Luke Johnson, former Channel 4 chairman given Honorary Doctorate

A Honorary Doctorate was bestowed on Luke Johnson at Wembley Stadium.

“We are extremely proud of all of our graduands, and delighted to be able to celebrate their hard work and achievements in the spectacular setting of Wembley Stadium. It has been a remarkable 12 months for UWL. We have achieved the biggest increase in our ranking of any UK university in three independent league tables, and our success at getting our students into employment is today recognised at national level.” – UWL Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter John

Luke Johnson, the former chairman of Channel 4 who also transformed Pizza Express into a British high-street favourite, has received an honorary degree from the University of West London. Johnson joined 1,700 graduating students at ceremonies taking place at Wembley Stadium, on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. In a stellar career, he has also been chairman of Royal Society of Arts.

After taking control of Pizza Express in 1993, Johnson grew the business from 12 outlets to more than 150, before selling the brand. In 1996, he founded Dental Holdings which grew into the UK’s biggest chain of dentists. UWL conferred honorary degrees on 11 accomplished individuals from fields ranging from education to campaigning, business and entertainment.

Also collecting honorary degrees at graduation ceremonies on 25 and 26 July at Wembley, were Errol Francis: Campaigner, writer, carer and consultant, Errol has campaigned on BME issues for years and contributed to mental health care advances in the criminal justice system. Carole Sharma: A former CEO of the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals, Carole has devoted her career to the field of drugs and alcohol treatment since qualifying as a mental health nurse in 1982.

Daniel Adler: Manager of Lyceum Capital’s origination team which discovers investment opportunities, Dan sits on the board of Briefing Media and Isotrak and is also a member of Lyceum’s Management Board and Investment Committee. Caroline Redman Lusher: Founder of the Rock Choir, Caroline has inspired 24,000 people to take up singing and starred in a TV documentary series. She has also lent her vocal talents to several hit albums.

Edward Veale: Music talents such as John Lennon, George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Pete Townshend all turned to Edward to design their studios in a career lasting decades. Today he helps young professionals also on a quest to build the perfect studio. Tony Coad: A marketing expert and Honorary Lifetime Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing, Tony is a graduate of Slough College of Technology (later UWL) and has sat on the university’s Board of Governors since 2007.

Gareth Cadwallader: A successful investor, Gareth has served on the Learning and Skills Council and chairs the Tech Partnership’s Higher Education steering group for employers. In 2009 he was appointed to UWL’s Board of Governors, and has served as Deputy Chair since 2015. Andy Kemp: Marketing director at Bidvest Foodservice, Andy is passionate about diversity in the hospitality sector and is a campaigner for child nutrition among several causes.

Tony Matharu: Founder of Grange Hotels, Tony’s portfolio of 18 hotels have won industry awards. A keen sports fan, he also assists vulnerable people affected by natural disasters via philanthropy. Elaine Bowden: Head of Education and Workforce Development at Health Education England, Elaine has devoted 30 years to public health services.

“We look forward to the future achievements of our new graduates, and I believe they will also be inspired by the exceptional individuals who we are also recognising today by being awarded with honorary degrees.” – UWL Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter John