Ed Balls, charity founder and Star Wars actor among Norwich’s University of East Anglia’s 2017 honorary graduates

Ed Balls as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Photo credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire

Ed Balls as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Photo credit: Guy Levy/BBC/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The chairman of Norwich City, a Star Wars actor and the former chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal are among the University of East Anglia's (UEA) honorary graduates for 2017.

Patrick Peal, chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance.Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Patrick Peal, chief executive of the East Anglian Air Ambulance.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

UEA has announced its 20 honorary graduates - those who have made outstanding contributions to the community - for this year, who will be recognised at ceremonies from July 17 to 21.

Ed Balls

Norfolk-born Mr Balls, chairman of Norwich City, has made this year's list. The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, visiting professor to the Policy Institute at King's College London and a member of the Privy Council. He was previously Labour's shadow chancellor from 2011 to 2015 and education secretary from 2007 to 2010.

Patrick Peal

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney awards 2016 at Sprowston manor. Peter Wilson. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Stars of Norfolk and Waveney awards 2016 at Sprowston manor. Peter Wilson. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

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Mr Peal was instrumental in establishing the first East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) helicopter, based at Norwich airport, in 2000. A second helicopter, based at Cambridge airport, came into service in 2007. He was a trustee of the EAAA, before becoming chief executive in 2014.

Peter Wilson MBE

As former chief executive of Norwich Theatre Royal, Mr Wilson is widely credited with its transformation into one of Britain's principal regional theatres. He was presented with the Eastern Daily Press Denise Anderson Award for Outstanding Achievement in recognition of his contribution to the Norfolk economy. He also serves as a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk.

Matt Frei

Poet George Szirtes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Poet George Szirtes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

German-born British television news journalist Mr Frei has worked for ITN, the BBC and Channel 4, where he is currently Europe editor and presenter. He is a winner of the Amnesty International Asia Award, the Royal Television Society International News Award, the Prix Bayeux, the Peabody Award and the Dupont Award.

James Vowles

Mr Vowles, a UEA alumnus, is chief strategist for the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, one of only three people advising drivers during each race, and is one the most successful and high profile engineers in Formula 1.

Hugh Quarshie

William Armstrong. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

William Armstrong. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Stage, television and film actor Hugh Quarshie stars in Holby City, and appeared in Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace and Highlander.

Caroline Jarrold

Mrs Jarrold, community affairs adviser at Jarrold, was chairman of Visit Norwich from 2005 until February 2017 and of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival from 2007 to 2016. She is currently chairman of Norwich Philharmonic Society, a director of The Forum Trust and Cox's Boatyard and an ambassador for the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. She is secretary to and a trustee of the John Jarrold Trust, which gives donations of £100 to more than £4,000 to charities.

Professor Raymond Tallis

Caroline Jarrold. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Caroline Jarrold. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Prof Tallis is a rehabilitation research pioneer who is enjoying a second career as a philosopher, exposing holes in common sense thinking. His books include Hippocratic Oaths and he regularly appears on Radio 4.

Marie Curie

Marie Curie is the UK's leading charity for people with any terminal illness. The charity helps people living with a terminal illness and their families make the most of the time they have together by delivering expert hands-on care, emotional support, research and guidance.

Anne Marie Rafferty CBE

Mrs Rafferty is professor of nursing policy, former dean of the Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, King's College London, and visiting professor at Imperial College's Patient Safety Translational Research Centre. She was awarded a CBE in 2008 and appointed to the Prime Minister's commission on the future of nursery and midwifery 2009/10. She has won numerous awards, including the Nursing Times Leadership Award in 2014.

William Armstrong OBE

Norfolk-born Mr Armstrong retired as senior coroner for Norfolk in 2013, after 19 years service. During his tenure, he introduced a number of initiatives aimed at putting bereaved families first, including establishing a support service at inquests and appointing the country's first coroner's chaplain. He was made an OBE in 2015 for services to the bereaved and to charity and is currently patron of Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind. He was the first town mayor of Wymondham and a former Sheriff of Norwich.

George Szirtes

Mr Szirtes lives in Wymondham and is a poet and translator and retired UEA reader. Born in Budapest, he came to England as a refugee in 1956 aged eight. His first book, The Slant Door, was published in 1979 and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

Professor Jacqueline Hunter CBE

Prof Hunter is a professor at St George's Hospital Medical School, in London, and currently chief executive of BenevolentBio, where she leads the application of BenevolentAI's technology for drug development. She is also a fellow of the British Pharmacological Society and of the Academy of Medical Sciences. For her services to the pharmaceutical industry, she was awarded a CBE in the 2010 birthday honours.

Dr Yongguan Zhu

Dr Zhu is a professor of biogeochemistry and environmental biology and the director general of the Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has worked on the biogeochemistry of nutrients, metals and emerging pollutants. Among other roles, he is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Professor Willy Aspinall

Lowestoft-born prof Aspinall

Prof Willy Aspinall, who grew up in Lowestoft, is one of the most influential international figures in natural hazards and risk assessment, particularly volcanic and seismic hazards, and in the use of structured expert elicitations to inform scientific decision-making.

Alex Smith

Mr Smith, a UEA alumnus, retired last year as chief executive of Pier 1 Imports, a Texas-based retailer specialising in imported home furnishing, and is now on a number of private and public boards. His previous roles include director of merchandising at clothing retailer Wallis and the department store Harvey Nichols and managing director of the department store group Owen Owen plc.

Dinah Rose QC

Mrs Rose QC is a British barrister and deputy high court judge. She specialises in human rights, public law and competition law. She was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1989 and took silk in 2006. She was named Barrister of the Year in The Lawyer Awards 2009.

Philippe Sands QC

Mr Sands QC is professor of law at University College London and a barrister at Matrix Chambers. His books Lawless World and Torture Team address justice and international law, including the illegalities of the Iraq war and the recent embrace of torture. His latest book, East West Street, won the 2016 Baillie Gifford Award and the 2017 British Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Mike Hammond

Over many years, Mr Hammond has become active in a number of charitable causes, including establishing a charity after the events of 9/11.

He is also a former trustee and chairman of Ace Africa, a charity that provides education and support to children impacted by HIV and AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania, and has personally supported the local education of two Kenyan children through school and university.

Professor Dame Vicki Bruce

Prof Dame Bruce is an honorary fellow of the British Psychological Society, a fellow of the British Academy and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She was made an OBE for services to psychology in 1997 and made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2015 Queen's birthday honours for services to higher education and psychology.