Royal Holloway, University of London, has awarded four new Honorary Fellowships. Lady (Kitty) Chisholm, Michael Heslop, Gabriel Pretus and Dr Graham Twigg were conferred at this year’s ceremony held at the university.
Honorary Fellowships recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals to the life and work of the university or to education generally.
Lady (Kitty) Chisholm is the Founder Director of Boardwalk Leadership and a professional coach and facilitator focused on helping leaders achieve transformational, sustainable change.
Lady Chisholm was a Trustee of the Science Museum group for eight years until 2015, served as Chair of Reach for three years, and is now on the Advisory Board of the School of Management at Royal Holloway. She has an MA from the University of Cambridge, a BSc from the Open University and her interest in the neurological bases of behaviour change led to an MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change from Henley Management College.
Michael Heslop read Medieval History at the University of Cambridge and then qualified as a Chartered Accountant. After serving as Chief Financial Officer for Gulf Oil’s International Exploration and Production Division, he ran three further oil companies as CEO.
Michael served on the Executive Committee of the Society for the Promotion of Byzantine Studies for 14 years and was Chair of the Organizing Committee for the sixth and seventh International Military Orders Conferences. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and former vice-chairman of the Anglo-Albanian Association.
He was appointed an Honorary Research Associate in Byzantine Studies at the Hellenic Institute in 2003, and represents the Friends of the Hellenic Institute on its Sterling Committee. Most recently, he chaired a committee that raised funds for a four year full PhD scholarship in Greek Diaspora Studies.
Gabriel Pretus is a lawyer, historian and philanthropist. In 1990 he retired from the family law practice in Barcelona to embark on a period of extensive travel across the world. In 2000, he returned to London, and to university, completing an MPhil in Royal Holloway’s History Department. This researched the impact of international humanitarian intervention in Spain during the civil (and international) war of 1936-39.
In conjunction with his own work, Gabriel developed the Friendly Hand charitable trust, to engage in direct ways to make an immediate difference to people’s lives, from the provision of clean water facilities through to educational initiatives. Since 2002, the Friendly Hand Trust has offered at Royal Holloway an endowed PhD scholarship and a generous number of annual postgraduate research bursaries in the Department of History. Since 2018 Friendly Hand also funds an undergraduate maintenance bursary linked to Royal Holloway’s Article 26 scholarship for refugees. The Friendly Hand bursary now allows Article 26 to be awarded annually at Royal Holloway, thus bringing it within the reach of those for whom it was intended.
Raised in Derbyshire and educated at the University of Sheffield, Dr Graham Twigg is a Zoologist and former lecturer in the Department of Zoology at Royal Holloway. Retiring as a Senior Lecturer in 1990, Graham taught at Royal Holloway for more than 30 years, specialising in vertebrate zoology topics and special mammal subjects. He developed a research programme on bacterial parasites in wild rodents, one of which can be fatal to humans.
Dr Twigg’s support of the Department of Zoology – which later became incorporated within the School of Biological Sciences – carried on well into his retirement, and having spent the major part of his working life at Royal Holloway, Dr Twigg’s connection to the university has continued for an impressive 60 years.