The Birthday Honours List, which strives to highlight outstanding members of society, has recognised eleven members of Queen Mary’s successful alumni.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the List was delayed for the first time in the Queen’s reign and was not released at its usual time, instead being postponed until late October.
1,495 members of the population contributed invaluably to communities across the UK this year and were awarded in areas including the ambulance, police, fire and diplomatic services. Also awarded were outstanding individuals from overseas across the Commonwealth.
Along with the usual Honours List, this turbulent year deserved a specific awards list titled the Covid-19 List. This celebrated the achievements of those who worked on the frontline fighting Coronavirus, providing critical aid and assistance at a uniquely demanding time.
Queen Mary’s alumni are particularly saturated amongst the awardees and their successes stretch across both Lists.
Alumni awarded for the service fighting Covid-19 in 2020 included:
- Dr. Hareen de Silva – BEM for services to General Practice during Covid-19
- Dr. Jonathan Kwan – MBE for forty years’ service to the NHS, particularly during Covid-19
- Professor Tim Spector – OBE for services to Covid-19 response
Alumni recognised for their outstanding societal contributions across other areas (including Finance, the Culinary Arts, fashion, Education, and Science) can be read below:
- Katherine St John Brooks – BEM for services to the elderly and the community in Southwark
- Professor David Webb – CBE for services to Clinical Pharmacology Research and Education
- Amanda Melton – CBE for services to further education
- Lucy Jewson – MBE for services to ethical fashion design
- George Irvine – MBE for services to education and community in Carrickfergus
- Ching-He Huang – MBE for services to the culinary arts
- Fiona Harrison – OBE for services to tackling fraud
- Claire Woodman – CBE for services to Finance
Head of Alumni Engagement Gemma Marenghi commented:
“Being named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List is such an achievement and is testament to the outstanding contributions our alumni make to their fields of expertise and their communities. We couldn’t be prouder to have these individuals as part of the Queen Mary community. Congratulations to you all!”
However, the extraordinary success of QMUL’s alumni is not a new phenomenon.
At present, our alumni consist of an excellent nine Nobel Prize winners and include notable people such as the recently re-elected President of Iceland, legendary band members of Iron Maiden, The Libertines and Suede, several Members of Parliament across the United Kingdom, as well as prominent novelists, economists, scientists, journalists, philosophers and actors.
It is a true testament to the value of a Queen Mary education that we are able to recognise and include such valuable members of society in our alumni, and should serve as a great source of inspiration and pride for all current students at QMUL!