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Our honorary graduates

Each year since 1982 our university has recognised individuals who have made a significant contribution to public life or have excelled in their chosen field with an Honorary Award. Altogether there have been over 250 worthy individuals including 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. 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.

Many of our honorary graduates, though not all, are also alumni of the university. Our honorary graduates are an inspiration to us. They 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

For many of our Honorary graduates their relationship with the University doesn’t end on their graduation day, many often choose to continue their support for the university.

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) has chosen to support students at the university through her work at the Leeds Community Foundation. 

Dr Bob Price OBE, is co-chairing our Carnegie Sport and Physical Education Alumni Steering Group to encourage other alumni to build relationships with our alumni community and actively working 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.