September 28th, 2010
Former students of the University returned to their alma mater to pick up a special award — some with a dread fear of bumping into a former tutor…
Compere for the fourth annual Alumni Laureate Awards ceremony was broadcaster and journalist Matthew Bannister, a former Chief Executive of BBC Production. He apologised to the Vice-Chancellor for what he called his ‘unique distinction’ in achieving a third class degree.
“But it is not a badge I wear with pride,” he told the audience at the East Midlands Conference Centre.
“I’m frightened I might bump into one of my former tutors who would ask me for that essay which I should have handed in in 1976.”
Matthew said he learned his vital life and career skills in the New Theatre rather than the lecture theatre. “I learned to cajole, flatter and even threaten the delicate egos of performers. What better preparation for close encounters with Chris Evans and some of the country’s other most difficult DJs? Appearing at a matinee in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in front of two old ladies and the venue’s caretaker was a fine preparation for coping when millions of listeners switched off after my initial changes at Radio 1.
“I regret my wasted academic opportunities but I regard my time here as some of the most productive and inspiring that I have ever spent,” he said.
The awards ceremony is a celebration of graduates, young and old, who have made outstanding contributions to their professions or communities, stimulated new or interesting ideas or shown exceptional dedication, creativity and leadership. A Lifetime Achievement Award went to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammed Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, who graduated in Industrial Economics in 1974. The High Commissioner for Malaysia, Datuk Zakaria Sulong, collected the award on his behalf.
The same award went to former Sherwood Labour MP Paddy Tipping, first in his family to go to university back in 1972. He remembered collecting his grant cheque for £114.02. “Nobody in my family had ever had a hundred and fourteen pounds and two pence in their hands before… and it was to come and have a good time. I thought ‘I’ve made it!’ ”
Former Law graduate and now a celebrated international soprano Kishani Jayasinghe peformed a beautiful selection of music for the audience and she too apologised to former tutors sitting at her table for not following a stellar career in the legal profession —although she hoped they’d forgiven her.
There were also rewards during the evening for current students and staff who have made exceptional achievements with the inaugural presentation of the Vice-Chancellor’s Achievement Award. These were awarded to Dalia Fleming, Rob Greenhalgh, Mohammad Fiqry Mohamad Fadlillah, Dr Claire Sweetenham and Kyle Wedgwood.
2010 Alumni Laureate Award Winners
The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Haji Mohammed Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak (Industrial Economics 1974)
Paddy Tipping (Philosophy 1972)
Special Excellence Award
Ted Childs (Industrial Economics 1957)
Mark Bullock (Economics 1989)
Dr Kristan Bromley (Mechanical Design, Materials and Manufacture 1994)
Kishani Jayasinghe (Law 2001, LLM International Commercial Law 2002)
Chris Skilton (Finance, Accounting and Management 2008, MSc Entrepreneurship 2009),
Sally Walters (Civil Engineering 2002)
To watch videos on each of the winners, click here.
Nominations for the 2011 Alumni Laureate Awards are currently being sought. If you know a Nottingham graduate worthy of recognition please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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