Honorary Fellowships are awarded on an annual basis in recognition of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the university and in support of a variety of causes linked to the work of the university.

July 2015

Paul Adams - Honorary Fellowship Award and Title withdrawn July 2022

For his outstanding service and lifelong contribution to education and to the folk and jazz music industry. (awarded July 2015)

Paul Adams qualified as a teacher having studied Theatre Arts and Educational Drama.  A teaching career followed with various jobs before moving to Cumbria in 1971 where he taught Drama, English, and Business Studies as well as becoming a Senior Pastoral Head.  Paul left teaching in 1997 to further his business interests. 

With his wife Linda he had formed Fellside Recordings, a Folk music label, in 1976 with an emphasis on encouraging new young artists.  In 1986, they created the Jazz label, Lake Records.  Fellside became the second biggest label for Folk Music in the UK and Lake the leading label for British Traditional and Mainstream Jazz.  Paul is a highly respected recording engineer and producer and in 2015 he was presented with the award for Services to British Jazz at the British Jazz Awards. 

Paul had a 24 year involvement with the Keswick Jazz Festival, as well as judging the BBC Young Folk Awards for several years.  Paul has also been a compere at several major Music Festivals around the county. Paul moved into semi-retirement in 2018 but remains involved with music production.

Lord Cavendish of Furness DL

In recognition of his lifelong service to the Cumbrian community and outstanding contribution to supporting its economic and cultural heritage (awarded July 2015).

Hugh Cavendish inherited Holker Hall from his father, Richard Frederick Osborne Cavendish.  The working estate covers 18,000 acres and has a long tradition of in-hand and tenant farming alongside its stone quarries, leisure enterprises and Cartmel racecourse.  He was High Sheriff of Cumbria in 1978 and served as an elected member of Cumbria County Council from 1985-1990 and later served as Commissioner of English Heritage.  He was created a life peer as Baron Cavendish of Furness in 1990 and served as a Government whip and spokesman for Energy in the House of Lords. 

In 1993 he co-founded St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston.  He is a keen fisherman, President of the South Cumbria Rivers Trust and the Dry Stone Walling Association.  In November 2014, Hugh and his wife, Grania handed over the House and the Chairmanship of the Holker Group to their elder daughter, Lucy. They now live in a converted farmhouse on the Estate overlooking the estuary.

Derek Eland

In recognition of his lifelong and outstanding contribution to contemporary art.

Derek Eland was born in Cumbria and was educated at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith. He studied Politics at Durham University then attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

In 1984 he was commissioned as an officer in the Parachute Regiment. In 2007 he started a Masters Degree in Contemporary Fine Art at the University of Cumbria which led to the creation of ‘Love Carlisle’, his first ‘diary room’ project, asking people whether they were happy with the city. His diary rooms approach has evolved into a unique art practice – examining the human condition and what it is like to ‘be human’ particularly in stressful and challenging situations. ‘The Diary Rooms, Afghanistan’ work is now in the collection of Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and is about to embark on a tour of public art galleries in the United States.

Derek lives and works in Carlisle where he has a studio and runs an art gallery from his home: Gallery Number Three, which regularly exhibits the work of Cumbrian and international artists.

Professor Jacqueline Filkins

In recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing leadership, education and governance both nationally and internationally (awarded July 2015)

Jacqueline Filkins, born in Switzerland, studied nursing at the Red Cross Teaching hospital in Berne. Later in her career she obtained a master’s degree in social sciences at Birmingham University. Together with her husband, Ralph, they worked during several years for a charity in Malawi and Madagascar. Her career developed further in the UK in senior clinical fields at Executive and Non-Executive level. Whilst working as a Hospital Manager in Brighton, Jacqueline obtained a WHO Medical Fellowship to research nursing working patterns in Europe. This led to involvement in national and European working parties and a move to Carlisle as Director of Nursing. Later, this was followed by the appointment of Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (St. Martin’s) where she was conferred a professorship. She is a frequent multi-lingual guest speaker and founder member of the European Nurse Directors Association (now its Hon. President).

In retirement, Jacqueline responds to invitations to speak on nursing leadership and allied health profession education policy developments.

