A World Cup-winning footballer and an internationally successful Scottish singer are among the recipients of honorary degrees from the University of Strathclyde this month.

Lilian Thuram, who was part of France’s victorious World Cup squad in 1998, and Lauren Mayberry, singer with Glasgow band Chvrches, are among eight distinguished figures honoured by Strathclyde at the University’s summer graduation ceremonies.

They have joined more than 3,000 students who are being awarded their degrees at the University’s Barony Hall.

Strathclyde Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “We have great pleasure in welcoming to Strathclyde these exceptional and highly achieving people to receive their honorary degrees.

“Not only they have all reached high levels in their respective fields, but they have also made positive differences to society, in their professions and in campaigning to raise awareness of major issues. As a socially progressive university, we regard them as ideal examples for our students to follow, in their lives and their future careers.” 

Lauren Mayberry studied at Strathclyde, gained a Law degree and, subsequently, a Masters in Journalism. During the latter course, she received the Royal Environmental Health Institute for Scotland Journalism Award in 2010, before forming Chvrches with her fellow Strathclyde alumni, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty.   

The band has released four albums, all of which have reached the UK top 10 and the top 40 of the US Billboard 200, and she released two solo singles in 2023. Chvrches have had prominent billing at several of the world’s leading music festivals, including Glastonbury, Coachella, SXSW, Reading and Leeds, T in the Park and Lollapalooza.

She has been outspoken on issues of sexism and abuse. She has frequently endured abuse for her views and in 2013 contributed an article to the Guardian on her experiences. In 2016, she contributed an article on her own experience of an abusive relationship to the Lenny Letter website and participated in BBC Radio 6 Music’s recent Change The Tune campaign on online abuse of artists. She is a patron of Rape Crisis Glasgow and has supported charities including Water Aid, Amnesty International, Plus One and the Ally Coalition.    

Lilian Thuram grew up in Guadeloupe and went on to have a career in football spanning 17 years, playing as a defender. With 142 appearances for France, he is his country’s second most-capped player and held the record for 16 years. He played in all but one of France’s matches in the 1998 World Cup, scoring both goals in their 2-1 semi-final win over Croatia, and in five of the nation’s six matches when they won the European Championship in 2000.

In his club career, he played for several of Europe’s leading clubs, including Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona, winning the UEFA Cup with Parma and the Serie A league with Juventus.     

In 2008, he created the Lilian Thuram Foundation for Education Against Racism, which organises workshops in primary, secondary and high schools, as well as universities, in France and other countries, accompanied by lectures, debates and exhibitions. The Foundation has sponsored Démos Educational Orchestra programs for underserved youth with the Paris Philharmonic and supports a wide range of activities to fight discrimination and defend human rights.

Strathclyde is also awarding honorary degrees to Robina Qureshi, Human Rights Campaigner, Lord Robert Reed, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, and Professor Dame Fiona Murray, Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.