Honorary Degrees and Fellowships 3rd November

Honorary Doctorates    

An Honorary Degree is one of higher education’s most significant accolades. They are awarded on a selective basis to distinguished individuals who merit special recognition for achievement and distinction in a field or activity connected with the mission of the University. Holders of honorary degrees provide inspiration to students, as examples of success in a variety of ways. They also enhance the University’s profile on a national and international stage.

On the 3rd November 2022, the University of Worcester is awarding honorary doctorates to:   



René Olivieri

Rene Olivieri

The Chair of both The National Trust and the RSPCA, René Olivieri, will receive an Honorary Award from the University of Worcester today.

René was born on the West Coast of the United States and moved to the UK in 1980. He has a BA in political science from the University of Oregon and an MA in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

He was the chief executive of the international scholarly and scientific publisher, Blackwell Publishing, for many years, before retiring to pursue his passions for heritage, nature, and culture. As such, he has served as chair of many public sector and charitable organisations, including The Tubney Charitable Trust, The Belgrade Theatre, The Wildlife Trusts, and The National Lottery Heritage Fund. He has also been a Board member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. In February of this year, he became Chair of the National Trust.

René’s professional interests range from intellectual property and the metaverse to behavioural economics, biodiversity, and innovation. He is a frequent public speaker and has published peer reviewed articles and a book. He serves on the Government’s Culture and Heritage Capital Advisory Board.

He and his wife live alongside an array of wild and domestic animals in rural Worcestershire. Their extensive gardens are opened to the public, with the proceeds donated to the nearby Royal Shakespeare Company.



University Fellowships

A University Fellowship is bestowed upon persons of distinction or those who have rendered significant service to the University or to the community. Fellows join the University’s College of Fellows, which provides opportunities for the individual to support the University in ways that reflect their particular areas of expertise and experience, be that providing work placement opportunities for students, or guest lecturing, among many other ways. They serve as Ambassadors for the University, enhancing the University’s influence in the national and international communities.

On the 3rd November 2022, University Fellowships will be bestowed upon:



Professor Emeritus Dawn Brooker MBE


Dawn Brooker

The founding Director of the University of Worcester’s Association for Dementia Studies will receive a Fellowship during today’s Graduation celebrations.

Emeritus Professor Dawn Brooker MBE is internationally recognised for scholarship in practice development of person-centred dementia care and has long established working relationships with practitioners and scholars worldwide.

Dawn qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1984 and worked in the NHS in a variety of clinical and managerial posts for 17 years before moving into academia in 1999.

She established the Association for Dementia Studies in 2009 where she led a team of educationalists and researchers across a wide portfolio of dementia care practice improvement programmes, including establishing a fully online postgraduate programme in dementia studies.

Together with Mr Keith Oliver, Dawn is the editor of the Reconsidering Dementia Book Series for Open University Press. She was made an MBE for services to those affected by dementia in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2021.



David Throup


David Throup

One of Worcester’s most well-known flood experts, Dave Throup, is to receive a Fellowship from the University of Worcester today.

Worcestershire born and bred, Dave has a lifelong interest in wildlife and environmental issues. He started his career as a Town Planner in south Wales before moving back to Worcestershire to take up an Environmental Programme role with Severn Trent Water. He then joined the Environment Agency in 2000 and has held various positions at a local, regional and national level. In his Incident Commander role, he is a veteran of many environmental incidents and floods and was often seen on TV as an Agency spokesperson.

Having experienced many of the impacts on the front-line, Dave is passionate about the worsening climate crisis, and is a strong advocate for increased understanding and action. He uses his substantial social media presence to speak out on environmental and climate related issues but also to promote the wonders of Worcestershire’s environment.



David Iddon


David Iddon

David Iddon, a champion of educational opportunities, will receive a Fellowship from the University of Worcester today.

David, a graduate of the University of Durham, became Head of Modern Languages at Wolverhampton Grammar School in 1984. He then became Deputy Headteacher at Adams’ Grammar School, Shropshire, before becoming Headteacher/Executive Headteacher at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield 2003-13.

David read for a MEd at the University of Birmingham and was awarded the NPQH in preparation for headship. With a particular interest in community cohesion and social mobility issues, David championed, throughout his career in education, the cause of providing educational opportunities of the highest calibre, always eager to raise aspirations and achievement.

He served on the University of Worcester’s Board of Governors from 2014-22 where he was Chair of the Audit Committee from 2018-22. He is a Director/Trustee of The Clive Richards Foundation in Herefordshire and has been a local co-ordinator for the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, linked with Hereford Diocese/Citizens UK.

Beyond education, his interests include France and French culture, sport, ornithology, aviculture and ‘wilding for increased biodiversity’.



The Revd Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen


Alvyn Pettersen

The former Canon Theologian of Worcester Cathedral, The Revd Canon Dr Alvyn Pettersen, will receive a Fellowship from the University of Worcester today.

Dr Pettersen has always been committed to building flourishing relationships between communities of faith and the world of education. To that end he served as a University College Chaplain and then as Canon Theologian of Worcester Cathedral, and as a Tutor in Theology in Oxford University. He has contributed especially to the worlds of Further and Higher Education as a Governor of Heart of Worcestershire College, and, most recently, as a Governor of the University of Worcester.

Now based in Oxford, he still shows the same commitment: he is an associate priest at the University church; he is an Extraordinary Fellow of Exeter College; his latest book, The Second-Century Apologists [2020], examines early Christians’ engagement with the philosophical and legal ideas of the second-century Graeco-Roman empire; and he is a theological consultant to CALL, a European based research group, working in partnership with the Conference of European Churches, as together they engage in wider public debates about European economic and social policies.