Honorary fellowships were conferred on the following people in the July and November ceremonies of 2012.

July ceremonies

Anne Pierson

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the arts and creative writing.

Anne Pierson was born into a Yorkshire mining family and left school at 15 with no qualifications. After studying for A and O-Levels in the evening, she trained to be a teacher and taught at secondary schools in Manchester and East London. After a year at Central School of Speech and Drama she became Assistant Director at Stockton-On-Tees Arts Centre, joining the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal in 1977.

On the verge of bankruptcy, Anne developed the Brewery into a leading arts centre, culminating in a new £3m theatre and cinema. The Anne Pierson Young Cumbrian Writers Award was established in her honour, uncovering exceptional talent in the regions schools and colleges. More recently, she wrote the play for a comedy, performed at Theatre by the Lake, and has acted as Voluntary Acting Director of Fairfield Mill Arts and Heritage Centre, Sedbergh, developing a centre of excellence of textiles and residencies.


John Myers

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the radio industry.

Born in Carlisle in 1959, Myers started his radio career in 1980 at BBC Radio Cumbria before developing the national radio brands for Border Television in the early 90s. A respected presenter and producer, John was MD of a number of companies while broadcasting under the pseudonym "John Morgan". He then became Chief Executive of GMG Radio, developing the Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Rock Radio brands and overseeing other GMG Radio acquisitions. 

In 2009, he was asked by the Labour Government to produce a report on the future of local radio in the UK ("The Myers Report”), and in 2011 reviewed efficiencies at four BBC radio stations before working with Tynwald in the IOM and a number of world-wide radio groups. John later took on the role of CEO and Chairman of The Radio Academy alongside chairing The Radio Festival and The Sony Radio Academy Awards. 

Today, he’s a consultant to a group of global companies, working on strategy and development. He’s a director of the Entrepreneurs Forum, an established after dinner speaker in Leadership management and Chairman of Myers Media. He’s won a number of awards over the years, perhaps proudest of the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Commercial Radio Industry and being named as one of just 40 people who helped change the future of radio.



David Gould

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the campaign for peace and community cohesion.

After the London bombings in 2005, David Gould was encouraged to join ‘Multicultural Carlisle’, providing opportunities for the enjoyment of the rich diversity of cultures within the City and raising awareness of multiculturalism and integration. David was Chair for two years; seeing many isolated minority ethnic communities gain confidence to express themselves and their culture with pride. In 2011, David established a Multicultural Centre; breaking down the isolation experienced due to language and cultural barriers.  

In his inter-faith work, he supports the Amnesty International’s ‘Perpetual Candle of Hope’ at Carlisle Cathedral and organised a visit from the Indonesian Double Gamelan Orchestra. He also organised several peace marches and worked with local schools and community groups in promoting non-violence and community cohesion and interfaith understanding. He helped to form an Interfaith Forum here in Carlisle.

Wider afield he has worked with the Warrington Peace Centre, being a speaker at various events and also joined in their Conflict Resolution work between former combatants in Northern Ireland. After moving to the Midlands in 2014 he soon became involved with the U3A (University of the Third Age, a self-help shared learning organisation for pensioners) and is currently Chairman of his local organisation. He was voted onto the PCC of his local church. He also joined Sanctus St Marks, an organisation that looks after the welfare of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Stoke-on-Trent where he became the Volunteer Case-Work Coordinator, a role that combines his Social Work background with his Theological Training and his Counselling Skills. He calls this ‘Social Work with prayer’ in an Interfaith setting, while hearing of the harrowing stories of danger, loss, death, rejection and refusal. His home is one of the emergency places for homeless Asylum Seekers. He also preaches in a couple of local churches a few times a year.


Stephen Borthwick

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of rugby union football.

Steve was born in Carlisle in 1979 and lived in the city until the age of 10 when his family moved to Preston. He was captain of the Hutton Grammar School Rugby team and during a degree from the University of Bath in Economics and Politics joined Bath rugby club in 1998. At Bath he played 246 senior games over the next ten years, captained at 21, before joining the Saracens in 2008. Steve gained 57 Test caps for England, touring North America, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He was part of the England squad that finished runners-up to South Africa in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. 

