Each year The University of Manchester confers degrees on honorary graduands from a range of fields.
In 2019 we gave honorary degrees to Sherry Coutu, Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu, Vincent Kompany and Lord Jim O’Neill.
Sherry Coutu is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and government. She has founded several of her own companies and serves as a non-executive member of several more.
In November 2014, Sherry authored the Scale-Up Report which urged the UK government to support scale-ups as well as start-ups. Following the report, the ScaleUp Institute was created.
Sherry supports The Prince’s Trust, the Francis Crick Institute and Founders4Schools, a charity that helps to improve the employability of young people.
Professor Dame Elizabeth Anionwu
Professor Dame Elizabeth, a University of Manchester alumna, is Emeritus Professor of Nursing at the University of West London and has held senior executive roles at various health organisations.
She was appointed as the UK’s first sickle cell/thalassaemia nurse counsellor and was Head of the Brent Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia Information and Screening Centre from 1979 to 1990.
Elizabeth established and was Head of the Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice at the University of West London. On her retirement, Elizabeth was honoured with the award of Emeritus Professor of Nursing.
Vincent Kompany is a Belgian professional footballer and manager who played centre-back for Manchester City Football Club for 11 years and captained the side from 2011 to 2019. He led the club to win the 2011–12 Premier League – their first league title in 44 years – and was named at player of the season.
In July 2019 he became the player-manager at RSC Anderlecht of the Belgian First Division, the club where he started his professional football career aged 17.
Vincent is of Congolese heritage and is an official FIFA ambassador for the charity SOS Children, which aims to provide an education and safe accommodation for at-risk children across the world.
Lord Jim O’Neill
Lord Jim O’Neill is the current Chair of Chatham House. His previous roles include joint Head of Research (1995–2000), Chief Economist (2001–10) and Chairman of the Asset Management Division (2010–13) at Goldman Sachs; Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (2015-16); Chair of the City Growth Commission (2014); and Chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (2014–16). He is the creator of the economic acronym BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China);
Lord O’Neill is a Board Member and one of the founding trustees of educational charity SHINE. He was created a life peer in 2015 and serves as a crossbench member of the House of Lords.