Polly Toynbee honorary kicks off November graduations

Tue 18 November, 2014
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Acclaimed journalist Polly Toynbee was presented with an honorary degree in the first ceremony of the University of Bedfordshire’s November graduations today (November 18).

A Guardian columnist and former BBC Social Affairs Editor, Polly was made a Doctor of Arts for her outstanding contribution to journalism.

Polly received her award in one of today's three ceremonies recognising the achievements of students from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

The evening ceremony saw David Thomas, a Bedfordshire graduate who has been nominated for the Social Worker of the Year Awards, provide a keynote speech as the Guest of Honour.

Speaking at the morning and afternoon events was David Foord, Director of Quality and Clinical Governance, Luton Clinical Commissioning Group.

Dame Denise Platt DBE and Dr Tony Wood were both granted Honorary Fellowships for their outstanding services to the University of Bedfordshire.

Awards were also handed out to worthy graduates, one of whom, Kruger Du Toit, received the Dean's Prize for a combination of academic excellence and contributions to promoting social justice. 

Kruger co-launched the Mixed Bag Project in 2013, a market stall business aimed at employing vulnerable individuals and adults with learning disabilities. 

The following graduate awards were also presented:

  • Dean’s Award to Joanne Miller
  • The Philip Goodeve-Docker Memorial Prize to Anna Palutikof
  • The Bedfordshire Freemasons Martin Foss Award to Josephine Kate Kemp
  • Dr Tony Woods Prize to Susan Henderson.

Graduations continue over the next two days (November 19 & 20), with honorary degrees being handed out to comedian Al Murray and former Minister of Universities and Science David Willetts. Over 1,100 students are set to graduate during the course of this week.

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