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15th January 2024 Evan Leonhard (2023, MSt English)

New Year Honours for Exeter College Fellows and alumnus

Three people with close links to Exeter College have been recognised in the New Year Honours. Supernumerary Fellow Professor Molly Stevens FRS FREng (John Black Professor of Bionanoscience) was appointed a Dame (DBE). Alumnus and recent Visiting Fellow Patric Dickinson (1969, Modern History) and Honorary Fellow Sir Antonio Pappano were both made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), which recognises distinguished personal service to the monarch or members of the royal family.

Professor Molly Stevens DBE was honoured for services to medicine. Professor Stevens is a world-renowned figure in the fields of biosensing and regenerative medicine. After receiving her BPharm from the University of Bath and PhD from the University of Nottingham in 2000, Professor Stevens conducted postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and went on in 2004 to become a professor in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London, a position she held until coming to Oxford in spring 2023. She maintains part-time positions at both Imperial and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Professor Stevens has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours. In 2023 she was awarded the Novo Nordisk Prize for outstanding contributions to biomedical research, and in 2022 she won the MRS Mid-Career Researcher Award. Professor Stevens is also a Fellow of the Royal Society, a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Foreign Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and an International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

After reading Modern History at Exeter, Patric Dickinson CVO has led a distinguished career in heraldry, especially at the College of Arms. Beginning as a research assistant in 1968, he was subsequently promoted to the titles of Rouge Drago Pursuivant in Ordinary in 1978, Richmond Herald in 1989, and Norroy Ulster King of Arms in 2010. Later that year, Mr Dickinson was named the Clarenceux King of Arms and Principal Herald of the South East and West Parts of England, a post he held until 2021. In 2004, he was appointed Secretary to the Order of the Garter, the country’s highest order of knighthood. Both the Order of the Garter and the College of Arms are under the direct auspices of the reigning monarch, with the latter often helping to organise ceremonial activities involving the Royal Family. For earlier services to the Crown, Mr Dickinson was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (the grade immediately below CVO) in the 2006 New Year Honours. Mr Dickinson has also served as the president of the Society of Genealogists since 2005. He was a Visiting Fellow at New College in 2022 and at Exeter in 2022 and 2023, and he has been a Bencher of Middle Temple since 2015. He is currently completing a study of Exeter’s heraldry.

Sir Antonio Pappano CVO was honoured for his service as conductor of the Coronation Orchestra in 2023. Sir Antonio was named an Honorary Fellow of Exeter College in 2019 and is currently music director of the Royal Opera House and chief conductor designate of the London Symphony Orchestra. Educated at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Sir Antonio began his career across the Atlantic as a rehearsal accompanist for the New York City Opera. He went on to hold a number of distinguished positions as music director for institutions such as the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo (1990-1992), the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie in Brussels (1992-2002), and the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (2005-2023). In 2002, at the age of 45, Sir Antonio became the Royal Opera House’s youngest music director in almost 50 years. Later this year he will step down from that role and become the chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. He received his knighthood in the 2012 New Year Honours, for services to music. That same year, he was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy.

Exeter congratulates Professor Dame Molly Stevens, Mr Dickinson and Sir Antonio on their outstanding achievements.

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