Sir Martin Holdgate

For his outstanding and lifelong contribution to environmental science and international conservation (awarded November 2014)

Sir Martin Holdgate was born in Horsham, West Sussex, but now lives at Hartley, near Kirkby Stephen.  Educated at Arnold School, Blackpool, and Queens’ College, Cambridge, he graduated with first class honours in Natural Sciences and completed a doctorate in Insect Physiology, going on to lecture in Zoology at Durham University. But ecology, sparked by youthful holidays in the Eden Valley, was a dominant interest, pursued on expeditions to the South Atlantic, southern Chile and the Antarctic. 

Following a spell as Chief Biologist of the British Antarctic Survey he became Deputy Director (Research) of the Nature Conservancy and then Chief Scientist in the Department of the Environment.  Heading the environment protection side of that Department he became deeply involved in both national and international environmental policy, and this led to his final post as Director General of IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 

He was knighted on retirement in 1994 and remained active as Co-Chairman of the UN International Panel on Forests, member of the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development, President of the Zoological Society of London and President of the Freshwater Biological Association.  

He remains President Emeritus of Friends of the Lake District and Vice President of Cumbria Wildlife Trust and maintains his interest in Cumbrian history and ecology.

Chris Holmes DL

For his lifelong and outstanding contribution to global business and for his charitable work in the Cumbrian community. (awarded November 2014)

Chris Holmes joined Carrs Milling Group in 1991 as Managing Director of its agriculture division after twenty years working for Albright and Wilson and then J Bibby plc firstly as an accountant then in sales management. 

In 1994 he became Chief Executive, a position he held until his retirement in 2013.  Under Chris’s leadership, the Carr’s Group was transformed into a global business operating in agriculture, food and engineering.  Chris was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of the company, a position he held until stepping down in 2020.  In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Blamire Medal for services to agriculture in the old county of Cumberland. 

In 2014 Chris was awarded the accolade of lifetime contribution to Cumbria at the CN Group Business Awards.  Since 2013 Chris has been Chairman of the Carlisle Youth Zone, a charitable organisation that serves the social, recreational and emotional needs of young people. 

Peter Stott

For his outstanding and lifelong contribution to horticulture and landscape design within the Cumbrian community (awarded July 2015).

Peter Stott was born near Shap, Cumbria.  At the age of 16 he enrolled on a foundation course at Carlisle College of Art (now part of the University of Cumbria) prior to spending some time travelling around Europe. 

Peter then studied teacher training at college, specialising in fine art and dance, which led to a time at the Royal Ballet School.  Peter admits that he has followed a less-traditional career path and in 1978 he moved back to Cumbria where he developed his tree surgery and landscaping business. 

In 1982 he bought Larch Cottage at Melkinthorpe near Penrith and two years later started the nursery in order to provide more interesting plants for his landscape business. 

In 2015, the Larch Cottage nursery celebrated its 30th anniversary and has developed a reputation for rare and unusual plants and for expertise in Japanese acers, conifers and old-fashioned roses.  In addition to plant sales this includes a restaurant, gift shop and the Red Barn Gallery where work by British and European artists is shown. 

Peter enjoys continually altering the layout of Larch Cottage and plans to develop his traditional nursery but using modern technology to keep ahead of the market. 


Caroline Thomson

In recognition of her lifelong and outstanding contribution to broadcast media and the arts.  (awarded July 2015)

Caroline Thomson studied History and Economics at York University before joining the BBC as a journalist trainee.  Over the next forty years she has risen to national and international prominence in the world of broadcast media.  This included positions with BBC Radio 4, BBC 1 and a decade at Channel 4, initially as Commissioning Editor for science and business programmes then as Head of Corporate Affairs.  She re-joined the BBC as Deputy Director of the World Service in 1996. 

Four years later, she became the Corporations’ Director of Policy and Legal Affairs before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2006.  In this role Caroline was the Deputy Director General with responsibility for all the non-programme parts of the BBC except finance.  Caroline stepped down from this role in September 2012 after serving twelve years as a member of the Executive Board. 

Today Caroline continues to have a mix of appointments in the arts and media worlds.  She is chair of Digital UK and was a director of the CN Media Group in Cumbria.  In the arts world she was Executive Director of English National Ballet until 2016 and is now a trustee.  She was Deputy Chair of the National Gallery in London until 2016 and is now a trustee of the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle.  Caroline also served for three years as the Deputy Chair of one of the National Health Service regulatory bodies. 

