March 19, 2014, by Lindsay Brooke

University Council member Asha Khemka awarded Damehood

The principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College and member of Council at The University of Nottingham has spoken of her pride at receiving her Damehood from HRH The Prince of Wales.

Asha Khemka, who was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the New Year Honours List, was presented with the honour at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Friday 14 March, 2014.

Dame Asha is the first Indian-born woman for 83 years to be awarded the DBE, which was in recognition of her services to education. It came five years after she was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

Dame Asha said: “I am rarely lost for words, yet I am finding it difficult to express how proud and honoured I feel. This is without doubt one of the proudest moments of my life, along with my wedding day, the births of my three children and becoming a college principal.

“Although it was my second visit to Buckingham Palace, this is such huge recognition that I feel I now have a new responsibility on my shoulders – a responsibility to use this title to make an even greater impact on the Further Education sector and to the communities of Mansfield and Ashfield.

“I have never set out to achieve titles and, as deeply humbling as this is, I will continue with exactly the same ambition and passion as I’ve always had. I will strive every day to prove that I am worthy of this honour.”

Two members of The University of Nottingham Council were recognised in this year’s New Year’s honours list.

Dame Asha joined University Council in 2009 and is also a member of Finance Committee and Strategy and Planning Committee.

Dr Hamid Mughal, Director, Global Manufacturing, Rolls-Royce plc, was appointed an OBE for services to technology, innovation and manufacturing. Dr Mughal, who is an internationally acclaimed manufacturing leader with over 28 years of experience in the automotive and aerospace industries, joined council in 2008 when he became a Pro-Chancellor. He is also a member of Strategy and Planning Committee, Remuneration Committee and the Honorary Degrees Committee.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, said: “There was a lot for the University to be proud of in 2013 and this recognition for two of our Council members in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list makes for a memorable start to 2014. Both are outstanding leaders in their field and this public recognition is richly deserved. As well as our congratulations to Asha Khemka and Dr Mughal for their achievement I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and all members of Council for their dedication and the key role they play in the stewardship of this University’s global endeavours.”

Posted in Awards and accolades