The University of Law (ULaw) has awarded Honorary Doctorates to England footballer Eniola Aluko and activist Gina Miller.
Eniola and Gina received the Honorary Doctorates during a virtual graduation ceremony for more than 700 students on Saturday.
Alumna Eniola Aluko played football for England’s Women’s Team and studied her LPC at ULaw’s Moorgate campus before qualifying as a solicitor in 2015.
She was at the forefront of multiple whistleblowing reports in 2016 and 2017. It was decided that Eniola’s manager had racially abused her and one of her teammates and, while it ended her England football career, she has since been part of the FA’s recommendations with UK Sport to build whistleblowing procedures.
Eniola, now Sporting Director at Aston Villa Football Club, said: “I feel so honoured, privileged and thankful for this award.
“It’s nearly 10 years since I completed my LPC at the University - although it feels like yesterday. It was challenging at the time as it was an accelerated course and I completed it just before I went to the London 2012 Olympics to play for the England Women’s Football Team, which was an incredible experience.
“After that I went on to work for two sports and entertainment law firms and then Slaughter and May and put all that legal training into practice. I also find my legal skills incredibly useful in my current role as Sporting Director.
“Congratulations to all those graduating today. I’m sure you feel the same as I do - honoured and grateful to finish your courses”.
Gina is a Guyanese and British businesswoman and activist. She co-founded SCM Direct in 2009 which is a disruptive democratising modern wealth management company. She set up the True and Fair Campaign in 2012, with the aim of increasing UK consumer investor and pension protection and end the dubious practises in the sector.
Gina is also a philanthropist who has funded and campaigned on issues as diverse as modern day slavery, domestic violence, special needs, inequality, social fragmentation and smarter giving to small community charities. She is a passionate advocate for responsible capitalism and in October 2017, she was named by Powerlist as the ‘UK’s most influential black person’ which recognises those of African and African Caribbean heritage.
She became a household name after taking the Government to the Supreme Court twice and securing historic constitutional victories. Following the vote to leave Gina, represented by another of ULaw’s former Honorary Doctorates, James Libson from Mishcon de Reya, submitted that it would be illegal for the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 and begin the withdrawal process without regard for Parliament’s sovereign constitutional involvement.
Gina said: “As someone who was passionate about being a lawyer all of my life, but could not due to the circumstances of my life, so this award is very emotional.
“There had been many highlights in my career so far, big and small, but the generosity of ULaw is humbling. But my message to everyone is that we all have a responsibility to speak up and the power to effect change, when we see those in positions of power abusing that power. With my present campaigning on the Online Safety Bill, I’m not done yet.”
Speaking to ULaw’s graduating students, Gina said: “Be bold, be courageous, be compassionate and remember to learn from your failures as much as from your successes, in terms of striving to do your best.”
Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice-Chancellor and CEO at The University of Law, said: “It is my privilege to award an Honorary Doctorates to Eniola and Gina in recognition of their successful campaigning on some of the most important issues of recent times. They are outstanding and inspiring role models for our graduating students.”