In the business world she is a non-executive director of UK Government Investments, the UK body which manages the government’s financial interest in a range of state-owned businesses and a non-executive director of VITEC plc.  From 2017–2020 she was Chair of Oxfam and since 2017 has been a non-executive director of UK Government Investments (UKGI).

November 2015

Patric Gilchrist MBE

For his lifelong and outstanding contribution to education and the arts. (awarded November 2015)

Theatre and Arts Manager and Producer.

Patric Gilchrist has worked variously in theatre venue management, with arts funding and promotion organisations and in theatre production. His career in theatre management began in 1982 at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales. In 1987 he joined Salisbury Playhouse, before returning to Theatr Clwyd in 1990 as Chief Executive. In 1996 he joined North West Arts Board as Director of Performing Arts.  In 1998 he was appointed as Executive Director for Cumbria Theatre Trust, to project manage the building of Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and to run Cumbria’s only year-round professional producing theatre. He was responsible for the planning, funding, development, staffing and management of the theatre and its community activities. Since 2016 he has worked as a freelance theatre producer and consultant, principally with independent theatre producer, David Pugh. He has served on the boards of various educational institutions and arts and community organisations. 

David James Myers

For his lifelong and outstanding contribution to the media industry and for his innovation and excellence in the culinary arts.

Dave Myers was born in Barrow-in-Furness, South Cumbria.  He gained a Degree in Fine Art and a Masters in Art History at Goldsmiths, University of London. Upon graduating Dave joined the BBC as a make-up artist, specialising in prosthetics. He went worked on numerous feature films and television series, including The Lives and Loves of a She-Devil, Prime Suspect and the hit BBC1 series Spooks

In 1995, whilst working on the set of a TV drama ‘The Gambling Man’ Dave met Simon King who soon became his travelling companion in the pursuit of good food. Dave and Si (aka The Hairy Bikers) are life-long foodies and passionate cooks and take every opportunity they can to pack their panniers and head off on the motorbikes in search of authentic culinary and cultural experiences in all corners of the world.

There have been numerous adaptations of the BBC 2 Hairy Biker series for prime time television over the years. Dave and Si have written fifteen books to date including The Hairy Bikers’ Perfect Pies, 12 Days of Christmas, and the Big Book of Baking and three successful diet books. Their memoirs, Blood, Sweat and Tyres, have recently been published.


Funmilola Mary Iyanda

For her outstanding contribution to the media industry, gender equality and global citizenship. (awarded November 2015)

Funmi Iyanda is the Executive Director at OYA Media and a multi-award-winning media personality, film and TV producer, writer, and philanthropist. Best known for producing and hosting Nigeria’s most popular and groundbreaking talk show, New Dawn. She is one of Nigeria’s most revered TV personalities, famed for her irreverent interview style. Funmi interprets socio-cultural/pop-cultural trends through the lens of history and wit to predict behaviour for devising improved communication for policymaking, institutions, and technologies to reduce human suffering and promote sustainable human progress. She has produced Monte Carlo and BANFF nominated BBC commission My Country Nigeria and Chopcassava.

Her feature film adaptation of Jude Dibia’s award-winning novel Walking With Shadows premiered at the London Film festival in 2019, tackling taboo LGBTQ themes. She is the Executive Producer and host of Public Eye, a bridge-building conversation show launched in the pandemic in partnership with Macarthur Foundation on the issues of public policy, accountability, and innovation for development at a time of extreme polarisations. She started the How To Fix Nigeria conversations in partnership with the Royal Africa Society in London as a tour around Nigeria with Macarthur Foundation. Her foundation Change a Life Nigeria has, over the years, provided scholarship, training, grants, and healthcare for over 5000 families. She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Africa Leadership Initiative-West Africa and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Funmi is also a Tutu leadership fellow and an alumnus of the YGL forum of World Economic Forum


Beatrix Campbell OBE

for her lifelong and outstanding service to equal opportunities.

Beatrix Campbell was born in Carlisle and at the age of fourteen took part in the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s march from Aldermaston to London, and was still a teenager when she joined the Communist Party. Beatrix’s career in journalism started with The Morning Star, formerly The Daily Worker. She became deeply committed to the women’s liberation movement in 1970, and from that time was oriented towards women and women's issues. 

