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Northumbria University honours region’s bright stars

Press release   •   Nov 29, 2013 00:00 GMT

Inspiring figures who have made a global impact through their work in music, medicine and charity will be honoured at Northumbria University, Newcastle, next week.

The Duchess of Northumberland, accomplished musician Clarence Sarkodee-Adoo, and crossbench peer and retired neurologist Lord Walton of Detchant will receive honorary doctorates during the University’s December graduation ceremonies.

The recipients of honorary degrees are nominated by the University’s staff for their achievements, their links to the University, and their inspirational qualities.

The honorary graduates will receive their degrees during two days of ceremonies held at Northumbria’s Sport Central arena alongside current students who come from over 100 countries.

On Monday 2 December, The Duchess of Northumberland and Clarence Sarkodee-Adoo MBE will be awarded their honorary degrees with students graduating from Engineering and Environment; Arts, Design and Social Sciences; and Business and Law programmes.

The Duchess is the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland and is Patron or President of over 70 charities in the region. She is also the visionary behind The Alnwick Garden, the largest visitor attraction in the North East, which has generated £150m for the region since it opened in 2002. The Alnwick Garden Trust is a registered charity which aims to raise aspirations, running charitable programmes for the education and well-being of the local community.

The Duchess has been awarded The Variety Club Silver Heart – the highest accolade awarded by The Variety Club – for her services to charity and disabled and disadvantaged children in the North East.

Talented musician Clarence Sarkodee-Adoo MBE has worked with many world-renowned orchestras, including City of London Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta and Scottish Opera. Despite a serious car accident in 1995 which left him paralysed from the shoulders down, Clarence has retained a role with the Royal Northern Sinfonia as Education Animateur based at the Sage Gateshead.

Using Headspace, a bespoke electronic instrument, he is able to continue to make music through breath and head motions. A founder member of the British Paraorchestra, he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to music in the New Year’s Honours 2012.

Lord Walton, an esteemed neurologist, will receive his honour alongside Northumbria graduates from Health and Life Sciences programmes on Tuesday 3 December.

Born in the North East, Lord Walton is a world-renowned force in neurology. Graduating from medical school with first class honours in 1945, Lord Walton enjoyed a successful and varied medical career, serving as a medical officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps, consultant neurologist to the Newcastle upon Tyne hospitals, and Professor of Neurology. He was also president of the British Medical Council, the Royal Society of Medicine, the General Medical Council and the World Federation of Neurology.

He became an Honorary Freeman of the City of Newcastle in 1980 and is an Honorary Fellow of many Royal Colleges in the UK and twenty other countries. Since 1981 he has continued to serve as a life peer in the House of Lords.

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