This year, the University is honouring some of its alumni, notable individuals from the South West area and key figures who have made a significant contribution within their field and to society, nationally and internationally. Read our news story Inspiring diversity and refugee campaigners and pioneering media and election experts amongst those being honoured at University of Exeter graduation ceremonies
Mark Ormrod MBE
Mark Ormrod was born in Plymouth, Devon on 29 July 1983. With Plymouth being such a big military city and with many of his older friends joining the Armed Forces after school it seemed inevitable that he would follow a similar path. At the age of 16 he applied to join the Royal Marines. After being accepted and subsequently passing a three-day potential Royal Marines course he started his basic training in February 2001 at the age of 17.
Andrew Brownsword CBE
Andrew Brownsword was already an established entrepreneur in his early 20’s and today is head of a family business that employs nearly 1,000 people and incorporates property development, hotels, farms and retail enterprises. Andrew is best known for his greeting cards and gifts publishing business, which for over 25 years was regarded as the industry pace-setter in design and innovation, creating amongst others the spectacularly successful Forever Friends brand.
Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Junior
Stormzy is a multi-award-winning musician from Thornton Heath, South London. His two albums to date; ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ and ‘Heavy Is The Head’ both finished at #1 in the UK album chart and were subsequently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize. His remarkable ascent has been accompanied by his honest and relatable character. A true spokesman of black empowerment and social activism, Stormzy is one of the UK’s most inspiring figureheads who has consistently stood up for people from all areas of life.
Margaret Busby CBE, Hon. FRSL
Margaret Busby CBE, Hon. FRSL (Nana Akua Ackon) is a major cultural figure in Britain and around the world. Born in Ghana and educated in the UK, she graduated from Bedford College, University of London, before becoming Britain’s youngest and first black woman publisher. when she co-founded Allison & Busby in the late 1960s. A long-time campaigner for diversity in publishing, she is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and recipient of several honorary doctorates and awards.
Patrick was born and brought up in London and continues to live there. In September 1970 he arrived at the University of Exeter and spent a pleasant three years studying intermittently for a law degree, graduating in 1973. He is now President of the British Board of Film Classification and sits part time as a judge in the Crown Court. He is a partner in Media Compliance Services and currently Chairs the Board of Trustees for The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and the Public Interest News Foundation.
Zrinka Bralo has been the CEO of Migrants Organise since 2001. ‘Migrants Organise’ is an award-winning grassroots platform where migrants and refugees organise together for dignity and justice. Migrants Organise provides direct access to justice and support for the most vulnerable individuals and families and facilitates numerous shared campaigns such as ‘Patients Not Passports’ campaign, ‘Promote the Migrant Vote’ campaign to build electoral power and the ‘Fair Immigration Movement Charter’ a call for dignity, justice and welcome for all migrants, refugees and communities on arrival.
Professor Sir John Curtice
Professor Sir John Curtice was born and brought up in Cornwall, and educated at Truro School followed by Magdalen and Nuffield Colleges, University of Oxford, where he read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He is Professor of Politics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and Senior Research Fellow at the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and ‘The UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative (UKICE). He is a regular contributor to British and international media coverage of politics in the UK.
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber CBE
Hans Joachim Schellnhuber is Director Emeritus of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which he founded in 1992. He is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University (China), and member of numerous learned societies such as the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the German National Academy Leopoldina, and the US National Academy of Sciences. Since 2019, Schellnhuber has been working intensively on the transformation of the built environment and the potential of wooden buildings as carbon sinks.
Lyse Doucet CM, OBE
Lyse Doucet is the BBC’s Chief International Correspondent and a senior presenter for BBC World News television and BBC World Service Radio. She is regularly deployed to anchor special news coverage from the field and report across the BBC’s domestic and global channels. In the past two years, much of her time has been spent in Afghanistan, reporting on the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, and in Ukraine covering Russia’s invasion. Lyse spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent based abroad with postings in Jerusalem, Amman, Tehran, Islamabad, Kabul and Abidjan.
Kamila Shamsie FRSL
Kamila Shamsie is the author of eight novels, which have been translated into over 30 languages. Home Fire won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the Hellenic Prize, was long listed for the Man Booker Prize, and shortlisted for eight other prizes; Burnt Shadows won the Premio Boccaccio (Italy) and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction; A God in Every Stone won the Anisfield-Wolf Award (USA) and was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature (India).
Dolly Alderton is a writer and broadcaster. She has written two Sunday Times best-selling books. Everything I Know About Love, a memoir and Ghosts, a novel. She wrote and executive-produced the TV adaptation of Everything I Know About Love, shown on BBC One in June 2022. She has also hosted the number one podcasts The High Low, Love Stories and Sentimental in the City. She has written a column for The Sunday Times Style since 2015 and is their resident Agony Aunt.
