Our former Principal, Professor Peter Kopelman, was honoured at a ceremony by the University of London this week to mark its Foundation Day.

calendar-icon 23 November 2016

Professor Kopelman was awarded a Doctor of Science (Medicine) honorary degree by HRH the Princess Royal at a ceremony on Tuesday 22 November.

The presentation followed a citation by the present Principal of St George’s, Professor Jenny Higham, which touched on Professor Kopelman’s contribution to medical education and leadership in the UK.

Professor Kopelman, who also trained at St George’s, has made distinguished contributions to knowledge and research in the fields of obesity and diabetes, predicting the obesity crisis that now grips the western world. In the early 1980s he established the Obesity Clinic at the Royal London Hospital, which is now a national centre for UK-wide referrals. He has served as a scientific advisor on a range of national reports on the issue.

Foundation Day is the annual celebration of the grant by William IV of the University’s first charter on 28 November 1836.

The University of London presented its first honorary degrees in June 1903. Among the recipients were the Prince of Wales (LLD) and the Princess of Wales (DMus), later King George V and Queen Mary.

Since then, this accolade has been bestowed on a wide range of distinguished individuals from both the academic and non-academic worlds. Their names are recorded in the Register of Honorary Degrees. The list of famous signatures includes Winston Churchill, Judi Dench, TS Eliot, Margot Fonteyn and Henry Moore.

Honorary degrees are approved by the Collegiate Council as set out in Regulation 2, part of the University’s governance structure. They are presented to the recipients at an evening ceremony in Senate House, held each year in the Autumn term.

Read more about this year's Foundation Day on the University of London website.