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Former Edge Hill Pro Vice-Chancellor, Mark Flinn was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University today in recognition of his service to higher education.

Mark served as an Edge Hill University Pro Vice-Chancellor for 17 years, retiring in July 2009. He joined the University in 1992, and was instrumental in the transformation of Edge Hill to the successful University it is today, playing a key role in historic milestones such as gaining taught degree powers, research degree powers and the university title.

Mark said in the ceremony: “It is with great pride and humility that I stand here today. I was most fortunate to have a 17 year career here at Edge Hill University, by far the best and most enjoyable days of my working life. I was even more fortunate to work with a remarkable team of colleagues, some of whom are here today. Thank you for working alongside me and helping to build this great university.”

Since retiring, Mark has continued to work hard for the University. He jointly authored the history of the University, A Vision of Learning, to commemorate its 125th anniversary and the award of Freedom of the City of Liverpool.

Three years later, in 2013, he published Wide Horizons, celebrating the University’s 80 years in Ormskirk.  Last year he wrote Temporary Darkness: Edge Hill in World War One.  Alongside this, he has researched the Bingley Years, Edge Hill’s forced relocation to West Yorkshire during the Second World War, and is in constant demand for lectures to the Guild of Former Students.

Mark has also been heavily involved in creating Edge Hill’s University archive. Around the University and elsewhere there were pieces of the past, stored on shelves or in cupboards and no one had attempted to preserve or catalogue these items.

He worked with colleagues in learning services to provide access to these materials, and today former students, elderly relatives, community members continue to submit, material to the archive, and the University now holds a stunning history of education and social change.

As a result of his lifelong fascination and connection with history, Mark also founded the Mark Flinn Scholarship to recognise students who are keen to develop their skills by undertaking a research project which makes extensive use of historical evidence.

In his speech to graduands from the Faculty of Education he shared a glimpse into the history of Edge Hill University, finishing with:

“Now graduands, you are the class of 2016 and you will remember this day for the rest of your lives. You have studied at a university that was awarded during your time here the title University of the Year.

“You have studied at an institution with a proud 131 year history that has never been stronger or more highly regarded than it is today, but the qualities that define Edge Hill University today are deeply rooted in its history

“You have made the very best start to your career in the teaching profession by choosing to study and train at Edge Hill University. You have fully earned your award today. Edge Hill has been synonymous with excellent teacher training and development in the region for over 130 years and its graduates continue to occupy key positions in the teaching profession.

“I am immensely proud to say along with you today that I have a degree from Edge Hill University.”

Edge Hill University will award ten Honorary Degrees during its 2016 summer graduation ceremonies. Each of the recipients – leaders in a range of areas spanning film, law, politics, music, education, and philanthropy – will be recognised by Edge Hill for their contributions to society that resonate with the University’s values, teaching and research.