Newcastle University has made Michael an Honorary Doctor of Letters for his outstanding achievements as a children’s author and supporter of children’s rights, and recognising his strong connections to the North East.
Alongside his writing and charity work, the honorary degree also celebrates Michael’s links to Newcastle. He is a Patron of Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, and donated his entire archive to Seven Stories in 2015. This collection formed the basis for a major exhibition, Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories, as well as a learning and engagement programme.
The exhibition was on display between July 2016 to July 2017 at Seven Stories and is now preparing for the first leg of a national tour, beginning with the V&A Museum of Childhood, where it will run from 22nd July 2017 – 25th February 2018.
Michael Morpurgo accepted the award by saying: “I am delighted to receive this degree from Newcastle University’s School of English. What a huge honour and from a city that is home to the wonderful Seven Stories, who look after my archive and for which my wife Clare and I are joint Patrons. It feels a bit like coming home.”
You can watch the whole degree ceremony online. Jill Taylor-Roe’s citation begins at 31:10 with Michael’s response running from 40:48 to 52:14.
Dr Morpurgo, pictured with his wife Clare