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Our honorary graduates

Each year Leeds Beckett University recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to public life or have excelled in their chosen field with an honorary degree.

The university confers Honorary Doctorates, Masters’ degrees or Fellowships on individuals or organisations whose work and achievements reflect the values of the University or have made a positive impact on Leeds or the region, or a combination of both.

Since 1982 more than 250 honorary degrees have been awarded to recognise the achievements and contributions or a wide-range of individuals. These include actor and LGBT rights activist Sir Ian McKellen CH CBE, Founder and Chief Executive of the MOBO Awards Kanya King MBE, and our Chancellor Sir Bob Murray CBE. 

Many of our honorary graduates are also graduates of the university. Our honorary graduates represent many of the values that we promote to our students: excellence, inspiration, creativity, professionalism, enterprise, integrity and a desire to make the world a better place for others.

You can learn about some of our honorary graduates below, or view the entire directory. Each year we publish an honorary graduates newsletter to share news and introduce the latest honorary graduates.

Honorary graduates supporting the university

Many of our honorary graduates continue to support the university long after they receive their award. These are just some of the ways they have chosen to do so:

Kanya King MBE (Honorary Doctorate of Music, 2009) has offered paid employment to current students at the MOBO Awards 2017 at the first direct arena in Leeds, including communications and social media, VIP Stewards and talent and guest presenters team roles.

Sally-Anne Greenfield (Honorary Doctor of the University, 2017) gave financial support to students at the university through her work at the Leeds Community Foundation.

Dr Bob Price OBE, co-chairs our Carnegie Sport and Physical Education Alumni Steering Group. The group aims to encourage other alumni to build relationships with our alumni community and actively works to extend our outreach by looking at ways we can bring together our alumni, wherever they are living or working across the globe.

Stuart Lancaster returned to campus to give an address at our Inaugural Carnegie School of Sport Reunion Lunch in 2017.

In May 2019 Olympic hero Dame Kelly Holmes DBE visited the university to give a talk about her latest book and sign copies of it.

Local community leader Nahid Rasool hosted a symposium on forced marriage for Leeds Law School.