Published: 7 December 2016

Graduation: April Ashley MBE and Paul Lewis CBE to receive honorary degrees

April Ashley

Today, April Ashley MBE and Paul Lewis CBE will both receive honorary degrees from the University of Liverpool.

April Ashley MBE

Born in Liverpool in 1935, April Ashley MBE, is a former Vogue model, actress and restaurateur. Ashley became one of the world’s most famous transgender individuals and was one of the first people in the world to undergo pioneering gender reassignment surgery.

April Ashley MBE was instrumental in lobbying the government to pass the Gender Recognition Act in 2004 and, in 2012, she was appointed an MBE for services to transgender equality.  An exhibition of her life ‘April Ashley: Portrait of a Lady’ held at the Museum of Liverpool attracted more than 1.3 million people.

Today, the University is awarding April Ashley MBE an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws. The ceremony is taking place at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 7 December, 4pm.

Paul Lewis CBE

Paul Lewis CBE, an internationally regarded musician, will receive an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music.

Born in Huyton, Lewis won a place at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester before going on to the Guildhall in London. He performs regularly as a soloist with the world’s great orchestras and is a frequent guest at the most prestigious international festivals, including Lucerne, Mostly Mozart in New York and London’s BBC Proms where, in 2010, he became the first pianist to perform a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in one season.

The ceremony is taking place at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 7 December, 10am.

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