Press Release: University of Buckingham Honorary Graduates

21 March 2015

Sir Roger Bannister and Sir Magdi Yacoub are among the Honorary Graduates at this year’s University of Buckingham Graduation ceremonies.

Sir Graeme Catto was also made an Honorary Graduate alongside the other two pioneers at the first ever University of Buckingham Medical School Honorary Ceremony. They received their awards at Buckingham Parish Church on Thursday.

There were four more Honorary Graduations at the University’s Graduation ceremonies on Friday and Saturday – Sir Oliver Popplewell, Professor Daniel T Jones, Professor Barbara Cannon and Bernie Marsden.

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man to run a mile in under four minutes in 1954 when he was 25. Already a qualified doctor, he concentrated his efforts on combining research with clinical practice. He became Chairman of the Sports Council of Great Britain and then President of the International Council for Sport and Physical Recreation.

Sir Magdi Yacoub established his pioneering heart surgery group at Harefield Hospital. He later went on to perform the first heart and lung transplant. Sir Magdi is also Founder and Director of the Magdi Yacoub Research Network which has created the Qatar Cardiovascular Research Centre in collaboration with the Qatar Foundation and Hamad Medical Corporation.

Sir Graeme Catto created an active research group studying transplant immunology, renal bone disease and facilities required for patients with kidney disease. In 1996 he became Chief Scientist for the National Health Service in Scotland and Chairman of the General Medical Council Education Committee.

Sir Oliver Popplewell, a High Court Judge, conducted the inquiry into the Bradford fire disaster and has written two autobiographies as well as The Prime Minister and His Mistress, a story of the affair between 62-year-old Asquith and 22-year-old Venetia Stanley.

Professor Daniel T Jones carried out pioneering research which uncovered Toyota’s superior Lean Management system. His academic research at the National Institute for Economics and Social Research and the University of Sussex led to the founding of the Lean Enterprise Research Centre at Cardiff Business School. He went on to establish the non-profit Lean Enterprise Academy in the UK.

Professor Barbara Cannon received His Majesty The King’s Medal from the King of Sweden last year for her outstanding contribution to the field of physiology. She was also awarded the position of part-time professor at the Royal Veterinary College for her work on bioenergetics and energy balance in mammals.

Bernie Marsden, of Buckingham, was a founder member of the band Whitesnake, which had a world-wide hit single, Here I Go Again, and also played with bands Deep Purple and Hot Chocolate. He has been a session musician with a large number of well-known acts.

For more information contact University of Buckingham press officer Diana Blamires on or phone +44 (0)1280 820213.