Derbyshire and West Indies great, Michael Holding is to receive an honorary degree from the University of Derby.
A legendary cricketer and broadcaster, Holding (Honorary Doctor of the University) will be among the honorary graduates being recognised by the University of Derby at its awards ceremonies later this month.
Around 2,700 students will be graduating between 19 and 21 July at Derby Arena. They will be joined by honorary graduates, chosen to recognise their contribution to the University, city or county.
Holding joined Derbyshire in 1983 and played 178 all format matches for the county, taking 378 wickets, as well as scoring a useful 2,463 runs. His 8-21 in a NatWest Trophy game against Sussex at Hove in 1988 was a world best in limited overs matches and remains the best one-day performance in the UK.
He was Club President in 2017 and has published three books, most recently Why We Kneel, How We Rise, which explores racism in today’s world.
Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “Graduation is a wonderful opportunity for the University community to come together to recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of our students. I am delighted that we can also take this opportunity to recognise individuals who have made an impact in the University, city and county through industry and academic partnerships, championing disability rights and raising our region’s profile.”
Other honorary graduates:
Ron Haslam (Honorary Master of the University) – a former professional motorcycle racer from Derbyshire. ‘Rocket Ron’ won three world championship titles, four British championships and a number of other titles. His race school at Donington Park provided instruction for more than 86,000 riders over a 24-year period.
Professor Nigel Hitchin FRS (Honorary Doctor of the University) – a British mathematician born and raised in Derbyshire. He is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and one of the world’s foremost geometers.
Isy Suttie (Honorary Master of the University) – a musical comedian, actress and writer raised in Matlock. She has appeared in Channel 4’s Peep Show, Damned, Shameless and Man Down, BBC’s Whites, and Sky and HBO’s The Baby. She has also appeared on panel shows including Q.I. and 8 Out of 10 Cats. Derbyshire features frequently in her writing, including in her Sony-award-winning BBC Radio 4 series, Isy Suttie’s Love Letters, and in her two books, The Actual One and Jane is Trying.
Warren East CBE (Honorary Doctor of the University) – the former CEO of Rolls-Royce plc. Warren was appointed in 2015 after a series of profit warnings, returning the company to profitability and steering it through turbulent times, including the pandemic and its impact on global aviation. He established and began to execute the strategy to prepare the business for a thriving future in a net-zero carbon world. This included sponsorship of Rolls-Royce Submarines’ partnership with the University in 2022 to create the Nuclear Skills Academy, and the Down to Earth Derby project, encouraging nature-based regeneration in the city.
Martin Austin MBE (Honorary Master of the University) – the founder of Derby-based consultancy Nimbus Disability, which supports organisations to meet the needs of their disabled customers. Nimbus has developed CredAbility, a quality assurance mark which demonstrates a commitment to quality for people with disabilities, and the Access Card Scheme, which allows people with disabilities to discreetly communicate their needs to entertainment and tourism providers.
Miltos Frangopoulos (Honorary Doctor of Education) – an art historian born in Athens. Miltos is Deputy Director of Studies at Athens-based Vakalo Art and Design College and Visiting Fellow in Art History at the University of Derby.