Each year the University confers degrees on honorary graduands from a range of fields.
Our 2023 recipients were Deborah Gold, Catherine Hall and Sir Kevin Leeson.
Deborah Gold is the Chief Executive of the National AIDS Trust, leading its advocacy and campaigning work on HIV rights.
She developed a partnership with other key HIV organisations to co-sponsor the HIV Commission. The government adopted many of the Commission’s recommendations on how to end new HIV transmissions by 2030, such as investing £20million in a new programme of testing for HIV in hospital emergency departments in key cities, including Manchester.
Deborah has chaired numerous advisory groups, including the Community Advisory Group to the DHSC Implementation Group for the HIV Action Plan, the External Advisory Group on HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health for Public Health England and the Independent Advisory Group to the Metropolitan Police.
Catherine Hall is Emerita Professor of History and Chair of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery at University College London. She was principal investigator on the Legacies of British Slavery project from 2009–2016.
Catherine has written extensively on the history of Britain, gender and empire including Legacies of British Slave-Ownership: Colonial Slavery and the Formation of Victorian Britain (co-authored in 2014).
Her new book, Lucky Valley: Edward Long and the history of racial capitalism will be published in 2024.
Sir Kevin Leeson
Sir Kevin Leeson read Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UMIST. He joined the RAF in 1974, with roles which included responsibility for worldwide UK logistic support to operations and then the strategy and financial resourcing of the UK Defence Programme.
He was appointed CBE in 2003.
On retiring from the RAF in 2013, Sir Kevin formed his own consultancy company in aerospace and aviation strategy.
Sir Kevin was the Chairman of Trustees of the RAF Charitable Trust for eight years, a charity that encourages and supports young people in pursuing careers in aerospace.