director of Engineering and Technology at Rolls-Royce plc, were made Doctors of Science. The pianist Mr Murray Perahia was made a Doctor of Music.
The honorands and senior members of the University, dressed in academic robes, walked in procession from Exeter College to the Sheldonian Theatre, via Radcliffe Square, Catte Street and the Bodleian Library.
Degree of Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa:
Honourable Andrew Li Kwok Nang, GBM, CBE, LLM, is the former Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. He has served as a member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong, Steward of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Chairman of the Hong Kong University Grants Committee and of the Hong Kong Land Development Corporation, Vice-Chairman of the Council of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Vice-Chairman of the Council of St Paul’s Co-Educational College. He has also served on the Judicial Service Commission, the Law Reform Commission and the Securities Commission.
Dame Anne Owers, DBE, BA, is the Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and served as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons from 2001 to 2010. Between 2010 and 2011 she chaired an independent review of the prison system in Northern Ireland, and she has previously served as director of Justice, the UK-based human rights and law reform organisation. She is currently a non-executive director of the Criminal Cases Review Commission and holds a number of other voluntary roles in the area of penal policy and activity.
Degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa:
Professor Anthony Grafton, AB PhD, is Henry Putnam University Professor of History and the Humanities at Princeton University. His many books include Joseph Scaliger: A Study in the History of Classical Scholarship; The Footnote: A Curious History; What Was History? The Art of History in Early Modern Europe; Christianity and the Transformation of the Book (with Megan Williams); Worlds Made by Words and ‘I Have Always Loved the Holy Tongue’: Isaac Casaubon, the Jews, and A Forgotten Chapter in Renaissance Scholarship (with Joanna Weinberg). His many honours include the 2002 Balzan Prize for History of the Humanities and the 2003 Mellon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities.
Sir Tom Stoppard, OM, CBE, is a playwright who has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage. He is one of the most internationally performed dramatists of his generation and has won numerous awards for his plays including Arcadia, The Real Thing, The Invention of Love and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He co-wrote the screenplays for Brazil and Shakespeare in Love, and has received an Academy Award and four Tony Awards. His most recent work includes, for screen, Anna Karenina and for television, the acclaimed BBC 2 series Parade’s End. His plays explore themes of human rights, censorship and political freedom as well as exploring linguistics and philosophy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa:
Professor Ingrid Daubechies, BS PhD, is a leading authority on wavelet theory. In 1987 she constructed a class of wavelets that were identically zero outside a finite interval, now among the most common type of wavelets used in applications. She was the first woman full professor of mathematics at Princeton University and the first woman president of the International Mathematical Union. She is currently James B Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University.
Baroness (Tanni) Grey-Thompson, DBE, DL, BA, is one of Britain’s most successful Paralympic athletes, winning 16 medals, including 11 golds, over the course of her careers. A wheelchair racer, she also won the London Marathon wheelchair event six times between 1992 and 2002. She now plays an active role in the administration of sport. She is Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation, Patron of Sports Leaders UK, and a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, and was involved in London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. She is a member of the board of Transport for London, of the London Marathon and of the London Legacy Development Corporation, and has been President of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations since 2012. She sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer.
Mr Colin Smith, CBE, BSc, is Director of Engineering and Technology at Rolls-Royce, where he previously held the roles of Director of Research and Technology and Director of Engineering and Technology for Civil Aerospace. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Royal Aeronautical Society, and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
Degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa:
Murray Perahia, KBE, BMus, is a pianist and conductor who has worked with Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Vladimir Horowitz and Pablo Casals. Active in chamber music in addition to his distinguished solo career, he has appeared regularly with the Guarneri and Budapest String Quartets, and is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He is the winner of two Best Instrumental Soloist Grammys: the first, in 1998, for his Bach's English Suites Nos. 1, 3, and 6; the second, in 2002, for his Chopin's Etudes, Op. 10 and Op. 25. He has received many other Grammy nominations, won several Gramophone Awards and was the inaugural recipient of the Piano Award in 2012. His discography is wide and varied and his most recent release, Brahms’ Handel Variations, has been described as ‘one of the most rewarding Brahms recitals currently available’. He recently began an ambitious project to edit the complete Beethoven Sonatas for the Henle Urtext Edition, and has produced and edited hours of recordings of recently discovered masterclasses by Alfred Cortot.