The ceremonies will see nearly 4,500 students graduate in total.

Graduation welcomes new Chancellor and honours Jeremy Paxman

Veteran Newsnight legend Jeremy Paxman is among a number of venerable figures to receive honorary awards at the University of Exeter’s graduation ceremony.

The University’s new Chancellor, Lord Myners of Truro, will be installed on Monday July 11, in the first of six days of ceremonies in Exeter and at the University’s Penryn Campus.

Clare Marx, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, and Sir Robert Francis QC, who oversaw the Francis Report into the Staffordshire Hospital scandal, will also receive honorary doctorates.

Paul Myners was brought up in Truro by his adoptive parents, a butcher and a hairdresser, and has gone on to build up an international reputation and a distinguished business career. He is taking over from the previous Chancellor Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE DL, who has been in the role for ten years. Paul said: “I’m thrilled to take up this post and I look forward to being involved in the next exciting phase of the University’s growth. It is such an honour to play a key role on this momentous day in a student’s life. Floella has been a fantastic Chancellor for Exeter, and I’m looking forward to taking up her mantel.”

The day’s ceremonies will also see Jeremy Paxman receive an honorary doctorate for his services to journalism. He said: “This is the way to get a degree - to think I sweated blood for my first one. Now, all I’ve done is to carry on living for a while.”

Sir Robert Francis QC said: “It is a great honour to receive this degree. My time as a student at Exeter was among the most stimulating and enjoyable periods of my life and it is a great pleasure to be here again. It is a great privilege to be associated with such a thriving and successful university.”

John Pullinger, Chief Executive of the UK National Statistics Authority, expressed his delight on receiving his honorary degree, which he will be awarded on July 13. He said: "Exeter taught me how to learn as an undergraduate. The desire to go on learning has motivated me since, so that I start each day looking out for something new, curious about what I might find."

Dr Christine Loh Kung-wai, OBE, Under Secretary for the Environment, Hong Kong, will receive her honorary degree on July 15. She said: "To be among the young graduates at Exeter makes me feel young and energetic again. It's like having a second chance to do better - to make up for not having done by best when I was a student. Perhaps like me when I was at my graduation many years ago, young people don't quite understand their capabilities and capacities yet. They will learn more about themselves in time and try hard to accomplish what they wish to do".

The ceremonies will see nearly 4,500 students graduate in total, and eight honorary awards made. Gillian Tett, the Financial Times US Managing Editor, Paul Johnson, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and Camilla Hampshire, Manager at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter, will also receive honorary awards. In the University’s Diamond Jubilee year, the graduates join an alumni community of well over 130,000, from more than 183 countries.

University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Steve Smith, said: “Graduation is always a proud moment for all of us involved in educating some of the finest graduates in the UK, as well as for them and their families. This year feels particularly special, as we welcome our new Chancellor in our Diamond Jubilee year. My warmest congratulations to everyone graduating this Summer.”

For more information on graduation, including how to watch live streaming of the ceremonies, visit the University’s website.

Date: 8 July 2016

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