Graduation 2013: Late potter's an honorary award winner as those at top of field are recognised
ONE of Britain's most distinguished craftsmen will be awarded a posthumous honorary degree by the University of Derby.
Dr Emmanuel Cooper was scheduled to receive his Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Art (HonDFA) at last year's Derby graduation ceremony.
Ill health meant he was unable to attend and he died of cancer shortly afterwards, aged 73.
Born in Pilsley, north Derbyshire, Dr Emmanuel Cooper was a potter with an international reputation. He was a Professor of Ceramics and Glass at London's Royal College of Art, founder and editor of the magazine Ceramic Review and the author of nearly 30 books, including major biographies of potters Bernard Leach and Lucie Rie.
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The posthumous award will be accepted by Dr Cooper's partner, David Horbury.
Each year, individuals at the top of their field, and with a close connection to Derbyshire or the University, are chosen to receive honorary degrees, alongside around 2,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Receiving honorary awards at the Derby ceremonies today and tomorrow will be:
Valerie Todd (who will become an Honorary Doctor of the University or HonDUniv)
Raised in Derby, Ms Todd works as a director at Crossrail. The £15 billion railway engineering project, the largest in Europe, is set to connect 37 rail stations in the capital from 2018, speeding public transport through the capital and beyond.
Outside of her Crossrail work, Ms Todd is the founding president of The Women's Transportation Seminar London, a commissioner to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, a former trustee of London's Transport Museum, and a governor and board member at the University of West London.
Ross Davenport (Honorary Master of the University or HonMUniv)
The swimmer has competed in the last three Olympic Games including London 2012, two Commonwealth Games and other international competitions at the highest level. He is a dedicated ambassador of sport and has worked with the University of Derby's Team Derby initiative, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust helping underprivileged children, and in October joined other swimming stars on an epic cycle ride across Zambia to raise money for Sport In Action.
Roy Wooldridge (HonDUniv)
Born in South Wales in 1919, Mr Wooldridge attended a local grammar school and became a Mathematics graduate of Aberystwyth University College in 1940. During wartime service with the Royal Engineers he was awarded the Military Cross for outstanding bravery in 1942, after leading a team clearing a North African minefield by night.
In 1944, in a further night mission assessing mines on French beaches before the D-Day landings, the then Lieutenant Wooldridge was captured by a German torpedo boat and interrogated by the Gestapo – and by "the Desert Fox", Field Marshal Erwin Rommel – before becoming a prisoner of war.
He was released in April 1945, in time to celebrate his first wedding anniversary with wife Phyllis and receive a second Military Cross.
After the Second World War, he taught at Brighton Technical College, Wolverhampton College and Lanchester College, Coventry, before becoming vice-principal of Derby College of Technology in 1967, then later principal.
In 1970, the separate colleges of technology and of art, on their shared Derby campus at Kedleston Road, merged to become Derby College of Art and Technology and Mr Wooldridge was named principal.
In 1977 , the college merged again, this time with Bishop Lonsdale College of Education, to become Derby Lonsdale College of Higher Education; a predecessor of the University of Derby (founded 1992).
Mr Wooldridge retired from the college in 1982, having set the institution on course to be the major provider of further and higher education that it is today.
Sheila Taylor MBE (HonMUniv)
Ms Taylor was born and lives in Derbyshire. A voluntary sector worker for 25 years, she has worked extensively in the fight to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children, young people and adults.
Her knowledge of the subject has seen her work with the Home Office, National Police Improvements Agency, the UK Human Trafficking Centre and many others.
She was awarded an MBE in June 2011 for services to children.
For six years she was chief executive of the charity Safe and Sound Derby.
Since July 2011 she has been chief executive of the National Working Group for Sexually Exploited Children and Young People, tackling the issue on a national scale.
Colin Walton (HonDUniv)
Mr Walton is the former chairman of Bombardier Transportation UK and Ireland. A former British Rail apprentice, he attended college and later university to become an Electronics Design Engineer with the British Rail Technical and Research Centre before obtaining a Diploma in Management Studies and masters degree in marketing and management.
He is residing chairman of the Railway Industry Association for the UK, and chairman of the Derby and Derbyshire Railway Forum.
Mr Walton is also chairman of the Prince's Trust for the East Midlands and sits on its national council; fitting well with his background and commitment to see young people in employment, and his position on the Board of the National Rail Skills Academy.
Maxwell Craven MBE FSA (Honorary Doctor of Literature or HonDLitt)
Mr Craven is a historian and conservationist, and former Keeper of Antiquities at Derby Museum, where he is now a trustee, for 18 years.
He is a prolific writer on local subjects and produced the first biography of Enlightenment polymath John Whitehurst, co-founder of The Lunar Society.
This will be Mr Craven's second University of Derby honorary award – he accepted an honorary master's degree in 1996 – but he has produced more work since, mainly on architectural history, including a two-volume edition of The Derbyshire Country House.
In 2006 he chaired the review panel for the Derby Local List, recording buildings of architectural or historic importance, and the Conservation Area Advisory Committee.
John Foxcroft (Honorary Doctor of Business Administration or HonDBA)
Mr Foxcroft is chairman of Derby-based engineering firm Garrandale Ltd, one of the city's premier advanced engineering companies and a major employer. A passionate supporter of local enterprise, Mr Foxcroft has served on the Derbyshire Enterprise Agency Board (subsidiary of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce) for 15 years, some of that time as chairman.
He was also formerly chairman of the Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership.