Honorary Fellows Ceremony

In the beautiful Chapel of Royal Holloway University of London in Egham on 8th June, four people were awarded Honorary Fellowships for having achieved eminence and also made an outstanding contribution to the life and work of the University, or either of the parent colleges, or to the cause of education. The Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge DBE MP, as Chair of Council, awarded the Honorary Fellowships after Professor Paul Layzell DL, Principal, had given an induction address.

Julia Desbruslais formed the first all-female string quartet, then became Co-Principal Cello with the London Mozart Players which has worked with Royal Holloway’s Orchestra. In 2016 she became Executive Director of the LMP, stepping down in December 2021.

Jeremy McIlroy spent 35 years as an accountant with Ernst & Young, 20 years as a partner until retiring in 2012. He was on the Council of Royal Holloway from 2010-20, chairing the Finance Committee. He is a trustee of many trusts and charities.

Dr Mark Nesbitt’s first degree was in agricultural botany, then he did a MSc in Bioarcheology, before doing a PhD and working at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the Centre for Economic Botany. Since 2009 he has collaborated with Royal Holloway and is a Visiting Professor in the School of Life Sciences and the Environment.

Caroline Willbourne went to Bedford College, became a barrister specialising in Family Law. She has sat as a Deputy Judge and is an active Bencher of the Inner Temple. In 2013 she was a founder member of the Bedford Society Committee and has supported scholarships and the Greatest Need Funds, so helping future generations of students.

The Musical Interlude included O Light of Light which was composed for the Choir of Royal Holloway and there was a fanfare by William Matthias. The reception was held in the Picture Gallery, which allowed guests to marvel at the outstanding collection of paintings. The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey Mr Michael More-Molyneux and the High Sheriff were present at the Ceremony together with Honorary Fellows, Honorary Doctorates, Heads of Academic Departments, Executive Deans of Schools, Senior Vice-Principals and the Mayor of Runnymede.