Olympic rower and England Hockey Coach to receive honorary degrees from Loughborough University

An Olympic rower and an England hockey coach are among the inspirational figures to be recognised during Loughborough University’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Olympic champion Matt Gotrel MBE will receive a Doctor of the University in recognition of his contribution to rowing.

Matt was crowned an Olympic champion after winning gold with the men’s eight rowing team during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

He graduated from Loughborough University in 2012 with a degree in Systems Engineering. In the same year, he made his debut with Team GB Rowing, at European Championships in Italy.

In 2014 he won gold at the World Rowing Championships and in 2015, he won gold at the World Rowing Championships, making him a two-time world champion.

Matt has returned to the sport he loves and represents his country as a member of the Great Britain SailGP Team, competing in an international yacht racing league.

Danny Kerry MBE, Head Coach of the Great Britain and England men’s international teams, will be recognised for his contribution to sport.

Danny gave Team GB its first-ever women’s gold medal in hockey during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

He got into coaching while he was a student at Loughborough University, and he was Captain of the men’s first team.

After completing his degree in Physical Education and Sports Science in 1992, Danny worked with Ealing Ladies Hockey Club in the English Hockey League. In 1997 he was appointed as Assistant Coach to the England Under 18 Men’s group, before becoming Head Coach in 2001.

Danny became Head Coach to the England Women's Senior Team in 2004, where he spent the best part of 13 years taking the team from 11th to 2nd in the world rankings.

He led the team to their first Olympic medal in twenty years, winning bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Under his leadership and guidance, the team won gold in GB’s Olympic Games in Rio 2016.

In 2017 Danny took up the position of Head Coach for Great Britain and England men’s Hockey.

Christine Hodgson will also be honoured for her work in business and finance, and for her contributions to the wider community, to ensure there are opportunities for everybody in business.

Christine is Chairman of Capgemini UK, Head of Group Corporate and Social Responsibility, and is a member of the Global Group Executive Committee.

She graduated from Loughborough University in 1987, with a degree in Accounting and Financial Management.

Christine has spent over 20 years at Capgemini UK, and she is also a Senior Independent Director at Standard Chartered Bank plc.

She is an advocate for encouraging more women to achieve top positions in the world of IT and currently chairs Capgemini UK’s Women Business Network, which aims to attract and retain female talent.

Christine continued her work in this area and co-founded the organisation’s UK Women’s Business Network, now known as the Inclusive Network

In 2014 she was asked by the former education secretary, Nicky Morgan, to set up the Careers and Enterprise Company. The company supports greater engagement between employers and schools and colleges, to help prepare young people for the world of work.

Christine is also a board member of the Tech Partnership, a network of employers that worked to inspire young people from all backgrounds about digital careers.

(Christine Hodgson, Chairman of Capgemini UK)

Bessie Chelemu will receive a Doctor of the University in recognition of her work in championing sport to improve the life chances of thousands of young people in Zambia.

Bessie is the first female Director of Sport in Zambia and is responsible for the coordination, planning and development, of sports programmes and projects in the country.

She has been a key advocate and supporter of the Wallace Group, a partnership created in 2004 by several leading UK universities, including Loughborough, to support sports development for young people in Zambia.

Bessie is currently engaged in establishing a Department of Physical Education, Coaching and Sports Management at the University of Zambia, a vital next step in developing a sustainable ‘in country’ capacity to develop and grow their sport industry.

Former President and CEO of Airbus America, Barry Eccleston OBE, will receive a Doctor of Technology in recognition of his contribution to the aerospace and aviation industry.

Barry joined Loughborough University in 1965 and studied for a B-Tech in Aeronautical Engineering and Design.

Barry spent 29 years with Rolls Royce – first as a flight test engineer before holding various senior positions with the company, including President and CEO Rolls-Royce Industry Canada, and his role as President and CEO of International Aero Engines.

Barry moved to the USA to help set up a joint venture programme to build a new engine called the V2500, designed and manufactured by International Aero Engines.

International Aero Engines has gone on to become one of the world’s most successful civil aerospace programs.

Barry went on to hold a number of senior positions at companies including Fairchild Dornier Corporation, Fairchild Dornier Corporation, and Fairchild Dornier Corporation.

The inspirational figures will be recognised during ceremonies at the University this week 16-19 July.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: 19/102

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