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Two degree honours in one week for B'Ham businesswoman

RECOGNITION: Beverly Lindsay (right) receiving her honorary degree from Aston University's Chancellor Sir John Sunderland

A LEADING businesswoman and former nurse has received two honorary doctorate degrees from two prestigious universities in Birmingham within the space of seven days.

The honours for Beverly Lindsay OD, OBE, VLL, come just weeks after she was given a royal appointment as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of the West Midlands, serving as the Queen’s representative in the region.

On July 20 Lindsay was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Aston University for her community work and business success, chiefly as the CEO of her own independent travel agency Diamond Travel, which celebrated its 30th year of trading earlier this year.

A week later on July 27 it was Birmingham City University's (BCU) turn to honour her with an Honorary Doctorate for her earlier career in nursing and midwifery, her work within the travel industry and her longstanding community involvement.

As Lindsay, who chairs the Association of Jamaican Nationals (Birmingham) UK, received her first Honorary Doctorate from Aston University’s Chancellor Sir John Sunderland, she told the congregation at Birmingham Town Hall:

PROUD: Beverly Lindsay following the acceptance of her honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University

“Today is a very special day for me. I feel blessed that I can share this occasion with my family and friends. When I look back at my life I can hardly believe that I am standing here, but I did not do this by myself. I accept this award on behalf of my community.”

Addressing the students who were graduating at the same ceremony, Lindsay, said:

“I would like to encourage you, that regardless of your background you must be inspired to aim high, work hard and achieve your own definition of success. Anything is possible.”

A week later at BCU’s graduation ceremony at Symphony Hall, Professor Ian Blair, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, said:

“In Jamaica where Beverly spent her formative years, the national motto is: ‘Out of Many One People’ – a phrase chosen to reflect the unity of the island. There are few people for whom this phrase could be so relevant – not only has Beverly had a lasting impact on the people of Birmingham, but she has been an influence on the lives of generations of people across the country and indeed the world.”

After receiving her Honorary Doctorate from the university’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, Lindsay paid tribute to her 91-year-old mother Lurline Milligan, who was in the congregation, adding that she made sure all her children had the right foundation in life.

To the students, she said:

“Today you are graduating with skills for life – you have entered a wonderful profession which will bring you tremendous satisfaction – you may help to bring someone into the world, or prevent someone from prematurely leaving it. You all have an incredible opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life every time you go to work.”

In 2013 Lindsay was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, before stepping up to the position of Vice Lord-Lieutenant earlier this month. A champion and mentor for the African Caribbean community, she was honoured in her native Jamaica with the Order of Distinction in 2008, followed by an OBE from the Queen for services to business and the community in Birmingham.

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