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Terry James (1935-2016)


Areas of Interest

Business, Education

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of the University, 1997


Educated in Norfolk, Terry James left school to join the RAF. On his return to civilian life he studied Natural Sciences and Economics at Magdalene College, Cambridge. After graduating he went into business, joining Fisons, where he was later to rise to the Fison Group's main Board and the Chairmanship of its worldwide agrochemical business. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Chemicals and Agro-Chemicals industry, also serving as Chairman of Schering Holdings before his retirement in 1990. Terry was associated with Cambridge College of Art and Technology in the days before it achieved independence from the local authority. He went on to play a pivotal role in the college's merger with the Essex Institute of Higher Education, serving as Chairman of the Governors of the new Anglia Polytechnic University from 1993 to 1996. Terry played an important role in our University's relationship with the University of Cambridge, where he was Treasurer of the Cambridge Foundation and a member of various committees, including Finance, Investments and Venture Capital committees, chairing the latter two at different times. He also served as a Governor of City College in Norwich. After his retirement he held several directorships and consultancies, including Chairman of Meconic plc.

In 1997 Terry James was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of the University.


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Doctorate of the University to Mr Terence James, formerly Chairman of the Corporation of Anglia Polytechnic University.

Mr James, or Terry as he is affectionately referred to by everybody, is one of the founding fathers of the University. He became a Governor of CCAT, the Cambridge College of Art and Technology, before it achieved its independence of the local authority in 1989. He was one of a group of Governors who with great foresight guided the institution towards marriage with the Essex Institute of Higher Education in Chelmsford and Brentwood. This led to the establishment of Anglia Higher Education College. This was a necessary step towards achieving recognition as a Polytechnic and then, in 1992, a University. There were some in high quarters who resisted the establishment of a Polytechnic in East Anglia. Without Terry James and a small group of persistent and determined governors we would not be a University today. It was therefore very appropriate that Terry became Chairman of the Governing body in 1993, a position which he relinquished last year.

Terry James was at school in Norfolk and served in the RAF where he became a Russian linguist. He graduated with a degree in Natural Sciences and Economics from Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has maintained his links with his old university ever since having served as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Cambridge Foundation; he has been a member of the University Finance Committee as well as committees of his old college. He has used his links with Cambridge University to foster cordial relations with APU.

After graduation he joined Fisons where he became Managing Director of Fisons Industrial Chemicals. He had a long and distinguished career in the Chemicals and Agro-Chemicals industry before retiring as Chairman of Schering Holdings in 1990.

Terry James illustrates the adage "if you want something done, ask a busy man". Not only has he had a long and distinguished professional career, he has also given time and energy to 2 universities, to City College in Norwich where he was a governor, to the CBI and the World Wildlife Fund and as a director of a number of companies.

I owe Terry a personal debt of gratitude for appointing me as Vice Chancellor and for guiding my early and faltering steps with kindness, wisdom and encouragement. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I invite you, Chancellor, to confer an Honorary Doctorate of the University on Mr Terry James in recognition of his outstanding personal contribution to the founding and early development of this University."