Director and film-maker, Ken Loach awarded Honorary Doctorate

Professor Virginia Heath and film-maker Ken Loach

Virginia Heath, Professor of Film in the Art & Design Research Centre, officiated at the Sheffield Hallam University 2016 graduation ceremony at Sheffield City Hall to confer the honorary doctorate on Ken Loach. Ken was nominated for his Honorary Doctorate by SHU academic staff for his contribution to film-making and the arts.


Virginia, who had talks with Ken throughout the day about the current landscape of film-making in the UK and internationally said:

I was honoured and thrilled to give the oration for the awarding of Ken Loach’s Honorary Doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University. It was such an amazing pleasure and inspiration to spend a day with a film director so committed to the best in humanity, progress and fighting for justice, with a great sense of humour, in these uncertain times.  Ken gave such an inspiring speech to the students, ending with two counterposed quotes:  one from Alan Sugar about how greed can be good for business, and one from John Donne’s poem ‘No Man is an Island’:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; 
It tolls for thee.