Head of Student Services at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Sue Whitham was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list.
The medal, awarded by the Queen in recognition of meritorious civil services, is being awarded to Sue for services to Higher Education.
The award recognises a career at St Mary’s which has lasted over 20 years and seen Sue support countless students, helping them and their families in times of difficulty, tragedy and adversity.
Commenting on her award, Whitham said: “I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. My passion for working with students is as strong now as it was when I began my career at St Mary’s almost 24 years ago.
“I have had the privilege to get to know thousands of students, many of whom I have maintained contact with and their families which have developed into lasting friendships.
“My focus has always been to provide seamless, holistic support to students to ensure they achieve their full potential and success during their time at St Mary’s and beyond university.
“Many students I have worked closely with have endured challenging and traumatic life experiences and I have never failed to be inspired by their courage, resolve and determination. “I feel extremely proud to witness our graduating students in Westminster Cathedral each year, but I often find myself moved to tears seeing those who have overcome adversity complete their studies.”
St Mary’s Vice Chancellor Prof Francis Campbell said: “Sue has made, and continues to make a major contribution to the lives of students at St Mary’s.
“Every student finds their own path through higher education, with some needing additional support when they find themselves in difficulty whether through financial hardship, illness, bereavement or through their additional educational requirement.
“Sue, and the team she leads, regularly go beyond the call of duty to ensure that no student who needs help is left behind. I am delighted that Sue has received this national recognition of the vital work she does and the lives she has transformed.”
Veteran Belfast broadcaster and journalist Eamonn Holmes, who began his career at UTV back in 1980, was awarded an OBE. Holmes, who is the longest serving presenter of breakfast programming in the world, was recognised for his services to broadcasting. He currently co-presents with his wife Ruth Langsford on This Morning.
Holmes, commented: “2018 will be my 38th year as a broadcaster and I can’t think of a better way of marking that. It’s a wonderful accolade.”
Others to make the New Year’s Honours List were
Ms Roisin MAGUIRE – Lately Principal, St Joseph’s College, Stoke – on – Trent. For services to Education. MBE
Ms Marcella Eileen PHELAN – For services to Young People in Ealing, London. MBE
Michael William FINNEY – Director of Advice, Admissions and Marketing, South Cheshire College. For services to Education. MBE
Josephine Maria, Mrs O’FARRELL – For services to the community in Crowthorne and Bridport, Dorset. OBE
Patricia Anne, Mrs COX – For voluntary and charitable services. (London). BEM
Miss Clare Beatrice MCCARTHY – Member, London and South Region, St John Fellowship. For voluntary service to First Aid. (London). BEM
Ms Fiona MCCORMACK – For services to Children and Young Adults with Special Educational Needs in Essex, Hertfordshire and London. (Chigwell, Essex). BEM
Paul Terence SHEEHY – Driver, Government Car Service. For public service. BEM