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Baroness Patricia Hollis (1941-2018)

Baroness Hollis

Areas of Interest

Politics and Government, Education, Literature

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Letters, 1994


Patricia Hollis, Baroness of Heigham, was an author, politician and renowned academic. After taking her BA at Cambridge she went to the University of California and Columbia University, New York, before returning to the UK to take her DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford. In 1967 she was appointed lecturer in Modern History at the University of East Anglia and went on to become Dean of the School of English and American Studies from 1988 to 1990. Early in her career she became involved in local politics, serving on Norwich City Council from 1968 to 1991, and as Leader of the Council from 1983 to 1988. She was made a life peer in 1990 and served as Opposition Whip, and as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Work and Pensions. She was a Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk and an Honorary Fellow of Girton College.

In 1994 Baroness Hollis of Heigham was made Honorary Doctor of Letters.


"Baroness Hollis was educated at Plympton Grammar School and studied History as an undergraduate in Cambridge. Her distinguished academic career has taken her to the University of California, to Columbia University, New York, Nuffield College Oxford. She has held Harkness and Nuffield scholarships and since 1967 has been Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of East Anglia. From 1988-1990 she was Dean of the School of English and American Studies at UEA.

Patricia Hollis has played a leading role in local government in Norfolk as a Councillor on Norwich City Council from 1968-91 where she was Leader of Council from 1983-88. From 1981-85 she also served on Norfolk County Council. She has been Vice President since 1990 of both the Association of District Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

Her many other public commitments have included membership of the Regional Planning Council from 1975-79; Press Council; English Heritage and the BBC Regional Advisory Committee.

In 1990 Patricia Hollis became a Life Peer in recognition of her outstanding contributions. It is with very considerable pleasure that the University invites Baroness Hollis of Heigham to accept the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters."