Faye received the honorary degree as graduation ceremonies returned to the University of Bedfordshire’s Putteridge Bury campus, for the first time in three years.
Faye, from Dunstable, said: “I feel very privileged to receive this Honorary Doctorate and, from growing up in the area, it’s so amazing to be recognised for the work that I’ve done but also to try and inspire students and graduates.”
Other special guests included former Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot and Prisoner of War, John Peters, who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education in recognition of his services to broadening opportunities for education in leadership and management.
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Since leaving the RAF, John has worked with MBA and BSc Aviation students at the University of Bedfordshire and with the Business School to develop short courses for those seeking to move from the forces into civilian careers.
John said: “I feel extremely humbled to receive an Honorary Doctorate. It was unexpected and it’s rather bowled me over, so it’s lovely.”
In his advice to fellow graduates, he added: “Look beyond your limitations and plan your story. Learning is a communal experience, however clever we are as an individual, we are better as a group. We are so much brighter together, so enjoy sharing your learning with your colleagues and friends, and celebrate what you have achieved today.”
Alongside the presentation of Honorary degrees, the ceremonies also featured a number of speeches from guests of honour, including Grazia magazine’s Rhiannon Evans, Dr Rima Makarem from Bedfordshire, Luton, Milton Keynes Integrated Care Board, Luton Rising CEO Graham Olver, and HHJ Marianna Catherine Thoroton Hildyard QC.
A special award was also presented to Radio LaB student manager Toby Crabb who, alongside graduating with a degree in Radio and Audio, also received the award for Student Engagement.
Held over four days 12 the ceremonies were held for graduates from the faculties of Education, English and Sport, Creative Arts, Technologies and Science, Health and Social Sciences, and the Business School, to celebrate and mark the end of their hard work.