THE great and good honoured this week at the University of Bradford have spoken of their pride at being presented with honorary degrees.

Eight noteworthy men and women from a range of fields, including law, business, science and philanthropy, were recognised by the university.

They received their degrees alongside thousands of students at the university, moving into employment or further training after a successful stint at the university.

First to be honoured on Tuesday were notable scientist Dame Mary Archer, technology pioneer Tim O’Reilly and successful former student John Graham Hart.

Dame Mary said: “I’m very proud to become an Honorary Doctor of Science in the University.

“Bradford is such a unique university being the world’s first technological university and having provided leadership in that area by now leading the World University Technology Universities Network.

“As a scientist I’m very conscious that it’s technology and technicians and engineers that actually make the world in a very real sense.

“It’s the scientists who have the crazy ideas and sometimes the great breakthroughs but it is the technologists, the technicians and engineers who actually make the devices, the equipment that enables us to live the way we do and Bradford is a real leader there.”

Mr O’Reilly added: “I have a lot of history here in Bradford; my family grew up at the back of a mill.

“My mother, my grandfather, great grandmother and so on, so coming back to Bradford and having an honorary degree from this city where I have very deep roots.

“It’s just a wonderful, wonderful thing and it’s wonderful to see the University of Bradford bringing a new heart of learning to the city.”

Graham Hart simply said: “It’s a wonderful thing. It’s the triumph of lifetime’s hard work.”

On Wednesday, bestselling author Wendy Mitchell, who lives with early onset Alzheimer’s, healthcare leader Dr Anita Patil-Deshmukh and local dedicated fundraiser Manoj Joshi.

Ms Mitchell said: “It feels very surreal, very humbling but also absolutely amazing, I’m so happy to be here.”

Dr Patil-Deshmukh added: “I feel very honoured, I think it’s a great privilege to be recognised by a university like Bradford for the work we are trying to do in India and it is also overwhelming.

“I have never attended a graduation ceremony so this was my very first and I didn’t realise how beautiful it is.

“It was such a spirit of celebration in the hall with all the students it was a very unique experience and something I will remember forever.”

Local face Manoj Joshi said: “It feels very inspirational to pick up this award, very special and also very humbling at the same time.

“I feel energised and enthusiastic and reinvigorated, but what it really means in practice is that we as an institution in Bradford have got to deliver what the students want and make sure that they make a difference.”

The final graduation ceremonies of the week also honoured Lady Brenda Hale, the UK’s most senior judge, and Priscilla Elworthy, a notable anti-war campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.

Lady Hale said: “It feels absolutely wonderful.

“I was born just down the road in Leeds and my aunt lived in Fulneck and so I’ve always known about Bradford and this great University and it is wonderful to be here again.”

Dr Elworthy added: “It feels utterly nourishing because Bradford was the start of a lot of the work that I’ve done, coming here in 1982, and it just feels like almost full circle.

“I couldn’t have been better cared for and looked after and I feel fulfilled.”