Prestigious line-up receive Honorary Fellowships

11 July 2016

Nigel Owens - Honorary Fellow
Nigel Owens

A Welsh rugby international referee, an award-winning Welsh novelist, a global banking expert and the British Army’s highest ranking transgender soldier are among those who will be honoured by Cardiff University at its annual degree ceremonies this week (11 - 15 July 2016).

Welsh rugby referee Nigel Owens will join novelist Dr Sarah Waters, banking expert Stephen Bird and LGBT role model Captain Hannah Winterbourne to receive the honours, which are awarded to individuals who achieved outstanding recognition in their field.

Six other eminent figures from fields including research, banking, journalism and nursing will receive Honorary Fellowships. These include palliative care nurse and researcher Professor Julia Downing; Wesley Clover Chief Executive Professor Simon J. Gibson; Chairman of Imanova John Jeans CBE; journalist and critically acclaimed author Thomas Kielinger OBE; social science researcher Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees; and investment banking expert and author Terry Smith.

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, a world-leading surgeon and researcher, will receive an Honorary Degree.

Nigel Owens will receive an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his glittering career as an international rugby referee. He recently became the most experienced international referee of all time when he took charge of his 71st game. Owens has also appeared in three successive Rugby Worlds Cups, culminating in refereeing the Final in England in 2015, and is the most capped referee in European competition, taking charge of a record six finals.

Stephen Bird is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Consumer Bank at Citi, leading a team of more than 100,000 employees in 19 countries and serving the needs of over 100 million customers. Stephen is one of four Cardiff University alumni returning this year to receive an honorary fellowship, along with Professor Julia Downing, Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees and Terry Smith.

Dr Sarah Waters, an award-winning novelist from Pembrokeshire who shot to fame after publishing her first novel, Tipping the Velvet, will be recognised for her significant contribution to the arts.

Captain Hannah Winterbourne became the highest ranking transgender soldier within the British Army in 2013 and is a prominent campaigner promoting transgender inclusion in sport. Captain Winterbourne will be honoured for her efforts as a role model in the transgender community.

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham, the current Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research, will be recognised for his services to medicine and surgery.

More than 6,000 students will graduate in this year's ceremonies, becoming part of 145,000-strong alumni network in over 180 countries and gaining access to a whole host of alumni benefits. For more information on joining this network, students can go to www.cardiff.ac.uk/join-alumni.

Approximately 30,000 people will be welcomed to Cardiff for the celebrations, supporting the outstanding achievements and major accomplishments of the graduates throughout their studies.

Honorary Fellows 2016

Professor Simon J. Gibson, OBE, DSc
Professor Simon J. Gibson, OBE, DSc

Professor Simon J. Gibson, OBE, DSc

Professor Simon J. Gibson OBE DSc is Chairman of the Alacrity Graduate Entrepreneurship Foundation, Chief Executive of Wesley Clover Corporation and a Director of IQE plc, The Celtic Manor Resort and Innovation Point. He is a Regent of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford and a Professor at the Swansea University School of Management.

Captain Hannah Winterbourne REME
Captain Hannah Winterbourne REME

Captain Hannah Winterbourne REME

Captain Hannah Winterbourne REME is the highest ranking transgender soldier within the British Army. She became the Army’s Transgender Representative, advising Senior Army commanders on transgender policy, educating the wider Defence and mentoring the Army’s transgender soldiers. She is Patron of the children’s transgender charity Mermaids and an Ambassador for LGBT Sport Cymru.

Stephen Bird
Stephen Bird CEO of Global Consumer Bank at Citi

Stephen Bird

Stephen Bird (MBA 1995) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Global Consumer Bank at Citi, based in New York. He is a passionate advocate of financial education and building diverse teams. His career has spanned Engineering, Operations and Technology and Banking.

Lord Darzi
Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS FMedSci HonFREng

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS FMedSci HonFREng

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham OM KBE PC FRS FMedSci HonFREng holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. He is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and an Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust.

Terry Smith
Terry Smith MNZM

Terry Smith MNZM

Terry Smith MNZM (BA 1974) is a former number-1 rated banks analyst and author of the bestseller Accounting for Growth. He became CEO of investment banking business Collins Stewart in 2000 and in 2010 launched his fund management business, Fundsmith, which now has over £7 billion under management.

Sarah Waters
Dr Sarah Waters ©Charlie Hopkinson

Dr Sarah Waters

Dr Sarah Waters’ first novel, Tipping the Velvet, was published in 1998, and won a Betty Trask Award. Since then she has written five other award-winning novels which have been translated into twenty-four languages. Several have been adapted for television and the stage. Her immersive theatre piece co-written with Christopher Green, The Frozen Scream, premiered at the Wales Millennium Centre in 2014.

Teresa Rees
Professor Dame Teresa Rees

Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees FLSW FAcSS

Professor Emerita Dame Teresa Rees (PhD 1993) FLSW FAcSS served as Pro Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff from 2003-2010, with responsibility for staff, students and research. Her research has influenced policy making in the European Union and its Member States, most recently on women in science and in assessing the quality of research. She has also been involved in research influencing decision making in Wales, especially in higher education.

Nigel Owens
Nigel Owens MBE

Nigel Owens MBE

Nigel Owens MBE is a Welsh international rugby union referee. He was the only Welsh referee at the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France and at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand. He is the most capped referee in European competition. He was awarded an MBE for services to sport in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016.

Thomas Kielinger
Thomas Kielinger OBE

Thomas Kielinger OBE

Thomas Kielinger OBE (Hon) is a long-time UK correspondent of the German newspaper Die Welt. He has won critical acclaim for his books, amongst them a biography of the Queen and of Winston Churchill. He is a frequent contributor to German and British radio and TV programmes.

Julia Downing
Professor Julia Downing

Professor Julia Downing

Professor Julia Downing (BN 1991) is a palliative care nurse, educationalist and researcher. She has worked within palliative care for 25 years, including in Uganda, Africa and Eastern Europe. She is an Honorary Professor at Makerere University, Kampala, and is a Visiting Professor at several universities including the University of Belgrade and Edge Hill.

John Jeans
D John Jeans CBE CEng BSc MIChemE

D John Jeans CBE CEng BSc MIChemE

D John Jeans CBE CEng BSc MIChemE is Chairman of Imanova, UK Biocentre and EM Imaging, and a Director of Renishaw plc and ProMetic Ltd. He was previously the Chair of Cardiff University’s Council and Deputy Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council. John was appointed by the Prime Minister in 2014 as a Life Science Champion and chairs a Singapore Government advisory panel.