Jamie Dornan among honorary graduates at Queens’ University Belfast

Actor Jamie Dornan was among honorary doctorates recognised “for putting Northern Ireland on the map” at Queen’s University Belfast on Monday.

Dornan was one of nine honorary graduates recognised at QUB for distinction in the fields of business, education, medicine, arts, sport, public service and the local community.

The two-time Irish Film and Television Award winner and Bafta and Golden Globe nominee said it was a “huge honour” to be awarded a doctorate for distinction in the arts.

Dornan said: “My dad went to this university, there are pictures in my house of my dad wearing a similar robe.

“I’m very proud to be involved in this great university.”

F1 pundit Bernadette Collins at Queen's University Belfast
F1 pundit Bernadette Collins (Queen’s University Belfast)

Queen’s alumni and former Aston Martin F1 strategist Bernadette Collins said she was honoured to be awarded an honorary doctorate in sport.

The Sky Sports pundit said she hoped it might inspire other mechanical and aerospace engineering students to see “exciting possibilities” ahead.

Former SDLP leader Mark Durkan and Belfast-born conflict resolution specialist Quintin Olvier, who developed the Yes Campaign for the Good Friday Agreement referendum, were selected to be honoured with doctorates for distinction in public service.

Also recognised for his contribution to the peace process, former Sinn Fein general-secretary Tom Hartley was picked for a doctorate for services to the local community.

Mark Durkan
Mark Durkan (Queen’s University Belfast)

QUB selected Ann McGregor to receive a Doctor of Science in Economics for services to business and commerce after serving as chief executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 15 years.

Also recognised for services to the arts was founder and director of Belfast Community Gospel Choir (BCGC) Marie Lacey.

Tom Hartley
Tom Hartley (Queen’s University Belfast)

She said: “I am humbled beyond measure to receive an honorary doctorate from Queens University. Music has the power to transcend division and my life has been dedicated to serving the community through music.”

In recognition of his contribution to improving healthcare for public service, Lord Kakkar was chosen for a doctorate of medical science for distinction in medicine.

Garrett Curran was selected for a doctorate of science in economics for services to business, commerce and education following a 30-year career across multiple sectors in commerce including leadership roles at large blue-chip enterprises and support for smaller high growth companies.

Lord Kakkar
Lord Kakkar (Queen’s University Belfast)

QUB said Mr Curran is a passionate advocate for quality and inclusive education, championing a number of charities working towards this cause.

He is a board member of several charities, including the Queen’s University Foundation Board.

Mr Curran said said: “A career path starts long before the first day in the office, education plays a critical role and making education more accessible for young people from across Northern Ireland is an area I’m hugely committed to.”

Queen’s University President and Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Ian Greer said: “We are delighted to award honorary degrees to this group of hugely successful and inspirational group of individuals today.

“They have all played a significant role in putting Belfast and Northern Ireland on the map and we are honoured that they will be part of the Queen’s community.”