Isabel Hardman is Assistant Editor of the Spectator and presenter of Radio 4’s The Week in Westminster. She also presents regularly on Times Radio and writes a monthly health and politics column for the i paper. Her books are Why We Get The Wrong Politicians; The Natural Health Service: How Nature Can Mend Your Mind; and Fighting for Life: The Twelve Battles that Made Our NHS, and the Struggle for Its Future.
Henry Staunton is a graduate of the University of Exeter (1967-1970) having studied Economics and Statistics. He was previously at Ipswich School where he is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors. He is currently Chairman of WH Smith (retail) and Capital and Counties (property) which are both FTSE 200 companies. He has been a non-executive director of a number of companies including Standard Bank, EMAP, New Look, Ladbrokes, ITN, BSkyB and Merchants Trust. Henry is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the University of Exeter Business School.
Nicholas Bull graduated in Chemistry at Exeter in 1973. He was Captain of the Rowing Club and subsequently rowed for Leander Club and England. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he had a career of 30 years in banking, in London, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong. He then became a non-executive director and charity trustee, currently being the Senior Independent Director of Coats Group plc and Chair of the investment trust Fidelity China Special Situations plc. He was Master of the Tallow Chandlers City livery company in 2015.
André & Rosalie Hoffmann
André Hoffmann is a businessman, environmentalist, and philanthropist, and a passionate advocate for business as a force for good. André is Vice Chairman of Roche Holding AG, the family business. He also sits on the Board of SystemIQ, the Board of Trustees of the World Economic Forum, and the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Rosalie Hoffmann co-chairs the Hoffmann family foundation with her husband André. She serves or has served on the board of several non-profit organisations, including the MAVA Foundation and the International School of Lausanne.
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE
Jocelyn Bell Burnell inadvertently discovered pulsars as a graduate student in radio astronomy in Cambridge, opening up a new branch of astrophysics – work recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to her supervisor. She has subsequently worked in many roles in many branches of astronomy, working part-time while raising a family. She is now a Visiting Academic in Oxford, and the Chancellor of the University of Dundee, Scotland. She was one of the small group of women scientists that set up the Athena SWAN scheme.
Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE
Professor Dame Sue Hill DBE FMedSci FRSB FRCP(Hon) FRCPath (Hon) FHCS (Hon) is the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) for England and provides scientific leadership and advice for the wider healthcare system. A respiratory scientist by background, she has an international academic and clinical research reputation. As CSO, Sue has been a champion of education and training, leading the UK-wide Modernising Scientific Careers initiative and now the NHS diagnostics workforce programme. In 20/21 she was named one of The 80 Most Influential People in English NHS and health policy.
Emily Penn is an ocean advocate and skipper who has spent over a decade exploring the causes of, and solutions to, plastic pollution from the tropics to the Arctic. In 2010 Emily co-founded Pangaea Explorations to enable scientists and filmmakers to gain access to the most remote parts of our planet via a 72ft sailing expedition vessel; collecting data on the health of our ocean and documenting previously unknown oceanic gyres. Emily now runs her not-for profit eXXpedition; a series of all-women voyages on a mission to help people understand the true ocean plastic and toxic pollution problem.
Carrie grew up in Aberdeenshire and set up a restaurant on Deeside before taking a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. She taught in two Chinese universities built a small film business and joined the BBC in 1987 as a trainee producer. In 2019 she published her first book Equal: How We Fix The Gender Pay Gap. She continued to campaign for gender fairness at the national broadcaster and to work as a news presenter and programme maker until late 2020 when she left the BBC to pursue new writing projects.
Shaun Sawyer QPM
Shaun has served as Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police since 2012. He joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1986; his formative years included policing public order events such as the poll tax riots and criminal justice disorders. Later, Shaun’s career focused more into areas of fighting Serious and Organised Crime, Counter-Terrorism and combatting Police Corruption. High profile events within which he played a significant role included the Ladbroke Grove Rail Disaster, Hatfield Train Crash, UK response to the Tsunami, and high profile homicides.
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber CBE, will be honoured in recognition of his outstanding contribution in the fields of climate change and earth system science.
Lyse Doucet CM, OBE, will be honoured for her outstanding achievements in the field of broadcast journalism and as an international correspondent.
Krishnan Guru-Murthy will be honoured in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of journalism.
Kamila Shamsie FRSL will be honoured for her outstanding achievements as a writer and novelist.
Dolly Alderton will be honoured for her outstanding achievements as an author and journalist.