Former NSPCC CEO and leading local figure Dame Mary Marsh honoured by the University

6 September 2018

Dame Mary Marsh DBE has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire in recognition of her contribution to public services, particularly the charitable sector.

University of Hertfordshire alumna Dame Mary received the Honorary Doctor of Education at a ceremony on Tuesday 4 September, held at St Albans Abbey. Dame Mary said 'It is very special to be recognised by the University of Hertfordshire by the award of an Honorary Doctorate of Education. I worked in Hertfordshire schools for many years and we brought up our family there too. As an alum I also have very happy memories from my time over 30 years ago on the Hatfield campus studying for a Diploma in Education.'

Dame Mary's career

Dame Mary has held many positions in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, including as CEO of the NSPCC from 2000 to 2008. During her time with the charity its annual income tripled, and £250 million was raised for its well-known FULL STOP campaign. The charity also launched telephone service ChildLine under Dame Mary’s watch, which offers support to thousands of children every year.

Before this time, Dame Mary studied for her Diploma in Professional Studies in Education while the University was still known as Hatfield Polytechnic and was deputy head of St Christopher School in Letchworth for ten years and head teacher of Queens School in Bushey for five years.

More recently, Dame Mary was a founding director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, an initiative that works to develop leaders who transform their communities through social change.

She continues to hold a number of positions within the social sector and has received a host of awards in recognition of her significant contribution, including a DBE in the 2007 New Year’s Honours list for her services to families and children.


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