Award of honorary degrees

2 June 2014

Medical scientist Sir Ralph Kohn, acclaimed actress Dame Janet Suzman and diplomat Sir Rodric Braithwaite have been awarded honorary degrees.

The honours were conferred on them at a special ceremony at St Peter and St Paul Church, Buckingham, by the new Chancellor, The Hon. Lady Keswick. Vice-Chancellor Professor Terence Kealey, Pro Vice-Chancellors Professor David Billington and Julian Lovelock, Chairman of the University Council Dr Robert Vanderplank and University Orator Professor John Clarke were present.

May-2014-GraduationSir Ralph Kohn, born in Leipzig, is a medical scientist, musician and entrepreneur. He did his PhD in Pharmacology at Manchester University followed by postdoctoral research at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome. After working as a senior executive in the international pharmaceutical industry, Sir Ralph established the first independent medical research organisation focused on the clinical evaluation of new drugs. He received the Queen’s Award for Industry.

Dame Janet Suzman left her native South Africa to explore her love of English and Shakespeare by training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and joining the RSC. Films include The Draughtsman’s Contract. Dame Janet received an Academy Award Nomination for Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). She is a patron of the Market Theatre, Johannesburg and was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2011.

Sir Rodric Braithwaite served in military intelligence in Vienna, studied French and Russian at Cambridge and worked in the Diplomatic Service. He was a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford, and a member of the Sherpa team for the G7 Economic Summit. He was British ambassador in Moscow, Foreign Policy Adviser to John Major and Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee.