Dunelmensis Award

The Dunelmensis Award is given by the University’s Senate to a Durham alumnus or alumna for meritorious and exceptional service in support of the University, particularly for our institutional advancement and for enhancing the University’s reputation, nationally and internationally.

This year's winners are:

Dr Robert Banks 

Ziqing Yan

Michael Shearer, OBE

Previous Dunelmensis Award Recipients

2010 - Robert Klein (Grey, 1972)
2010 - Graham Barker (Van Mildert, 1980)
2012 - Henry Dyson (Grey, 1977)
2013 - Stephen Gregory (Grey, 1969)
2016 - Ocean Wang (Ustinov, 2009)
2016 - Patrick Salaun (Hatfield, 1967)
2016 - Lilian Groves (St Hild & St Bede, 1975)
2018 - Sir Peter Ogden (University, 1968)
2018 - Mark Hillery (Collingwood, 1988)
2019 - Ian Ellison-Taylor (Grey, 1990)
2019 - Rev Canon Dr Chuck Robertson (Graduate Society, 1999)
2020 - Joanna Barker MBE (Collingwood, 1981)
2020 - Dr Rashmi Misra (St Mary's, 1992)
2021 - Dr Carl Stephen Patrick Hunter (Hatfield, 1984)
2021 - Smiti Kumar (Graduate Society, 1981)
2021 - Richard Roberts (St John's, 1979)
2021 - Charles Wilson (Grey, 1986)

Dunelmensis Award Recipients 2022


Ziqing Yan (Finance and Investment, Ustinov College, 2009) 

As founder of the University’s fastest growing International Chapter in Shenzhen, Olivia has also been instrumental in supporting the nearby Guangzhou Chapter.  

The Shenzhen Chapter was founded in September 2017 and held its first event with the executive dean of the Business School, Professor Susan Hart.  Since 2017 it has hosted high profile events including an alumni reception when Professor Stuart Corbridge was in Shenzhen in 2018.  As a result of a successful events programme before the pandemic and Olivia’s more recent activity on social media, the Shenzhen Chapter is a vibrant network to support graduate employability for Durham graduates relocating to Shenzhen from other parts of China.

As a result of the success of the Shenzhen group, Olivia has mentored and supported alumni volunteers to create the Guangzhou (Canton) chapter in 2020.  This is now a successful International Chapter in its own right and a great example of how the shared experience of studying at Durham can create supportive communities around the globe.


Michael Shearer, OBE (Business Administration, Trevelyan College, 1996)

As a passionate and proud advocate of Durham University and Durham University Business School, Michael has significantly contributed to the enhancement of the University’s international reputation and its institutional advancement over a sustained period. 

Throughout his tenure of the Singapore Chapter, Michael has been instrumental in building engagement with key campaign prospects as well as sharing his own network to further the reputation of the University internationally. In addition, Michael has contributed significantly to the University’s employability agenda by dedicating hours to mentor current MBA students at Durham University Business School.

Michael has demonstrated exceptional adaptability and resilience during the global pandemic by offering opportunities for alumni and supporters to stay connected whilst remaining safe by offering his time as a keynote speaker for the Live in Lockdown programme.

In addition, Michael has contributed significantly to the University’s employability agenda by dedicating hours to mentor current MBA students at Durham University Business School.

Michael also supports student recruitment efforts, having featured in the latest postgraduate prospectus with a testimonial he provided. As well as supporting key objectives of the University’s strategy, Michael also acts in an advisory capacity to the University as and when required. 

Lilian Groves    
Dr Robert W Banks (Doctor of Science, St Cuthberts Society, 1995)

Dr Robert (Bob) Banks has a long and successful history with St Cuthbert’s Society and Durham University. He was a lecturer in Zoology and a major contributor to preclinical medicine at Queen’s Campus, Stockton. His retirement in 2013 was marked by an international symposium held in Collingwood College, with support from the Biophysical Sciences Institute. Following retirement he has continued to be active in researching the sensory innervation of skeletal muscle.

For many years Bob was also a tutor and acting Senior Tutor at St Cuthbert’s Society. Since 2014, he has been the Chair of St. Cuthbert’s Society Fellows. During his time as Chair he has been the inspiration and guiding force behind the development of the Fellows. Throughout this process, Bob has provided significant leadership and activity over a sustained period which has not only enhanced St Cuthbert’s Society but also the University reputation nationally.  

He has organised impressive events and public lectures that hundreds of people from the local community can attend and has created succession plans to ensure the continued future of the Fellows at the Society. He has been extremely generous with his time, not just in the planning and delivery of the Fellows programme, but also in his enthusiastic engagement with participants who attend. 

Bob has provided exceptional service to both the University and St Cuthbert’s Society, and we congratulate him on his award.


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