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 2019

Canon Sarah Snyder

has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria in recognition of her lifelong and outstanding work to promote faith-based reconciliation. 

Canon Sarah Snyder is a theologian specialising in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations.  Her early career was as a documentary producer for BBC television, including a European schools multimedia series which required living and working with the Tuareg nomads and other people groups in the Sahara Desert.  This was followed by further work in Peru, Bangladesh, Kenya and South Africa, and producing a major resource on emerging peace makers in Israel/Palestine, Mozambique, former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.  Sarah has an MPhil in World Religions and a PhD in Biblical and Qu’ranic hermeneutics and has worked with the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, co-ordinating Scriptural Reasoning and directing the Cambridge International Summer Schools for faith leaders from conflict zones.  Sarah works extensively to promote faith-based reconciliation, and from 2014 to 2016 was Director of Partnerships with Religions for Peace International, affiliated to the United Nations.  In 2016 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby appointed Sarah as his Advisor for Reconciliation - her role having a particular emphasis on supporting the Church in contexts of violent conflict and post-conflict and helping faith leaders act as agents of reconciliation and conflict transformation.  Sarah’s Cumbrian connection remains strong, having lived near Keswick since 2000 and raised 4 children through Keswick School.  In 2009 she founded the Rose Castle Foundation, formally registered as a charity in 2014 and she continues to develop and grow this site as a centre for faith based reconciliation.  Its aim is to train a generation of reconcilers, equipped to transform conflict constructively, not destructively.  Using the land and natural environment, the centre promotes reconciliation between people groups and with the environment.  A trained mediator, Sarah is an inspirational role model with a wealth of international experience and expertise working with conflicted communities and senior religious leaders. 

November 2019

Alan Bowe

Has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding service to agricultural education and land management.

Alan Bowe has dedicated his entire working life to agriculture and land management.  A Cumbrian born and bred he began his land agency career in 1963 as an articled pupil and assistant to a firm of chartered surveyors in Northumberland, qualifying in 1968.  Moving to a Keswick based firm in 1978 as a senior assistant coincided with Alan becoming a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.  Ten years later he established his own company and grew a significant client-base before amalgamating with Carlisle based land agents, Harrison & Hetherington in 1999, immediately becoming a director.  Between 2006 and 2013 Alan was the non-executive chairman of the H&H Group and remains a consultant of the H&H Land and Estates Agents to this day.  During his career Alan has represented many farmers, landowners and tenants in Cumbria and beyond on a range of issues from tenancies to milk quotas; and land issues to succession planning.  He is renowned throughout the country for his wealth of knowledge on many agricultural and land maters particularly relating to Cumbria and the Lake District.  In 2015 Alan was awarded the Blamire Medal for outstanding services to agriculture and in 2017 was made an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies.  In addition to his consultancy work, Alan is actively engaged in numerous educational and charitable activities.  He is a warden at St Bega’s and St John’s churches in Bassenthwaite and trustee for several family trusts and individuals on agricultural matters. 

Grace Dent

Has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria in recognition of her lifelong and outstanding service to the media industry.

Grace Dent is an accomplished author and broadcaster, nationally renowned restaurant critic with numerous television appearances to her credit.  Born in Carlisle in 1975, Grace aspired to live in London, wanted a column in a newspaper, to present on TV and to write books.  Upon graduating from Stirling University with a degree in English Literature, Grace worked as a writer for the Marie Claire magazine.  Later as a freelance journalist she wrote features and columns for Glamour, Vogue and More.  In 2000 she went to work for the Guardian writing a weekly soap round-up, a job she did for 12 years before moving to the Independent.  An award-nominated writer, from 2011 to 2017 she penned a restaurant column for The Evening Standard called ‘Grace and Flavour’.  Grace has written 12 fiction and non-fiction books, starting with teen novel It’s a Girl Thing and going onto create the bestselling Diary of a Chav books followed by the Diary of a Snob series.  In 2011, she wrote How to Leave Twitter – My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop – about the strange and addictive world of social media.  The ambition that took her to London, is the same ambition that helped her get her most recent job as The Guardian’s restaurant critic.  Alongside this she presents The Untold on BBC Radio 4, a series documenting the untold dramas of 21st century Britain.  Grace regularly appears on television on food related programmes including Masterchef, Masterchef; the Professionals and The Great British Menu.  Outside of the kitchen she has appeared on Have I Got News for You, Very British Problems and The Apprentice: You’re Fired and has produced and presented documentaries for Channel 4 and Sky Atlantic.  Her move back to The Guardian brought a level of expectation about the role, exacerbated by there being so few northern women doing equivalent jobs.  Grace is an inspiration and positive role model to many who are considering entering the media industry.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham DL

Has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding service to land management, agriculture and charitable activity.

Born in the family home of Castletown, near Rockcliffe in 1948, Giles’ attended Prep School in Yorkshire and then Gordonstoun in Morayshire.  His father died when he was 12 years old and the Castletown estate was held in trust for him until he came of age 9 years later.  He studied land management at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester and upon graduating joined the Land Agents, Smiths Gore in their York office.  Giles subsequently qualified as an Associate of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in 1973.  His career took him to London to work for the international firm of land agents and chartered surveyors, Cluttons where he stayed for 35 year specialising in strategic reviews, family succession, tax and estate management.  In 2008 he left and re-joined Smiths Gore.  Then 7 years later Savills merged with Smiths Gore where Giles remains a consultant to this day. 

In parallel to his professional career, Giles ran the 4,700 acre family estate at Castletown.  With support from Natural England, Giles has transformed the estate from a debt laden, loss making liability to a diverse and profitable business during his high-energy 50 years in charge.  In April 2019, Giles passed over the management of the Estate to his eldest son, Toby.  Giles became Master of the Grocers Livery Company in 2003 and in 2018 won the highly-coveted ‘Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group National Silver Lapwing Award’.  This award is from the farming and conservation industry for outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management and balancing this with food production.  In addition to his farming and consultancy work, Giles is heavily involved in the local community.  He chairs the Lake District Calvert Trust and further afield sits on several external bodies such as the Country Land Owners and Historic Houses Associations tax committees.  He also has various non-executive directorships and trusteeships. 

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