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York St John announces 2022 honorary graduates

BBC presenter and York St John University Chancellor Reeta Chakrabarti to confer degree awards to more than 2,000 graduates alongside three honorary graduates at ceremonies in November 2022.

In a year in which York St John University has achieved lasting social impact through its community engagement, the University is delighted to recognise the contributions made by others to their communities and wider society.

Vice Chancellor of York St John University, Professor Karen Bryan OBE said:

“Graduation is a culmination of achievement as we celebrate the dedication and successes of our graduating class of 2022. It is a pleasure to also be honouring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their fields and will graduate alongside our students.”

The following inspirational figures will be awarded Honorary Degrees at graduation ceremonies taking place on 15, 16, 17 and 18 November alongside over 2,000 students graduating in York Minster.

  • Lisa Holdsworth, writer and scriptwriter – Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)
  • The Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin MBE, Bishop of Dover – Doctor of Theology (honoris causa)
  • The Most Rev and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York – Doctor of Theology (honoris causa)

Lisa Holdsworth

A highly successful writer and scriptwriter, with credits including Call The Midwife, Ackley Bridge and Midsomer Murders, Lisa Holdsworth’s television career began with an episode of Fat Friends in 2001. She won the Writer of the Year accolade at the RTS Yorkshire Awards 2011 for her work on Waterloo Road. Her play Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile opened to great acclaim in 2019. She is also the chair of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, leading the push to ensure fair rates of pay and working conditions for writers in TV, film, theatre, audio, books and videogames.

The Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin MBE

Rose Hudson-Wilkin is the Bishop of Dover, having previously served as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons – she is the first black woman to hold both these posts. She has led prayers at many public church services, including the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the funeral of Margaret Thatcher. Born and bred in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she first came to the UK in 1979 to train as an evangelist at the Church Army College in London. She was appointed an MBE in 2020 for services to young people and to the Church of England.

The Most Rev and Rt Hon Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

Stephen Cottrell is the 98th Archbishop of York, with oversight for the ministry and mission of the Church of England in the northern third of England. The confirmation of his election took place on 9 July 2020. There are close ties between the Archbishop of York and York St John University, and he is Patron of the University’s Institute for Social Justice, reflecting our shared commitment to addressing unfairness and inequality in society. The Archbishop works with the University across a number of partnerships and, in his role as Patron, supports the Annual Institute for Social Justice Lecture.