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Honorary Fellows

Lord Andrew Adonis

Lord Andrew Adonis (1981) is a British academic, journalist and Labour Party politician, who was Secretary of State for Transport between 2009-2010. He served as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Children, Schools and Families. He was educated at Keble between 1981 and 1984, earning a first in Modern History, and he subsequently undertook a PhD on the late 19th century British aristocracy at Nuffield College.

Prior to his political career, Lord Adonis was a research fellow in History and Politics at Nuffield College before becoming a journalist. In 1991 he was appointed public policy correspondent, industry correspondent and public policy editor at FT, leaving that post in 1996 to become a political columnist and contributing editor at the Observer.

In 1998, Tony Blair appointed Lord Adonis as an education and constitution policy advisor at the Number 10 Policy Unit, which he subsequently headed between 2001 and 2003. He retained the post of senior policy advisor until 2005, though relinquished overall responsibility for the Policy Unit to devote time to one of his many historical and political publications, the official biography of Roy Jenkins.

In 2005, Adonis was made a life peer, Baron Adonis of Camden Town, enabling him to serve in the Labour government as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Children, Schools and Families.  There, he sought to drive forward the creation of academies and remove schools from Local Educational Authority control. He then moved to the Department of Transport in 2008, becoming Secretary of State for Transport in 2009.

Lord Adonis is currently serving as Director for the Institute for Government, a cross-party charity seeking to improve government effectiveness but is due to step down imminently.

He was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Keble College in 2008.

The Right Hon Ed Balls

Ed BallsThe Right Hon Ed Balls (1985) was educated at Keble College, Oxford between 1985 and 1988, where he graduated with a first in PPE and went on to further study at Harvard, where he was a Kennedy Scholar specialising in Economics.

Before being elected to Parliment, he was an economic adviser to former Chancellor and Prime Minister Gordon Brown from 1994, and was highly influential in the move towards Bank of England independence. Balls also worked as a writer for the Financial Times.  From June 2007 to May 2010, Balls served as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families.  Following his participation in the Labour party leadership elections, he was appointed as Shadow Home Secretary in October 2010 and was shadow Chancellor from January 2011 to May 2015.

He was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Keble College in 2008.

John Betjeman CBE

John Betjeman CBE (1906 – 1984) attended Magdalen Oxford between 1925 and 1928. He became a well-known poet, media contributor and advocate for Victorian architecture.

Born in London to Anglo-German parents, Betjeman studied English Language and Literature at Magdalen College. Few people have publicly displayed such attachment to the university, referring to it in his poetic autobiography as a 'sweet hothouse of bells.'

Whilst at Oxford, Betjeman was devoted to the study and writing of poetry; university friend Edward James published Betjeman's first book of poems Mount Zion in 1931. Betjeman continued to publish poetry, which gained significant public exposure due to his media presence on television and radio, and was made Poet Laureate in 1972.

Betjeman’s passion for poetry and Oxford did not translate into academic success. He famously fell out with his tutor, a young C S Lewis, and did not graduate. Indeed, Betjeman himself ascribed his failure academically as the cost of being in such favoured environment. In his own words, "No wonder, looking back, I never worked."

Following his departure from Oxford, Betjeman held roles as a teacher, film critic and Press Officer to the British Representative in Dublin. He held a passionate and informed interest in architecture, and holding the post of assistant editor for The Architectural Review and penned an architectural commentary called Ghastly Good Taste. Betjeman was responsible for the founding of The Victorian Society, and campaigned with various degrees of success to save and improve numerous Victorian buildings including, successfully, the facade of St Pancras station.

In recognition of his devotion to Oxford, popularity and support for Victorian architecture (including generous support for Keble’s Centenary Appeal) Betjeman was awarded an honorary fellowship at Keble in 1972.

Imran Khan

Imran KhanImran Khan (1972) OUCC player and Pakistani cricketer, who went on to captain his country, and has subsequently had a high-profile career as a politician and philanthropist in Pakistan.

A highly talented all-round cricket player, Imran Khan made his Test debut for Pakistan in 1971. In an international career which spanned over two decades, Khan became one of only eight men to score over 3000 runs and take over 300 wickets in Tests. In 1983 he was made Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and in the 1992 World Cup final he top-scored for Pakistan in addition to taking the final wicket. In 2009 he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

Following his retirement from cricket, Khan founded the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party in 1996 around a strong anti-corruption and reform agenda. He was elected into parliament in 2002. Despite early support for General Pervez Musharraf's military coup in 1999, Khan was one of 85 MPs to resign from government in protest over General Musharraf's decision to run in the elections without standing down from his position as head of the military. Khan was subsequently placed under house arrest but escaped.

Khan is an internationally recognised philanthropist, who was responsible for raising $25 million to open the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Lahore, which he continues to serve as chair. He has also promoted health and immunisation programmes throughout Asia as a UNICEF representative, founded a technical college in the Punjab affiliated to the University of Bradford, of which he is Chancellor.

He was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Keble College in 1988.

Ronald Reagan

President_Reagan_1981Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States, serving for two terms from 1981 to 1989.

Born in 1911 in the small Illinois town of Tampico and raised in Dixon, Reagan attended local Eureka College where he studied economics and sociology.  He then went on to a career in the radio and film industry, eventually becoming president of the Screen Actors Guild.

During this time, Reagan’s interests moved to politics and his views became progressively Republican.  He ran for Governor of California, eventually winning the election in 1966 and a re-election in 1970.  Following this success, Reagan ran for the Republican Presidential nomination, which he won in 1980 with running mate George Bush.  He then went on to win a landslide victory against incumbent President Jimmy Carter, securing 489 out of 538 electoral votes.

Reagan’s presidency was marked by revolutionary economic policies, a reduction in centralised Government power, and an expansion of the military.  His administration is also credited with bringing about the end of the Cold War.

Domestically, Reagan favored supply-side economics, reduced government programs and introduced the largest across-the-board tax cuts in American history. Reagan aimed to encourage entrepreneurship and limit the growth of social spending, as well as the reduction of regulation and inflation.

Reagan’s foreign policy sought to bring about "peace through strength”, which led to an increase in military spending. He forged a strong alliance with UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and endeavored to improve relations with the Soviet Union. His meetings with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev resulted in a treaty eliminating intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

Following a visit to Oxford to speak at the Union in 1992, Reagan visited Keble and was hosted to lunch in College by the then Warden Dr George Richardson. Reagan was elected to an Honorary Fellowship at Keble College in 1994.

In 1994, the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.  He died in 2004.

During 2011, Centennial celebrations in honouring Reagan’s life and legacy were held around the world.  Among the many events, a bronze statue of the former US president was erected at the US Embassy in London.

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