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

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

Paul Adams studied Theatre Arts and Educational Drama at Trent Park College, North London. A career in education followed with various teaching jobs before moving to Cumbria in 1971 where he continued to teach Drama, English, Careers, Business Studies as well as being a Pastoral Head until his retirement in 1997. Paul and his wife, Linda formed Fellside Recordings in 1976 as a specialist Folk music label with a particular emphasis on encouraging new young artists.

In 1986 they created the Jazz label, Lake Records. Fellside is now the second biggest label for Folk Music in the UK and Lake is the leading label for British Traditional and Mainstream Jazz. In 2015 Paul was presented with the award for Services to British Jazz at the British Jazz Awards. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Theatre Royal in Workington and Master of Ceremonies at a number of major Music Festivals around the county. He has been involved with the Keswick Jazz Festival for 24 years, and was a judge for the BBC Young Folk Awards for several years. 

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.

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.

Jacqui Filkins, born in Switzerland, studied nursing at the Red Cross Teaching hospital in Berne and obtained a Master degree in Social Sciences at Birmingham University. Together with her husband, Ralph, they worked for several years as missionaries in Malawi and Madagascar. Her career developed further in the UK in senior clinical, managerial and academic fields. Her involvement in European and national working parties are numerous and relate to policy developments, nursing and allied health professional education and management. She was awarded a Council of Europe Medical Fellowship to research working patterns in Europe.

Jacqui was a Hospital Manager in the Brighton Health Authority prior to moving to Carlisle as Director of Nursing and, latterly, as Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences (St. Martin’s) where she was conferred a professorship. She has held Executive and Non-Executive Board level positions since 1990 and is a frequent multi-lingual guest speaker in the EU. On retirement, she was appointed partner for a EU funded research project to shape future strategy for health related education. 

Sir Martin Holdgate

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to environmental science and international conservation

Sir Martin Holdgate was born in Horsham, West Sussex (he now lives in Hartley, near Kirby Stephen). He attended Queens College, Cambridge where he took a first class honours degree in Natural Sciences, before going onto complete a doctorate in insect physiology.

His professional career began in academia, then research with expeditions to the South Atlantic, southern Chile and the Antarctic which led to his appointment as Senior Biologist of the British Antarctic Survey. Sir Martin has held positions with the Nature Conservancy and in Whitehall leading the Central Unit on Environmental Pollution before his appointment as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

Amongst many roles he was a founder trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund, President of the Zoological Society of London and President of the Freshwater Biological Association. Martin is President of Friends of the Lake District and a Trustee of the Cumbria Wildlife Trust, and maintains his interest in both natural and human history and in the ecology of the Cumbrian uplands.

Chris Holmes DL

for his lifelong and outstanding contribution to global business and for his charitable work in the Cumbrian community.

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 continues to remain a Non-Executive Chairman of the company. 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. Chris is now Chairman of the Carlisle Youth Zone, a charitable organisation that serves the social, recreational and emotional needs of young people. 

Peter Stott

In recognition of his outstanding and lifelong contribution to horticulture and landscape design within the Cumbrian community.

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 has 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.

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 a director of the CN Media Group in Cumbria. In the arts world she is Executive Director of English National Ballet, Deputy Chair of the National Gallery in London and a trustee of the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle.

Caroline is also a non-executive director of one of the National Health Service regulatory bodies and a non-executive director of the Shareholder Executive, the UK body which manages the government’s financial interest in a range of state-owned businesses.

November 2015

Patric Gilchrist MBE

for his lifelong and outstanding contribution to education and the arts.

Patric Gilchrist’s career in theatre management began in 1982 at Theatr Clwyd in North Wales. In 1987 he joined Salisbury Playhouse as Administrative Director before returning to Theatr Clwyd in 1990 as Chief Executive. In 1996 he joined North West Arts Board as its Director of Performing Arts. In August 1998 he was appointed by Cumbria Theatre Trust, initially to manage the construction, fitting out and equipping of Theatre by the Lake in Keswick and, from its opening a year later, to run Cumbria’s only regional producing theatre. 

As Executive Director, he was responsible for the planning, funding, development, staffing and management of the theatre and its community activities, until he stood down in November 2016 to pursue freelance interests. He remains an advocate for the arts in Cumbria. He has, at various times, served on the boards of a number of 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.

Funmi Iyanda was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her television career began in1995 when she started producing and presenting “Good Morning Nigeria”. She is best known for independently producing and hosting Nigeria’s popular and ground-breaking talk show “New Dawn with Funmi”, which started in 2000 and ran for eight years. In 2014, in collaboration with the Royal Africa Society, Funmi created the ongoing “How to Fix Nigeria” series, shaping deeper conversations about Nigeria´s development. 

In 2011 she was honoured as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and named one of Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa. Funmi was recognized by the BBC in 2014 as one of the Women to Watch and named a United Nations Women Gender equality champion under the Beijing +20 platform for her advocacy for women´s empowerment and gender equality. Funmi is the founder of the Change-a-Life Foundation, a non-profit organization that acts as a bridge between exceptional but indigent youth and women and the individuals, agencies and organizations with the capacity and willingness to meet these people’s needs. Funmi has won tremendous recognition for her work in the media and for her humanitarian and philanthropic interventions. An avid writer, she writes regularly for local and international newspapers and publications as well as delivering keynote speeches at conferences on a global scale.


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.

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 which include 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 post. Since his retirement he has continued as a key volunteer at the reserve, monitoring wildlife and in particular carrying out his important study into bearded tits. He has co-authored 3 books and published 5 scientific papers on the bearded tit which first colonised at the reserve and now breeds 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. In 1979 John was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study bitterns in Hungary and Poland. Ten years later, in 1989, he was given an Honorary Degree by Lancaster University and that same year was awarded a British Empire Medal.

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 1990, 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 later became Chief Executive of the Local Government Commission for England, and started a 16-year period of commuting weekly to London. Between 2009 and 2016, when she retired, she worked for the Open University, initially as Regional Director for London and then as Director of Special Projects and Director of Student Casework. 

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. Throughout her career, Barbara has held a wide range of non-Executive positions, which she has seen as enabling her to contribute more effectively to this objective than her employment on its own would have done.

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