The University of Law (ULaw) will be awarding three Honorary Doctorates at its November graduation ceremonies to Dr. I. Stephanie Boyce, Dr. Alex George and Karen Betts OBE.
Dr. I. Stephanie Boyce is the Past President of the Law Society and has been awarded the Honorary Doctorate in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the legal industry.
In March 2021, Stephanie became the 177th president of the Law Society, the sixth woman and the first ever person of colour to hold the title. During her tenure, Stephanie led the society through some of its most challenging years from the tail end of Brexit, the global pandemic, and the biggest shake up to the way solicitors train and qualify in 30 years.
The stability and success of the society during these years has been attributed to Stephanie’s strong leadership, securing a number of concessions from government and other stakeholders on judicial review, the Bill of Rights Bill and the solicitors indemnity fund.
Stephanie will receive the Honorary Doctorate during ULaw’s graduation ceremony on November 7. Speaking of the Honorary Doctorate, Stephanie said: “As an alumna I am absolutely delighted to have had my work recognised with an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Law, in recognition of my outstanding achievements and contribution to the legal profession. This award is for the many who have supported me, amplified my voice and helped to shine a spotlight on the issues that hold many individuals back from achieving their true potential.”
During a separate ceremony today we will also be awarding Honorary Doctorates to TV doctor, Dr. Alex George, and Karen Betts OBE.
Karen is an alumna of the University and the Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation which she joined in December 2021. Having held roles as a diplomat in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office and Joint Intelligence Committee, Karen’s impactful career has been varied. She is also an Adviser to the UK Government’s Board of Trade and received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2022 for her services to international trade.
Speaking of her recognition, Karen commented: “I’m delighted and deeply honoured to receive an Honorary Doctor of Law today. People’s early careers tend to be very formative, and so it is with me – I enjoyed studying and practising law, and it has informed so much of what I have done since. My legal background taught me to think and to problem solve, and this has guided me on the varied journey my career has taken.”
In recent years, Dr. Alex George has become a well-known and much-loved figure among households and healthcare professionals alike, bringing the nation accessible and reassuring advice from the frontline during the pandemic. Speaking of his Honorary Doctorate, Alex said: “I am hugely honoured to have been awarded this honorary doctorate and I am so thankful that mental health is being placed on equal footing to physical health within The University of Law. It is fantastic to hear about the university’s forward-thinking mindset in preparing their students for dealing with the challenges of life and the working world.”
Professor Andrea Nollent, Vice Chancellor and CEO at The University of Law: “Karen Betts OBE and Dr. I. Stephanie Boyce are two outstanding women in their respective fields. Like so many other industries, recent years have taken their toll on the legal world, yet Stephanie’s determined leadership has provided strong guidance even when things have been uncertain. Karen has also represented the UK on the world stage as a leading voice and authority on international trade.
“We are proud to call each of these women our alumnae and to recognise them in this year’s graduation ceremonies. We hope their success, determination and hard work inspire our future legal talent.
“Dr. Alex George is the perfect representation of everything we stand for at The University of Law. His tenacity and passion to provide support to young people in the UK in dealing with their mental wellbeing is truly something to be honoured. Support like this is more important now than ever before. We are incredibly proud to award Dr. Alex this title and will continue to champion his work.”