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Honorary Doctorates for Forum architect, Anglia TV head and National Portrait Gallery director

The significant achievements of three esteemed individuals from the creative industries will be recognised in Norwich on Tuesday, when Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) awards its Honorary Doctorates for 2015.

Sir Michael Hopkins CBE, one of the leading figures in British architecture, Graham Creelman OBE, filmmaker and former MD of Anglia TV, and Sandy Nairne CBE, former director of the National Portrait Gallery, will receive their honours at the University’s graduation ceremonies in St Andrews Hall, alongside over 500 graduating students.

The University’s Chancellor, the actor Sir John Hurt CBE, will preside over the ceremonies taking place throughout the day, in which undergraduate and postgraduate students will don gowns and mortarboards to collect their degree certificates in front of family and friends.

Previous recipients of Honorary Doctorates from NUA include fashion industry doyenne Anne Tyrrell MBE, celebrated pop artist Colin Self, Film London Chief Executive Adrian Wootton and Oscar-winning Harry Potter Production Designer Stuart Craig OBE.

Sir Michael Hopkins CBE


Sir Michael Hopkins CBE with Professor Maureen Wayman

Sir Michael is one of the leading figures in British architecture whose buildings include the Mound Stand at Lords Cricket Ground, Portcullis House at Westminster, the London 2012 Velodrome and the Forum in Norwich. Sir Michael entered into partnership with Norman Foster at Foster Associates before going on to set up a practice with his wife Patricia in 1976 which became one of Britain’s leading proponents of high-tech architecture, making use of new materials and construction techniques to pioneer permanent, energy efficient lightweight fabric structures. Sir Michael was elected to the Royal Academy in 1992 and, in 1994, received with his wife the Royal Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal.

Anthony Hudson, architect and Visiting Professor at NUA, says: “Sir Michael Hopkins has had the pleasure of being garlanded many times in his lifetime. Alongside architectural awards he has been appointed a CBE, knighted for services to architecture, awarded the RIBA Gold Medal and elected to the Royal Academy. The Honorary Doctorate is in heartfelt recognition of a great architect who has inspired many of us at NUA.”

Graham Creelman OBE


Graham Creelman OBE with Professor John Last

Graham Creelman is a filmmaker, broadcaster and media executive. An extensive career in broadcast journalism with the BBC and ITV encompassed news and political programming before taking overall charge as Managing Director of Anglia Television from 1996 to 2006, latterly combining this with serving as Director of Regional Programming for the ITV Network. Graham has also worked tirelessly on behalf of the University as Pro Chancellor, a Visiting Professor in Media and, from 2003, serving on the board of governors. He became Chair of Council from 2007 until 2013 during which time he played an instrumental role in the University’s acquisition of taught degree awarding powers and university status.

Professor Maureen Wayman, present NUA Chair of Governors, says: “Recognised as an international award winning producer and director of documentary films, mostly about the politics of the environment, Graham Creelman has long been a cultural champion for Norfolk. As Chair of Council, his guiding hand helped to ensure that Norwich School of Art evolved into Norwich University of the Arts.”

Sandy Nairne CBE


Sandy Nairne CBE with Sir John Hurt CBE

Sandy Nairne has enjoyed a long and esteemed career in galleries and museums including roles at the Museum of Modern Art, Tate, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Visual Arts Department of the Arts Council. As Director of the National Portrait Gallery from 2002 to 2014 he was responsible for overseeing the overall strategic direction of the gallery, its public programme and promoting its work in Britain and abroad. He is also a widely read writer and documentary maker on the arts, his Channel 4 series State of the Art featured artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Antony Gormley and Eric Fischl and was shown in more than 20 countries.

Nicola Johnson OBE, Visiting Professor in Art Curation at NUA, says: “Sandy Nairne is arguably best known by his hugely successful period as director of the National Portrait Gallery, a post which he held from 2002 until his retirement earlier this year. Sandy has managed to combine considerable contribution to the art establishment with being a charismatic leader with the ability to unlock and develop talent and creativity in others.”

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