Between 2008 and 2010, Steve captained the England team on 21 occasions, becoming fourth on the all-time list for the number of appearances as an England captain. Stephen coached Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and is currently Forwards Coach of the England rugby team.

Professor Graham Upton

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to higher education and to the University of Cumbria. (awarded July 2012)

Graham Upton was born in Birmingham and was educated in Australia, where he taught in secondary and special schools before moving back to the UK in 1972. He worked in the University of Wales and Leeds Polytechnic before moving to the University of Birmingham where he was Pro-vice-chancellor and Professor of Special Educational Needs and Educational Psychology. In September 1997, he took up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Oxford Brookes University which he held until he retired in August 2007.  

From 21 May 2010 until July 2011, Professor Upton was Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cumbria. Since then he has served as Interim Vice Chancellor of Glyndŵr University and of Birmingham City University. He is a Deputy Lieutenant and a former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. He is married to Bebe Speed, an ex-director of West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy.


Professor Shirley Reveley

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and the establishment of the nurse practitioner programme and service. (awarded July 2012)

Shirley is a registered nurse and has worked as a midwife and health visitor and entered higher education in 1986 as a Nurse Teacher and Health Visitor Tutor. After a degree at The Open University and an MA and PhD at the University of Lancaster, Shirley worked at St Martin’s College from 1992 -2005, becoming Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery. She established the first nurse practitioner service in Cumbria, published two text books and several articles before being invited to take up a Visiting Professorship at the University of Skovde in Sweden.

In 2005 Shirley became the Director of Nursing at The Open University and its first Professor of Nursing. In 2007 she was promoted to the post of Dean in the Open University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, before retiring in 2010. Shirley has been a non-Executive Director at Cumbria PCT, NCUHT and is currently Chair of Cumbria Health on Call, Trustee of Hospice at Home, Carlisle and North Lakeland and Associate Consultant at the Royal College of Nursing.


Paul Rose

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the understanding of the natural world, the challenges of scientific research and his broadcasting work. (awarded July 2012)

Born in Elm Park, east London, Rose’s first job was at 16 in the Ford motor plant in Dagenham.  In 1974 he moved to America and qualified as a mountaineer, diver, polar guide and yacht skipper. He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Naval Station Great Lakes and trained divers in the police, fire department and underwater recovery teams. 

He returned to Britain in 1988 and has been a mountain and polar guide, led expeditions across the ice-cap in Greenland, and provided logistics support for polar science expeditions. He was base commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years until 2002, for which he was awarded the Queen’s Polar Medal. He received the US Polar Medal for his work with Nasa and the Mars Lander project, which involved climbing Mount Erebus, Antarctica’s most active volcano. Paul lives beside Windermere in the Lake District.


November ceremonies

Dr James Lowery Graham OBE DL

In recognition of his support of higher education and his outstanding contribution to broadcasting.

Dr James Graham OBE DL, was chairman and CEO, Border Television and Border Radio Holdings. During his tenure, Border consistently achieved the highest viewing figures on the ITV network, as well as developing programme production for Channel Four and elsewhere, winning a number of awards at home and overseas. He began his broadcasting career at Border, before joining the BBC as News Editor North, producing the first Yorkshire edition of the BBC’s nightly news magazine. From there he became Regional Television Manager, NE and Cumbria, in Newcastle, before joining BBC headquarters staff at Broadcasting House, London, as Head of Secretariat, serving the Board of Governors. 

He returned to Border, to resume a hands-on production career, as MD later CEO as the company developed, serving on ITV Council, ITV network’s governing body. ITV nominated him delegate to the international awards festival, the Prix Italia, Rome, where he become President, with involvement in the International Emmys, New York, Golden Rose, Switzerland and International Institute of Communications. He holds the European Flag of Honour, was presented with the Beffroi d’Or by the French Prime Minister, inaugurating the Paris-based Circom Regionale and, in the UK, was made OBE and DL and is a Fellow of the Royal Television Society.  

