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University of Leicester celebrates achievements of distinguished personalities

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University of Leicester celebrates achievements of distinguished personalities

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Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities, Health

The University of Leicester is to honour two distinguished figures, who have dedicated many years to public service, at its degree ceremonies on Friday 24 January, attended by graduands and their families from across the world.

Roger Bettles, the former Chairman of the University’s Council, the governing body of the institution, is to be awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws while Adrian Weston, who served for many years on the University Council, is to receive a Distinguished Honorary Fellowship, the highest accolade the University can award.

Both honorands have had long associations with the city and county of Leicester; Adrian Weston worked as a solicitor in Leicester for 40 years, while Roger Bettles practiced dentistry in the city, later becoming Chief Executive of Fosse Health NHS Trust providing Community Health services across the City of Leicester and Counties of Leicestershire and Rutland.

Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said: “We are delighted to be able to give Honorary Doctorates to significant local people. 

“We are always pleased to award Honorary Degrees but even more so when we are able to clearly recognise the work that local people do and highlight their importance to our University and the local community.  These two candidates have given significant service to the University and the community and therefore richly deserve their awards.  I look forward to the presentation of their awards and to celebrating their achievement.”      

Mr Weston said: “I am deeply touched that the University has decided to elect me as Distinguished Honorary Fellow.”

“I am Leicester born and bred and was educated in the county where I have lived all my life. For 40 years I worked in the city with Harvey Ingram Solicitors (now Shakespeares). Since that ended in 1999, I have served on various bodies at the University of Leicester and have rejoiced in its achievements and success in that time.”

Mr Bettles said: “Receiving an Honorary Degree from the University which has become my life since retirement, is a great honour for which I am truly grateful.

“I shall take great pleasure in finally being able to wear a University of Leicester graduate tie, having seen so many people receive their degrees on the stage of De Montfort Hall over the 15 years of my involvement.

“This University is so important to the City and both our Counties and indeed to the nation. Some very important discoveries have been made by the talented researchers at Leicester, and the teaching of generations of the movers and shakers of the future is vital to us all.”

Honorand Biographies:

Roger Bettles is to be award an honorary Doctor of Laws on Friday 24 January at 10am. Mr Bettles was for five years Chairman of the University Council following a long career in the NHS in the city and county of Leicester.

Roger Bettles was born in Leicester and attended Wyggeston Boys’ Grammar School where he gained his colours for Rugby Football. The first in his family to go to university, he studied Dentistry at the University of Birmingham and was very involved in student affairs at a national level. He qualified in 1961 gaining the Cale Matthews Prize in Orthodontics and the Student of the Year Cup in 1961. He practiced in Leicester, later studying Dental Public Health at a postgraduate level and becoming one of the first in the Country to be appointed as a Consultant in this field advising Leicestershire Area Health Authority and Trent Regional Health Authority.

In 1985 he was appointed as a Unit General Manager within the NHS subsequently becoming the Chief Executive of Fosse Health NHS Trust providing Community Health services across the City of Leicester and Counties of Leicestershire and Rutland including 14 community hospitals in the various county towns. This was the largest NHS Trust of its kind and was successful in many areas of innovation including the development of home care options for treatments formerly only available in hospitals, three new Community Hospital developments, Prince Philip Community Care Centre in which much work was done with the University, and a greatly extended range of outpatient specialty clinics at peripheral hospitals. He was also asked to lead on the commissioning of health service education and training and contributed to the development of cancer services, including home care services.

He was elected President of The British Dental Association in 1995 after more than twenty years of being engaged in The Association`s affairs.

Roger joined the Council of the University of Leicester in 1998 and became Chairman of Council and Pro-Chancellor in 2007 finally retiring from this office in July 2013.

In his personal life, Roger is an active Anglican and enjoys his family of four children, 11 grandchildren and one great grand-daughter.

Adrian Weston is to receive a Distinguished Honorary Fellowship, the highest accolade the University can award, on Friday 24 January at 4pm. Mr Weston was a member of the University’s Council and has served on a variety of University committees since he retired as a solicitor in 1999.

He was a Pilot Officer in Fighter Control in the Royal Air Force during the Cold War, before studying for a Masters in Jurisprudence at Queens College Oxford. In 1958 he became an articled clerk with Harvey Clarke & Adams, Solicitors, Leicester, subsequently working with Ingram & Co, Leicester (later Harvey Ingram LLP). He became a Partner and then Senior Partner, specialising in leases of retail shop units and liquor licensing law, until in the 1970s he moved to corporate work, particularly mergers and acquisitions. He retired as a solicitor in 1999 and resigned from the Solicitors’ roll in 2002.

He has held non-executive directorships at Atkinson Design Associates Ltd, Pensions Bank Ltd, Everards Brewery Ltd and Primalux Ltd. He has been Governor of Portland House School (now Leicester High School for Girls) and for Ratcliffe College, for which he was for seven years the Chairman of Governors. From 1999-2008 he was a Council Member at the University of Leicester and is still on the Investment Committee, Purchasing Sub-committee, Business Activities Group and Estates Strategy.

A keen sportsman, he is a member of the Leicestershire Golf Club and Vice President of the Leicestershire County Cricket Club.

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