Amit Shah
Actor and drama graduate Amit Shah was awarded an honorary degree from Staffordshire University last year.

Six Honorary Graduates announced by Staffordshire University celebrating philanthropy and business success  

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Entrepreneurs, charity workers and philanthropists are among those who will receive Staffordshire University’s highest honour this summer. 

Six honorary degrees will be awarded during the University’s graduation ceremonies, which take place at the Kings Hall in Stoke between Tuesday 16 and Monday 22 July. 

Aida Cable  who is the CEO of the children’s charity Thrive at Five, which has helped to transform the lives of babies and young children in some of the most deprived areas of Stoke-on-Trent, will become Honorary Doctor of the Letters. It recognises her devotion, drive and passion in developing the charity and her outstanding contributions to health and wellbeing. 

Meanwhile, Staffordshire University graduate Gary Mellor, pictured above, will become Honorary Doctor of Law. He is the Managing Partner at Beswicks Legal and the Founder of Beswicks Sports – two prominent Stoke-on-Trent businesses. Gary has raised and donated tens of thousands of pounds for local good causes. 

Tech company founder and philanthropist Matthew Bowcock CBE is another Law graduate who has maintained a strong connection with Stoke-on-Trent and helped to establish both the Made in Stoke initiative and the cultural compact Stoke Creates. 

He will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of the Arts recognises his status as an inspiring force for good. 

Colonel Tim Sandiford OBEwill be honoured as Doctor of the University for his distinguished 30 plus-year career in the military – including service in the Gulf War and leading the Staffordshire Regiment on an exceptionally challenging deployment to Iraq. 

In addition, CEO of not-for-profit organisation Women in GamesMarie-Claire Isaaman, pictured above,will be awarded the title ofHonorary Doctor of Technology. She became CEO of Women in Games back in 2016, transforming a tiny volunteer-run organisation into a global force for change. 

Completing the line-up is Dr Najam Kidwai, founder and chairman of Crypto 1, the world’s first Crypto special purpose acquisition company which listed on the Nasdaq in December 2021 and raised $230million. The self-made entrepreneur studied Technology Management at Staffordshire University’s Stafford campus, graduating in 1992. 

Staffordshire University Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Jones said: “We very much look forward to welcoming this year’s honorary graduates who we believe will inspire our graduating Class of 2024. 

“Each honorary graduate is carefully selected to reflect the values of our University. These awards celebrate the significant achievements in their careers and their dedication to supporting the next generation. 

“They are all helping to transform society for the better by championing inclusivity and empowering others to succeed.” 

Nigel Pye

Experienced journalist with a 30-year career in the newspaper and PR industry and a proven record for breaking stories for the national and international press. Nigel is the Editor of Daily Focus and Head of Creative at i-creation. Other work includes scriptwriting, magazine and video production, crisis communications and TV and radio broadcasts.

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