Foundation Day

Foundation Day is the annual celebration of the grant by William IV of the University’s first charter on 28 November 1836.

Foundation Day 2015

The University presented its first honorary degrees in June 1903. Among the recipients were the Prince of Wales (LLD) and the Princess of Wales (DMus), later King George V and Queen Mary.

Since then, this accolade has been bestowed on a wide range of distinguished individuals from both the academic and non-academic worlds. Their names are recorded in the Register of Honorary Degrees and recipients have included Judi Dench, T S Eliot, Margot Fonteyn and Henry Moore. A video newsreel film (1948) of Sir Winston Churchill being awarded a Doctor of Literature honoris causa at the University of London, Senate House can be watched here .

Honorary degrees are approved by the Collegiate Council, part of the University’s governance structure. They are presented to the recipients at an evening ceremony in Senate House, held each autumn.

Foundation Day 2015

Last year's Foundation Day was celebrated on Tuesday 22 November 2016. The ceremony marked the 180th anniversary of the creation of the University of London by Royal Charter on 28 November 1836. It also celebrated 80 years since the completion of Senate House, the University’s administrative headquarters.

Honorary degrees were presented by the University’s Chancellor, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, to five eminent individuals who received the University of London’s highest Honours.

Michael Hayman MBE Doctor of Science (Economics) honoris causa
The Rt Hon the Baroness Usha Prashar of Runnymede CBE PC Doctor of Laws honoris causa
Baroness Blackstone Doctor of Social Science honoris causa
Professor Peter Kopelman Doctor of Science (Medicine) honoris causa
Charles Perrin Honorary Fellow