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.
In recognition of his lifelong and outstanding contribution to the charitable sector in support of the communities of Cumbria and North Lancashire (awarded July 2018)
Chris Batten was born in Melbourne, Australia and at the age of 17 left to travel to the UK where he ended up meeting and marrying Alison, his wife of the past 40 years. They have lived in the USA, Australia and the UK, but it's the Lake District to which they have always returned and now reside. Between 1981 and 1992, Chris worked at the YMCA Lakeside, National Training Centre near Ulverston before spending two years as a management consultant based on the east coast of the USA. During this time he completed his Master of Science degree in leadership and organisational behaviour at the University of Minnesota. Returning to the UK Chris spent six years as Development Director with the Brathay Trust and in 2003 joined the Scott Charitable Trusts based in Kendal to oversee their grant-giving to some of the most disadvantaged children and young people in Cumbria and North Lancashire. In March 2010 they launched the Aspiring Leaders Programme in partnership with the Brathay Trust and the University of Cumbria involving intensive personal development residential programmes, a 3-year degree in social enterprise leadership, business mentoring and workplace visits. Its goal is to give committed young adults from disadvantaged communities, the skills, knowledge and self-belief to transform the prospects of those areas. Chris retired at the end of March 2018 but continues to be a trustee of The Lakeland Arts Support Trust, the Sir John Fisher Foundation and YMCA Lakeside.
Tony Price C Eng FEI
For his lifelong and outstanding contribution to policy development and project management within the energy sector and engineering industries (awarded July 2018)
At the age of 17, Tony Price joined the Merchant Navy and spent 10 years serving in cargo ships worldwide as a deck officer and latterly as a Captain of vessels. Following his marriage to Lynda in 1981 his career turned to the Oil and Gas industry and he worked in management positions on a range of operations and major projects globally. In 2001 Tony spent a total of nine years at the Sellafield Nuclear Site in West Cumbria, the last three of which he was the Chairman and Managing Director of Sellafield Ltd. During his 45-year career he has operated at board level in the public and private sectors, and at operational levels in the Oil, Gas, Nuclear and Marine industries. Tony was a founder member of the Steering Board of the ITER Nuclear Fusion Reactor Programme in Cadarache, France, was the Chairman of the Fellside Heat and Power Ltd, the Chairman of the UK’s National Low Level Waste Repository Licence Company and a Non-Executive Director of Britain’s Energy Coast from 2009 to 2012. During this time, he has worked with numerous academic institutions including the University of Manchester and the University of Cumbria in developing project management skills and knowledge and development for the future of the nuclear and engineering industries.
In recognition of his lifelong and outstanding contribution to improving the quality of education and training and raising the aspirations of young people (awarded July 2018).
Mick Farley’s early career was training teachers in Ghana, West Africa. Back in the UK he taught in schools and further education colleges before moving to Liverpool where after being Senior Assistant Director of Education at Liverpool City Council, he became Deputy Chief Executive of Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council, then Chief Executive of Careerdecisions Ltd. Mick arrived in Cumbria in 2000 as the Executive Director of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). He then became the University of Central Lancashire’s Director for Cumbria and the first Chair of the Governing Body of West Lakes Academy. As Director for Cumbria he assisted in the due diligence which resulted in the University's campuses in Penrith and Carlisle being transferred to the University of Cumbria. Mick was Chair of Inspira for 10 years until the end of 2016. He was then asked by a Multi Academy Trust to Chair the Governing Body of its Academy in Bolton with significant budgetary and staffing issues. He remained there until the Spring of 2017 when these matters were resolved and the Academy had been judged by OFSTED to be ‘good’ with ‘outstanding features’. Mick was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 at Cumbrian Newspapers 'Golden Apples Awards'. Cumbria Life magazine, in celebrating its 200th edition in 2015, named Mick as amongst the 200 people who 'have greatly influenced life in Cumbria'. His citation described him “as one of the County's leading figures in post-16 education”. Mick is now enjoying retirement.
In recognition of lifelong and significant contribution to sailing and outdoor education (awarded July 2018)
Dave Williamson was born in Scarborough in 1946. His early career saw him teaching mathematics before combining his love of outdoor education and lecturing in further education colleges in the north-east whilst based at the Sailing Centre at Derwent Reservoir. During this time he gained a Diploma in Outdoor Education at Moray House College of Education, Edinburgh and a BA with the Open University. In 1979 Dave moved to Lancashire as Head of the Knott End Sea Centre. He became Head of Tower Wood Education Centre, Windermere in 1984 and completed an MA in Educational Research with Lancaster University in 1990. In 1998 Dave went to work for Eric Wright Trust and started the creation of the Water Park Adventure Centre, Coniston. In 2002 Dave and his wife, Susan, bought Derwent Water Marina which provides a range of Marina facilities, self-catering apartments and courses in water sports. Dave has served on a number of voluntary bodies dedicated to sailing and outdoor education. He was the inaugural Chair of the Northern Council for Outdoor Education and Training from 1988 which led to the formation of the Institute for Outdoor Learning. He served as Treasurer of the National School Sailing Association from 1990-95 and has been involved with the Royal Yachting Association since 1972, Dave has been a coach assessor, regional coach, vice-chair then chair of the North West Regional Committee. He became a member of the RYA Council in 2007; from 2011 was a Director and held office as Chair in 2016 until February 2018. Dave and Susan continue to run and develop the Derwent Water Marina at Portinscale in Keswick introducing new ways of working, focussed on customer satisfaction and allied to staff safety and enjoyment. Today, he is equally at home sailing, ski-ing, hiking, out on his e-assisted recumbent tricycle or enjoying time with his family.
Dr Fiona Armstrong
In recognition of her outstanding contribution to the media industry (awarded November 2018)
Fiona Armstrong is an award-winning broadcaster and writer. Her career started at Radio 210 in Reading, before she joined BBC news in Manchester in 1983. A reporter and presenter at Border TV in Carlisle, in 1987, she then went to ITN as a newscaster where she covered significant events, including the Lockerbie air disaster and the plight of Aids orphans in Uganda. She later became a main presenter for GMTV, fronted a business series for the American network, NBC, and co-hosted a breakfast news programme on BBC World before rejoining ITV Border in 1993. There her work took her to Cambodia to report on landmine charities, and to West Africa to film the Mercy Ships. At home, she covered social issues like domestic abuse and prison reform. Fiona has chaired TV political debates and covered subjects from history, to cooking, to antiques. She fronted ‘Fiona on Fishing’, has written fishing books, and presented angling programmes for Sky TV. Fiona returned to network television news in 2010 as a presenter for the BBC News Channel. She currently fronts 'Border Life', a current affairs programme for ITV Border and writes magazine columns. She has produced films on Scottish clans and set up a Border Reiver Trail. The 2021 President of the Royal Highland Show, Fiona is also Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries. In 2017 she gained a PhD in ‘Highlandism’ and received an Outstanding Contribution Award at the Royal Television Society North-East and Border Awards in recognition of her career in broadcasting.