Honorary fellowships were conferred on the following people in the November graduation ceremonies of 2009.

Lord Clark of Windermere PC DL

In recognition of his significant service to politics, the environment, communities and sport. (awarded November 2009)

David Clark grew up in Westmorland, attending Bowness Boys and later Windermere Grammar School.  Leaving school at 16, he began his working life as a forest worker before moving to work in a cotton mill in Lancaster.  He entered Manchester University as a mature student gaining a BA (Econ), MSc and PhD.  After lecturing at Salford and Manchester Universities he was elected to Parliament in 1970.  After 14 years in the shadow cabinet, he joined Tony Blair’s cabinet in 1997, masterminding the Freedom of Information Act. On leaving the House of Commons in 2001, he entered the Lords.  The following year he was appointed the Chair of the Forestry Commission – the first forest worker to achieve the role. Later he became a director of Sellafield and after years of standing on the terraces, joined the Board of Carlisle United.  He is President of the Ramblers in Cumbria and has completed the ‘Wainwrights’ five times.  He has had eight books published and is Visiting Professor in History and Politics at the University of Huddersfield.

Mr John Dunning CBE DL FRAgs

In recognition of his significant and lifetime contribution to the sustainability of rural businesses and communities in Cumbria. (awarded November 2009)

John began farming in 1956 and over many years diversified into a number of other businesses connected with tourism and the servicing of transport, including Motorway Service Areas, Hotel, Caravan Park, Truckstops, The Rheged Centre and Farm Shops.  He has an abiding interest in the life, culture and economy of upland areas which has found expression in a number of public duties that included: Membership of the Lake District National Park Authority, UK member of the CEA Mountain Areas Group, Countryside Commissioner, chairman of Rural Voice, founder chairman of the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency, Board member of the Cumbria Training and Enterprise Council and Rural Member of the Northwest Development Agency.  John believes that building a strong rural economy is entirely consistent with the protection and enhancement of landscape and wildlife and that support for indigenous communities is essential to both.

Peter Allen MBE NDA ARAgs

(November 2009)

In recognition of his significant contribution to livestock industries and to the protection and enhancement of our rural environment.

Peter is a 17th generation Cumbrian hill-farmer. Peter was born in Patterdale and farms at Bampton Grange. He has chaired and served on many local, national and EU committees, including National Farmers Union, Natural England and the North West Development Agency. Peter's interests span hill farming, sheep production, animal health, common land, insurance and investment. In April 2014, Peter was appointed to the Board of the Lake District National Park Authority. He is Chairman of the Development Control Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Governance Committee. 

Mrs Saj Ghafoor

In recognition of her significant contribution to promoting multi-cultural understanding in Cumbria (awarded November 2009) | OBE awarded Queen’s New Year Honours 2022

Saj and her husband Abdul, owned the HDM Spice Shop in Carlisle from 2005-2021. In 2007 – 2010, she served three years as vice chair of the Cumbria Police Independent Advisory Group. She was awarded an honorary fellowship by University of Cumbria in 2009. In 2010 – 2019, she served as a co-opted member of the main grants panel for Cumbria Community Foundation.  She is the CEO of Multicultural Cumbria and founder of Culture Bazaar, a multicultural event to bring all diasporas together and celebrate international culture & heritage.

Her lived experiences have been a catalyst to negative experiences into positive change to promote a sense of belonging and opportunities to have safe and welcoming environments by using the Arts and food as a way of breaking down barriers and her belief that a simple smile is a priceless gift of kindness anyone can give or receive. 


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