Beatrix’s career as a writer, feminist, playwright, broadcaster and social commentator spans nearly five decades and is broad reaching. Beatrix stood twice as a Green Party candidate in local elections in the London Borough of Camden and for Hampstead and Kilburn in the 2010 parliamentary elections. 

Beatrix has received several academic honours including honorary doctorates conferred by Salford University, Oxford Brookes, University of Bedfordshire and The Open University for her works on crime, community and children’s welfare. Her work has gained several awards, including the Cheltenham Literature Festival Prize in 1984, the Fawcett Society Prize in 1987 and the First Time Producers Award in 1990. In 2011 Beatrix was named by The Guardian in its list of Britain’s Top 300 Intellectuals and one of the 100 most influential gay people of the year in the 2012 World Pride Power List.


Jane Muller

For her lifelong and outstanding contribution to public health. (awarded November 2015)

Jane Muller began her working career with the East Cumbria Health Service.  She gained a BA (Hons) degree in Health Care Studies at St Martins College then an MSc in Public Health at Newcastle University.  Jane held a number of senior positions within the Public Health Directorate in the NHS, Cumbria and was Associate Director of Public Health in North Cumbria from 2003 until her retirement in 2013.  Jane was involved in the strategic development of locally based, focussed initiatives and partnerships to maintain and improve health and well-being and reduce inequalities. 

During her tenure she undertook a lead Public Health role and chaired the Health Recovery Group following the Carlisle Floods in January 2005 and the West Cumbria Shootings in June 2010.  Her many achievements include leading work with Carlisle City Council to establish an effective cardiac rehabilitation programme provided in a range of community settings.  Jane also led the development of a city plan to support Carlisle’s application to the World Health Organisation for accreditation as a Healthy City.  Jane is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health and in 2011 was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health.  She is regularly invited to speak at local, national and international events and continues to be an advocate for Public Health at every opportunity.

John Wilson BEM MSc

For his lifelong and outstanding contribution to nature conservation. (awarded November 2015)

In May 1964, John Wilson started working as the first Warden at the RSPB nature reserve at Leighton Moss in North Lancashire. Under his expert eye, Leighton Moss has grown as a haven for wildlife and a place loved by all those who visit. The reserve now covers an area of 6,700 acres, creating a home to unique wildlife.  His role has involved educating and inspiring people to care for wildlife that included a programme of lectures and field outings and building up a team of volunteers to help run the reserve. He has also helped run training courses in conservation in Hungary, Poland, Ghana and Australia. 

John retired as Senior Warden in 2000, 35 years after he took up the post. Since his retirement, he has continued as a key volunteer at the reserve, monitoring wildlife and in particular carrying out his important study of bearded tits.  He has co-authored three books and published 5 scientific papers on the bearded tit which first colonised the reserve in 1973 and now breed nowhere else in the north-west. 

Today, John is one of the world’s leading authorities on the subject having studied them for over 40 years. He has also studied the migration of Reed Warblers with a paper published in2018. In 1979 John was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study bitterns in Hungary and Poland.  Ten years later, in 1989, John was given an Honorary Degree by Lancaster University and that same year was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to nature conservation.  

Barbara M Stephens OBE

For her lifelong and outstanding contribution to higher education and the promotion of equality of opportunity in society. (awarded November 2015)

Barbara Stephens’ career began as an engineer and, after 15-years she joined the National Economic Development Office as an industrial adviser to the electronics industry. 

In 1993, having become disabled after an accident while riding a 500cc motorbike, and also facing redundancy, she took the opportunity to rethink her life, which led to her appointment as Chief Executive of the West Cumbria Development Agency.  In this role she first became aware of the way in which the absence of higher education in Cumbria was forcing young people to leave the county to continue their education.  This led to a 12-year involvement in the project to establish the University of Cumbria, followed by 5 years as a Board Director.  She subsequently worked for 16 years in London, commuting weekly from Workington, before retiring in 2016. 

As a woman in engineering, and later a person with a disability, Barbara has had a longstanding interest in improving equality and diversity in public life, which she has sought to further in non-executive roles throughout her career. In retirement, she is Chair of Governors at the Energy Coast University Technical College in Workington, a volunteer and Trustee for Hospice at Home West Cumbria and is a past Vice Chair of Trustees at the University of Cumbria Student Union.

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