University honours distinguished figures in the arts

An award-winning theatrical actor and the former Chief Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language, will be honoured at the University's Degree Ceremonies on 23 January.

Mr John Simpson, OBE, who retired as editor of the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the 10am ceremony on Friday 23 January. His family has been connected to the University since its foundation when his grandfather’s cousin, Harry Simpson Gee, became one of the University’s original benefactors.

Theatre and television actor Greg Hicks will be conferred with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree at the 4pm ceremony on Friday 23 January. Born and educated in Leicester, he is a prolific theatre actor and won the 2003 London Critics' Circle Theatre Awards (Drama) for Best Shakespearian Performance for his portrayal of the title role in Coriolanus.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle said: “We are delighted that the University is able to award honorary degrees to two candidates who are highly successful in their fields, both of whom have long-standing connections with Leicester.

“It is important for us to award honorary degrees to recipients who are significant in their field and these candidates are no exception. This is a valuable opportunity for our graduates to see how they can aspire to be future leaders in their chosen field.”