Sara Hurley, Chief Dental Officer for England, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Health from the University of Plymouth at a ceremony on the city’s waterfront.
Calling the award ‘a huge privilege’, Sara collected the accolade on 18 September alongside the University’s graduates from the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.
Addressing the graduates and the audience after meeting the institution’s first-year students, Sara encouraged them to ‘remember their roots, continue to be critical analysts of every fact offered, and carry the University with pride’.
Sara’s visit – her third to the University – also included a tour of the cutting-edge teaching facilities including the anatomy equipment in its Life Sciences Resources Centre and Simulated Dental Learning Environment.
On receiving her honour – on the same day as the graduation of the University’s first cohort of Dental Therapy and Hygiene students – Sara said:
“Once again I’ve received a very warm welcome and the vibrancy of the University is incredible. To become part of this amazing academic family – a family that just relishes the opportunity to understand the issues out there, to not step away from asking awkward questions –is exceptional, and I’m truly humbled to be receiving an Honorary Doctorate of Health.”
Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of the Peninsula School of Dentistry, said:
“We are so pleased to welcome Sara here today, and delighted she has accepted this honour in recognition of the impact she is having on the profession. Her kind words and endorsement of the School serves to recognise each and every student and staff member whose efforts make the Dental School such an inspiring place to study. It’s also been fantastic to watch our first cohort of Dental Therapy and Hygiene students graduate, alongside our first cohort of MSc in Restorative Dentistry graduates, and having the chance to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sara as they celebrate their achievements is an experience I’m sure they’ll never forget.”