We are delighted to announce that The University of Derby have conferred the honorary degree of master of the University on Pollyanna during their 2008 graduation ceremonies.
Almost ten thousand people descended on the city of Derby to participate in one of the most important events in the university calendar - their annual awards ceremonies. Pollyanna attended the Saturday morning ceremony held in the assembly rooms at Derby, and donned a cap and gown to join the faculty and distinguished guests onstage, including the Vice Chancellor of the University Professor John Coyne and john bather the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire.
Professor Michael Gunn, Pro Vic Chancellor of the University delivered a commendation outlining Pollyanna’s achievements in her chosen field, finishing with the announcement “In recognition of her remarkable achievements as a wildlife artist par excellence and business woman, and for her sustained charitable work to protect wildlife the University of Derby academic board is delighted to confer the Honorary Degree of master of the University upon Pollyanna Pickering.
Pollyanna was then congratulated by the Pro Chancellor Dianne Jeffrey who presented the honorary degree. Pollyanna then made a brief speech thanking the university, and speaking briefly about some of the highlights of her career.
Following the ceremony the university faculty, distinguished guests and other honorands processed through Derby City Centre accompanied by the Heage Brass band for a Thanksgiving Service in Derby Cathedral, followed by a lunch hosted by the Mayor of Derby in the Mayor’s Parlour - fabulously catered by the University's own catering and hospitality students.
“It is wonderful to have had my work as an artist recognised in this way” Pollyanna said “and I feel very honoured – but also something of a fraud being rewarded for doing something I love! I was very special for me to attend a graduation ceremony – when I attended art college in London, art was not recognised with a degree as the examining boards could not agree a criteria to judge and mark the artwork, so although I completed with distinction, I was awarded a national diploma – within a couple years after I left the course gained degree status!”
The evening before Pollyanna attended a dinner hosted by the university, and enjoyed the opportunity of meeting some of her fellow honorands including Sir Howard Newby who has bee Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council and Vice Chancellor of three English Universities and Richard Brown the Chief Executive of Eurostar. Also honoured by the University was rock legend Roy Wood, founding member of bands The Move, Wizard and ELO.
Pollyanna is now entitled to use the letters HonMUniv after her name. Pollyanna recieves her degree from Mrs Dianne Jeffrey, Pro Chancellor of the University