Date of release: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A1994-University-of-Greenwich-honours-Paul-ClarkPaul Clark, the former MP for Gillingham and Rainham who served in government between 1997 and 2010, is receiving an honorary degree from the University of Greenwich today (26 July).

He will receive a Doctorate of the University of Greenwich (HonDUniv) in a graduation ceremony at Rochester Cathedral.

Paul is a Gillingham man through and through, having attended Gillingham Grammar School and then spent the majority of his life living and working in the area. He served as a councillor for Gillingham Borough, from 1982, and went on to become Deputy Leader of the Labour group, and then Leader in 1989, during which time he also worked for the Trades Union Congress.

He has been a board member or president of many of the region’s local bodies and interest groups, including the Thames Gateway Chamber of Commerce, the Sunlight Development Trust, Brompton Academy and Medway Citizens Advice Bureau.

He is best known by many for his 13 years as a Labour MP, and his election in 1997 coincided with the university’s plans for major development of its Medway Campus, at Chatham Maritime. His efforts behind the scenes in promoting and supporting the collaborative bid to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in the early 2000s helped secure the funding to establish Universities at Medway, a £120 million partnership between the universities of Greenwich, Kent and Canterbury Christ Church, as well as Mid-Kent College. Today the shared campus at Chatham Maritime is an economic, social and cultural focus for the Medway region, and has seen student numbers grow to nearly 10,000.

Tom Barnes, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Greenwich, said: “Paul is, above all, a man of Medway who is unashamedly for Medway. He has, throughout his career, devoted himself to creating benefit for this region and is clearly fully committed to the people of these towns. The university is privileged to grant him an honorary degree.”

Paul held other positions in government as a parliamentary private secretary, including Assistant Government Whip and ultimately Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department of Transport. His latter responsibilities included international networks, road safety and motoring.

Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals of distinction who have made a major contribution to the work of the university, or who have earned prominence for activities associated more widely with education, business, culture, creative work and public service.

The University of Greenwich is holding three graduation ceremonies today in Rochester Cathedral. Students from the Schools of Engineering, Science and Health & Social Care, as well as from the Natural Resources Institute, will receive their degrees and awards.

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