Businessman, bishop and life peer to receive Honorary Degrees

Three recipients of honorary degrees, to be awarded at this month’s Graduation Ceremonies, have been announced.

Guli Francis-Dehqani, the first suffragan Bishop of Loughborough, will be made an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the morning ceremony on Thursday 16 January. Born in Isfahan, Iran in 1966, Bishop Guli’s early faith was nurtured within the tiny Persian Anglican community. The church, led by her father as Bishop, was hit hard by the events of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Following the murder of her brother in 1980 the family sought refuge in England where Guli completed her schooling before studying for a music degree at Nottingham University. In November 2017 she became the first woman from an ethnic minority to be consecrated a bishop in the Church of England.

Bob Woods, co-founder of Mattioli Woods plc, will be made an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the morning ceremony on Friday 17 January. Founded in 1991 in partner Ian Mattioli’s garage, Mattioli Woods is now one of the UK’s leading providers of wealth management and employee benefit services, advising over 15,000 clients with assets under management, administration and advice of £9.4 billion. Bob Woods stepped down as Executive Chairman in October 2016, but continues to provide strategic input in a full-time, executive role as Senior Adviser.

Baroness Sandip Verma, life peer and former Government minister, will be made an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the afternoon ceremony on Friday 17 January. Since entering the House of Lords in 2006, she has held several key ministerial appointments, and has played an active and advisory role in policy formation and development. Between 2012 and 2016, she served first as Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, and then as Minister for the Department of International Development.

More than 2,500 students will receive their degrees at the ceremonies which will take place at De Montfort Hall on 16 and 17 January.