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Birkbeck alumni in Queen’s birthday honours list 2019

Television presenter Bear Grylls, founder of the children’s Summer Reading Challenge, Anne Sarrag and public servant Gillian Arthur were all named as part of this year’s honours list. 

Birkbeck alumus Bear Grylls

Three Birkbeck alumni have been awarded honours as part of the Queen’s birthday celebrations last weekend. The annual list highlight the individuals who's work have made positive contributions to their communities in various sectors.

Bear Grylls, who is the Chief Scout of the Scout Association, was made an OBE for his services to young people, media and charity. The TV star graduated from Birkbeck in 2001 with a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies, and went on to forge a career as an adventurer and TV presenter.

Anne Sarrag has been awarded an MBE for her services to improving access to reading in the UK. Sarrag graduated from Birkbeck with a BA in Psychology, and combined studying with a part-time role with the Book Bus, which she now owns. She went on to a career in children’s publishing, co-founding LaunchPad and the first Summer Reading Challenge in 1999, an initiative to encourage four to 11 year olds to read over the summer holidays. Anne continues to manage the programme today.

Gillian Arthur has received an MBE for services to the British Export Economy. She was a member of the Export Guarantee Advisory Council from 2009 - 2018. Arthur received an MA in History of Art from the College in 2001.

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