Honorary fellowships were conferred on the following people in the November graduation ceremonies of 2011.
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to broadcasting, the arts and the Cumbrian community (awarded November 2011)
Harry King is a proud Cumbrian. Born in Whitehaven, He joined Border Television as a mail-room assistant in 1961. While with Border he progressed through the ranks from Assistant Floor Manager to eventually spending over 25 years as one of the station’s Network Produce r/ Directors. Following his retirement from Border Television in 1999, he was invited to join BBC Radio Cumbria, where he produced and presented his own weekly programme of music and memories from the golden era of entertainment. For nearly 30 years he was also involved with the Carlisle Musical Society, as stage director and production manager, Harry is still often asked to host and to suggest ways of fund raising for many local charities. One of his long career’s highlights was to have received the honorary degree from his local and the much loved University of Cumbria. Sadly, too many of his great show business friends have passed on, but happily Harry still fondly remembers them, and the pleasure they gave so many people. Harry finally retired and hung up his earphones in 2020, but still walks along his” memory lane” and remembers his many friends he has worked with and thanks his Border Television viewers and his BBC Radio Cumbria listeners for allowing him into their homes to share his many wonderfully happy memories for over 59 years.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to broadcasting, the Cumbrian community and her charitable work (awarded November 2011)
Helen Skelton graduated from Cumbria College of Art & Design in 2004 with a first class honours degree in Journalism. She began her career in broadcasting, working at ITV Border, CFM commercial radio and BBC Radio Cumbria. In 2008, Helen joined the ‘Blue Peter’ team as the 33rd presenter of the long running show. She has achieved many feats of endurance to raise funds for charity including the Namibia Ultra Marathon, kayaking down the Amazon, and high-wire walking between the towers of Battersea Power Station.
In 2012, she walked, cycled and kite skied to the South Pole. She regularly presents BBC One's Countryfile, fronts a range of factual programmes for ITV and Channel Five and can occasionally be heard on BBC Radio 2.
Helen has also written several children's books and contributes to magazine titles.
Sir James Cropper, KCVO
In recognition of his definitive contribution to Cumbria, the local economy and its charitable causes (awarded November 2011)
Sir James Anthony Cropper was born in Kendal, Cumbria. He trained as a Chartered Accountant before joining the family paper-manufacturing company, James Cropper plc, Kendal in 1966. He retired as Chief Executive in December 2000 and as Chairman in July 2010 and the Board in July 2013, at which date he took up the title of Honorary President. Sir James has held a number of public service roles within the region throughout his career and is very supportive of organisations and charities in Cumbria. Most notably he was involved in the formation of the Cumbria Community Foundation in 1999 and remains a Patron today. Sir James is also President of Sight Advice South Lakes. Sir James served the county of Cumbria as Lord-Lieutenant from 1994 to 2012.
(05 February 1937 – 05 July 2011) (Posthumous Award)
In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the academic development of the understanding of the social history of learning disability.
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the academic development of the understanding of the social history of learning disability (awarded November 2011).