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 (awarded July 2012).

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.

Centre, Sedbergh, developing a centre of excellence of textiles and residencies.


John Myers

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the radio industry (awarded July 2012).  DECEASED 01 JUNE 2019.

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 led a number of companies while broadcasting under the pseudonym "John Morgan".  He became Chief Executive of GMG Radio, developing the Real, Smooth 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 is 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 has 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 (awarded July 2012).

After the London bombings in 2005, David Gould joined ‘Multicultural Carlisle’, celebrating the cultural diversity in Carlisle and raising awareness of multiculturalism and integration.  David was Chair for two years; seeing isolated minority ethnic communities gain confidence to express themselves and their culture with pride.  In 2011, David proposed a Multicultural Centre; breaking down the isolation experienced due cultural barriers.  In Human Rights Work he supports the Amnesty International’s ‘Candle of Hope’ at Carlisle Cathedral.  He organised a visit from the Indonesian Double Gamelan Orchestra at an Interfaith event.  He was active in Peace work visiting local schools to promote non-violence, 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 and joined in their Conflict Resolution work between former combatants in Northern Ireland.  Moving to the Midlands in 2014 he served three years as chair of U3A (a self-help shared learning organisation for pensioners). He was voted onto the PCC at church and is now a Churchwarden. 

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 combined his Social Work background with his Theological Training and his Counselling Skills.  He calls this ‘Social Work with prayer’ in an Interfaith setting.  His home is an emergency placement for those needing protective support. He now prepares Sermons and Bible Teaching courses in two churches.


Stephen Borthwick

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of rugby union football. (awarded July 2012).

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. 

Steve coached Japan at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and then became Coaching Coordinator and Forwards Coach of the England rugby team from 2015 until 2020, during which time England finished Runners-Up at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

From 2020, Steve has been Head Coach of Leicester Tigers Rugby Club.


Professor Graham Upton DL

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 Leeds Polytechnic and the University of Wales 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 Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Birmingham City University, Bangor University and SOAS London. He is a former Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire. He is married to Bebe Speed.


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 trained as, 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 from1992 -2005, becoming Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery.  She established the first nurse practitioner service in Cumbria, co-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 as an Emeritus Professor.  Since retiring from the open University Shirley has been a non-Executive Director at Cumbria PCT, NCUHT and Chair of Cumbria Health on Call, and Associate Consultant at the Royal College of Nursing. 

She is currently a Trustee of Hospice at Home Carlisle and North Lakeland.


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 (Jim) Lowery Graham OBE DL

In recognition of his support of higher education and his outstanding contribution to broadcasting (awarded November 2012).

Jim 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 the production of three books of poetry.  

Jim spends his winters in the Canadian Rockies, where he and his wife, Ann have a home in Whistler BC, ski-ing, singing in the contemporary ‘Barbed Choir’ and, in summer, long-distance bike rides, high in the mountains or along the Pacific coast.


Professor Neil Mercer BSc, MA, PhD, CPsychol, AFBPsS.

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of teacher education. (awarded November 2012).

Neil Mercer is Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Cambridge, Director of Oracy Cambridge: the Centre for Effective Spoken Communication, a Life Fellow of the Cambridge college Hughes Hall and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Before he joined Cambridge, he was Professor of Language and Communications at the Open University. He is a psychologist whose research has focused on the development of children’s spoken language and reasoning abilities and teachers’ role in that development. He has worked extensively and internationally with teachers, researchers and educational policy makers. He grew up in the Cumbrian town of Cockermouth.

In 2019 he was given the Oevre Award by the European Association for Research into Learning and Instruction for outstanding contributions to educational research; and in 2021 he was awarded the John Nisbet Fellowship by the British Educational Research Association.  His books include Words and Minds, Exploring Talk in School, Dialogue and the Development of Children’s Thinking, Interthinking: putting talk to work; and he was co-editor of the Routledge International Handbook of Research on Dialogic Education. A collection of his work, Language and the Joint Creation of Knowledge, was published in 2019.




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 five 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, historically a test-bed for new ideas about nature and the individual, and now a multi-layered landscape full of potential for exploring contentious and contemporary issues surrounding uses of land, the interplay between the wild and the cultivated, and the potential for visual art to open our eyes to the way human and natural systems interact and to encourage identification with the natural world. 

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. (awarded November 2012)

Leo is a world-renowned rock climber, Expedition Leader & TV personality. Born in 1980 in Penrith and raised in the Eden Valley, he has spent his entire adult life exploring the more remote and spectacular corners of Earth, undertaking extreme adventures, and pioneering modern exploration. He has led major expeditions and hard first ascents on every continent from El Capitan to Everest from the Arctic to the Amazon and Antarctica. With roots on the rock, these days he is as much an explorer as a climber combining epic polar crossings and jungle journeys with big wall free climbs on recent projects. He has produced multiple award-winning films of these taking modern action sports to the most remote corners of Earth. He is a trustee of Outward Bound, and a patron of the Kendal Mountain Festival and Community Action Nepal.



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.  A languages graduate, she spent her early career in the City in London before returning to Cumbria to join her family business, the Westmorland Family which is best known for its motorway services, Tebay Services, Gloucester Services and Cairn Lodge.  The business employs 1,200 people, is first and foremost a Cumbrian business and believes that its strength is built upon its commitment to all things local and its connection with its communities.  Sarah is now Chair of the business.  Sarah is also a Non Executive Director of Timpson, another family business, known for its commitment to its colleagues and it philanthropy.  



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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