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Baroness Doreen Lawrence receives honorary degree from the University of Cambridge

HONOURED: Baroness Doreen Lawrence

SOCIAL JUSTICE campaigner Baroness Doreen Lawrence was the recipient of a 2019 honorary degree from the University of Cambridge on Wednesday (Jun 19) in recognition for her contributions to wider society.

Speaking at the ceremony, Baroness Lawrence said: “I am honoured to receive an honorary degree from Cambridge University. It is both wonderful and humbling to be respected and well thought of by Murray Edwards College. I gratefully accept this honorary degree with pleasure and appreciation.”

Dr Jane Goodall DBE is an anthropologist and primatologist who was also awarded an honourary degree for her services to wildlife and environmental conservation.

“From a child, I wanted to go to Africa and write books about animals,” Dr Goodall said. “I spent wonderful years learning about the chimpanzees, picked up a Cambridge PhD, went back and started a research station.”

“I truly believe that only when the head and heart work in harmony can we attain our true human potential.”

Other key figures who picked up honorary degrees from the prestigious university included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson, Nobel Laureates Angus Deaton and Michael Levitt, renowned archeologist Professor Dame Rosemary Cramp, and celebrated conductor Sir Mark Elder.

The honorees were conferred at a Congregation in the Senate House presided over by the Chancellor, Lord Sainsbury of Turville.

The day of the Honorary Degree Congregation is described as a ‘scarlet day’ because doctors wear scarlet on their traditional black gowns. Flags were flown to mark the occasion and the bells of Great St Mary’s, the University Church, rang out as the procession approached the Senate House.

Honorary degrees are the highest accolade the University can bestow.

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