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Leaders from business, science and the arts among Queen’s University’s honorary graduates


President of the Royal Society and Nobel Prize winning geneticist Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, Janet McCollum, Chief Executive of Moy Park and Jackie Redpath, Chief Executive of the Greater Shankill Partnership, are to receive honorary degrees from Queen’s

They are among 12 people from the worlds of business, academia and the arts being honoured by Queen’s in 2016, six of whom are graduates of the University.

Distinguished names from the fields of business and commerce include the Strabane-born former Managing Director of Thomson Airways, Christine Browne, and Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner of London Transport.

Key figures from two of Queen’s most successful spin-out companies will also be honoured. Dr Brendan Mooney, Managing Director of Belfast-based software company, Kainos, and Dr Donal Denvir, one of the founders of Andor Technology PLC, will each receive an honorary doctorate for their contributions to business and commerce. Also being recognised for services to the University, and to business and commerce, is former Queen’s Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Northern Ireland Screen, Rotha Johnston.

Two internationally renowned artists are also among this year’s recipients.  Marcus Robinson, a Belfast-born artist, photographer and documentarian, who specialises in urban transformation and architecture, and Colin Davidson, who is known for his distinctive portraiture style, and whose recent portrait of Angela Merkel appeared on the cover of Time magazine, will both receive a DSSc for distinction in art.

Malaysian educationalist and businessman Dato’ Lim Si Boon will receive an honorary doctorate for his philanthropic work in supporting the provision of education to increasing numbers of children in Malaysia. A former President of the Queen’s University Alumni Association in Malaysia, he has played a key role in building an active community of Queen’s graduates in the country.

Deborah Wince-Smith, President of the United States Council of Competitiveness, who served as Assistant Director for International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House during President Reagan’s administration, is also among the recipients.

Queen's awards honorary degrees to individuals who have achieved high distinction or given significant service in one or more fields of public or professional life, and who serve as ambassadors for the University and Northern Ireland around the world.

The full list of honorary degrees to be awarded is as follows:

  • Mike Brown MVO, LLD for distinction in public service (Queen’s graduate)
  • Christine Browne, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Colin Davidson, DSSc for distinction in art
  • Dr Donal Denvir, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Rotha Johnston, LLD for services to the University and for business and commerce (Queen’s graduate)
  • Janet McCollum, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Dr Brendan Mooney, DSc Econ for services to business and commerce
  • Sir Paul Maxime Nurse, DmedSc for services to science and medicine
  • Jackie Redpath, DUniv for services to the local community (Queen’s graduate)
  • Marcus Robinson, DSSc for distinction in art
  • Dato’ Lim Si Boon, DSSc for services to education (Queen’s graduate)
  • Deborah Wince-Smith, LLD for distinction in public service.

Media inquiries to Communications Office, Queen’s University Belfast. Tel: +44 (0)28 90 97 5292. Email:

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