The University of Northampton is pleased to announce that it has presented Christine Powley-Williams, a well-known name in the leather industry and alumna of Nene College, with an Honorary Doctorate at this year’s summer Graduation ceremonies.
Christine is a unique example of a woman who has succeeded in the male-dominated world of leather and is a longstanding member of the Technical Liaison Group, which acts as part of the quality assurance procedures of the Leather Department of the University of Northampton.
Having graduated in 1984 from the National Leathersellers’ Centre of Nene College, the precursor to the University of Northampton, she immediately progressed to the Carr Tanning company in Gloucestershire, where she was appointed Works Director and General Manager.
Christine then spent two years working in Australia as Production Manager for Packer Tanning, but returned to Northampton to join BLC Leather Technology Centre as Innovation and Training Manager. This then led to her becoming the co-founder of Leather Wise Ltd, an independent consultancy company and in 2009, she joined SATRA Technology Centre of Kettering, rising to her current position as Assistant Director.
She is also a past President of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Curriers of the City of London.
Over 2,000 Northampton students will be receiving their certificates at the Royal and Derngate Theatre this week and Christine was one of four high profile honorands who will be conferred into the University of Northampton family.
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor, commented: “In addition to celebrating the outstanding achievements of the graduating class of summer 2016, we are also recognising high profile individuals who have made a positive impact on others. The recipients of these honorary awards will inspire our graduates as they begin the next exciting stage in their lives, making their own mark on the world.”
In her acceptance speech when receiving her Honorary Doctorate, Christine talked about her career in the leather industry and the friends and family members who have supported her. She said: “Never ever underestimate the power of friendship; true friends will take you through your life in a way you will never realise.
“I was speechless when I was told I was being awarded with an Honorary Doctorate as it’s such a privilege. Congratulations to everyone here today and thank you to those who have allowed me the honour of being here with you and I wish everybody all the best in the future.”
Photo: Christine Powley-Williams, second from the right, before the Graduation Ceremony