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Star heads UEA honorary graduates

PUBLISHED: 14:57 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:41 06 July 2010

BRITAIN'S first black woman cabinet minister and one of the stars of BBC costume drama Little Dorrit are among a host of people who will get honorary degrees from the University of East Anglia (UEA) this summer.

BRITAIN'S first black woman cabinet minister and one of the stars of BBC costume drama Little Dorrit are among a host of people who will get honorary degrees from the University of East Anglia (UEA) this summer.

The “distinguished and talented” 12 are being honoured for making a “remarkable contribution to the arts, science and learning”, according to UEA registrar Brian Summers.

The degrees will be awarded at this year's graduation ceremonies, which take place from July 14 to 17 at UEA.

Recipients include Alun Armstrong, an Olivier Award-winning actor who made his debut in the 1971 film Get Carter and has recently appeared in Sleepy Hollow, The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing.

On television, Armstrong has played Brian Lane in the BBC drama New Tricks and has appeared in dramas including Our Friends in the North, Between the Sheets and Little Dorrit.

He spent nine years with the Royal Shakespeare Company in performances including Nicholas Nickleby, The Taming of The Shrew, and The Jew of Malta and took the role of Monsieur Thénardier in the original cast of Les Misérables.

He receives an honorary doctorate of letters.

Baroness Valerie Amos is a Labour politician and life peer. She became the first black woman in a British cabinet in 2003 when she was appointed secretary of state for international development and was subsequently leader of the House of Lords and Lord President of the Council. She was a Foreign Office minister from2001-2003.

She is currently chair of the Royal African Society, a Fulbright Commissioner and member of the Advisory Board, Global Health Group, University of California. She receives an honorary doctorate of civil law.

The other recipients are:

· Neil MacGregor, who gets an honorary doctorate of letters, has been director of the British Museum since August 2002 and is also chair of the World Collections Programme, a partnership between six cultural institutions in the UK and institutions in Asia and Africa.

· Prof Steven Lukes, another made an honorary doctor of letters, is the author of numerous books and articles about political and social theory. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and is currently a professor of sociology at New York University.

· Prof Stanley Cavell, who becomes an honorary doctor of letters, is one of the most important American philosophers of the 20th century, renowned for his inclusion of the arts, media and psychoanalysis into philosophical inquiry.

· Baron Martin Rees of Ludlow is professor of cosmology and astrophysics and master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and is president of the Royal Society. He receives an honorary doctorate of science.

· Sir Brian Hoskins, who gets an honorary doctorate of science, is director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change at Imperial College London and Royal Society research professor at the University of Reading. He is a weather and climate scientist who is best known for his work on understanding fronts and cyclones.

· Alan Silman, the first medical director of the UK Arthritis Research Campaign, receives an honorary doctorate of science.

· Prof Sir David Wallace is director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge and master of Churchill College, Cambridge. In 1996 he was awarded a CBE for his services to parallel computing and was knighted in 2004 for services to UK science, technology and engineering. He receives an honorary doctorate of science.

· Prof Judy Dunn is a psychologist who specialises in child development and family issues. She is a leading theorist in the field of children's social, emotional and cognitive development. She receives an honorary doctorate of civil law.

· Prof Henry Mayr-Harting, one of the most distinguished living historians of the medieval church, gets an honorary doctorate of letters.

· Prof Lars-Hendrik Röller is an eminent academic who became the first chief competition economist at the European Commission. He receives an honorary doctorate of civil law.

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