He continues to contribute as Hon President of the Prix Italia and has acted for many years as programme judge at the Prix Italia and for other festivals in US and Europe. He was made Hon Doctor at Northumbria University, Hon Fellow at University of Central Lancashire and his home university, Cumbria. He was born in Whitehaven but following retirement spends much of his time in Whistler BC, Canada and appears in the Ottawa Archives among new Canadian poets, following production of two books of poetry. He is an active participant in events and projects at the University of Cumbria and Uclan. He is married to Ann Graham, first chair of the new Cumberland Infirmary and has two daughters by a previous marriage.


Professor Neil Mercer BSc, PhD, CPsychol.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of teacher education.

Professor Mercer is an academic with an international reputation. He is Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge and Vice-President of the college’s Hughes Hall.  

A Chartered Psychologist, Neil has created the teaching approach called Thinking Together, which has been shown to improve children’s skills in communicating, learning and reasoning. This school research programme has now been incorporated into the National Strategies for primary and secondary education.  

Neil Mercer has served as a consultant to several UK government education agencies and as a member of various research councils.  His most recent books are Exploring Talk in School and Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking.


Julian Cooper

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the traditions of fine art and contemporary approach to mountain landscape painting. (awarded November 2012)

Julian was born in Grasmere, Cumbria, and was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College School of Art, London. In a career spanning four decades, Julian has held a number of funded commissions and residencies and travelled extensively throughout the world.

A rekindled interest in rock-climbing in the 1990’s sparked thoughts of combining his enthusiasm for mountains with painting them. He has sought out crags and mountains around the world with the potential for conveying the full range of human attitudes to nature - from reverence to commodification. Recently he has focussed on similar aspects within the Lake District landscape. Julian is passionate about his profession, and from his artistic family background has created his own distinctive vision, being regarded as one of the most original and thought-provoking mountain painters working today.



Leo Houlding

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to adventure climbing and as an ambassador for the younger generation of climbers.

Leo was born in 1980 and grew up near Appleby, Cumbria. At the age of 10 became the youngest person to ascend the Old Man of Hoy, a 137 metre high sea-stack in Scotland. Over the next two decades Leo’s capability to master some of the world’s extreme climbing challenges has made him one of the world’s top adventure climbers and one of the most widely recognized and articulate climbers of his generation.

Leo is an ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council; adventure representative for Cumbria Tourism; a trustee of Doug Scott’s Charity ‘Community Action Nepal’; and patron of the Kendal Mountain Film Festival.  Leo lives in the Lake District and between adventures, expeditions and lectures is carving out a further career in broadcasting.


Sarah Dunning OBE

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to business in the community and her charitable work in supporting Cumbrian initiatives. (awarded November 2012)

Sarah was born in Cumbria and educated at St Anne’s School in Windermere. A languages graduate, Sarah spent her early career in corporate roles in London before returning to Cumbria to join the family firm, the Westmorland Family.  In 2005 she took over from her father as Chief Executive and has continued to expand the family business. Westmorland has expanded its ‘local’ model to the Southwest where Sarah has led the creation of a second eco-friendly motorway service area on the M5, near Gloucester. Westmorland is first and foremost a Cumbrian business and believes that its strength is built upon its connection with its communities.  



Mally Chung

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the film and television industry.

Mally was born in Carlisle and studied Media at Cumbria Institute of the Arts. Whilst working on a student film a chance meeting with a BBC Location Manager resulted in him joining the BBC as Unit Manager for the drama “The Lakes” filmed around Lake Ullswater in 1998. During the next eight years he worked on a number of television programmes and films including “Dalziel & Pascoe”, “Clocking Off”, “Cutting It”, “Fat Friends” and “The Queen”.  

Several years later he began working for the ‘family’ of James Bond on “Quantum of Solace” and “Skyfall”. Further film contracts include “Sherlock Holmes”, “Robin Hood”, War Horse”, Wrath of the Titans”, “Atonement” and “Fast and Furious 6”. Mally’s career now takes him to the far corners of the world but one which he manages to achieve whilst still living with his wife and family in Carlisle.

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