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9 December 2011
Honorary graduates recognised at The University of Nottingham

The founder of a charity which has reunited more than a thousand child migrants with their families is being honoured by The University of Nottingham.

The sports hall decked out for the graduation ceremonies

Margaret Humphreys
CBE, Founder and International Director of the Child Migrants Trust, is one of three distinguished guests who will receive an honorary degree during this year’s winter graduation ceremonies.

She will join thousands of successful students celebrating the triumphant culmination of their studies, when they will formally receive their degrees and become graduates of the University during ceremonies from December 13-16.

Ms Humphreys, a qualified social worker, established the Child Migrants Trust in 1987 and has been working ever since on behalf of former child migrants who were sent abroad from Britain as young, vulnerable children – often without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

She has been awarded the CBE and the Order of Australia Medal, and given evidence to Parliamentary Inquiries in both the UK and Australia. As a result of her work, more than a thousand former child migrants have reclaimed their identity and been reunited with their families after decades of separation.

Her work was the inspiration for the 2010 film ‘Oranges and Sunshine’ starring Emily Watson.

Ms Humphreys will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the 3pm graduation ceremony on December 15th.

The distinguished lawyer Sir Rabinder Singh will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the 11am ceremony on December 16th.

Sir Rabinder graduated in law from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1985, and received an LL.M. from the University of California at Berkeley the following year.

From 1986 to 1988 he was a lecturer in law at The University of Nottingham, before being called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn in 1989 (elected a Bencher in 2009). He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 2002.

He was a visiting fellow at Queen Mary University, London, from 1996-2002; a visiting professor at the London School of Economics from 2002 to 2009, and has been an honorary professor at The University of Nottingham since 2007. In October 2011, the Queen appointed him a Justice of the High Court and conferred a knighthood upon him.

Sir David White was born in Nottingham and educated at the High School, leaving at the age of 14 to go to sea. After obtaining a Master’s Certificate, he left the sea in 1957 and joined National Freight, becoming the Managing Director of Eastern British Road Services, based in Derby.

He retired in 1999, having become Deputy Chairman, and was involved in the employee buy-out of the organisation from the government.

Since retiring, Sir David has chaired several organisations and was involved in setting up Nottingham Development, which created the concept of trams in the city. He was Chairman of Nottingham Health Authority for 12 years, and the inaugural Chairman of Nottingham Trent University.

Sir David was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 1989, and knighted by the Queen in 1992. He will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws at the 11am graduation ceremony on December 13th.

Also receiving a special honour at winter graduation is Professor Brigitte Nerlich of the University’s Institute for Science and Society and the School of Sociology and Social Policy.

Professor Nerlich is being awarded a higher degree, a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt), by the University of Nottingham for her published work in the field of ‘Science and Society’, with a special focus on the role of language and culture on public understanding of science.

The D.Litt is awarded by the University to members of staff whose record of internationally recognised scholarship and research shows conspicuous ability and originality and constitutes a distinguished and sustained achievement.

Professor Nerlich’s fields of interest include French, philosophy, linguistics, the history and sociology of science, and science and technology studies. She has published widely across these fields and disciplines, including ten books, over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and a similar number of book chapters.

Subjects of her research have included climate change, stem cell regulation, health and illness, disease and epidemics – including foot and mouth disease, MRSA and avian flu.

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