University honour for anti-bullying campaigner

Liam Hackett who has become the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex
Liam Hackett who has become the youngest person to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Sussex
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An anti-bully campaigner from St Helens has become a leading university’s youngest ever honorary graduate.

Liam Hackett, who hails from the town, founded the equality and anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label aged just 16 after starting a MySpace page reaching out to other people impacted by bullying.

He expanded the business while studying for his degree in business and management at the University of Sussex. Now it is a thriving charity, recently expanding into the USA and Mexico, and has helped hundreds of thousands of young people affected by bullying.

Professor Adam Tickell, the University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “At the University of Sussex we are proud to be known for our thoughtful and alternative approach to the world. We aim to attract students with passion, who think differently, and to develop these skills during their time here – encouraging them to dare to debate, and to affect real change in their communities.

“Liam Hackett is a notable alumni and is an excellent example of the values we hold dear here at the University of Sussex. His drive to help other young people and his innovation and determination to succeed make him a role model – and I know we have many other students graduating today who do or will go on to do equally worthy and impactful things.”

Liam will receive an honorary Doctor of the University degree from Sussex on Friday 19 January, as part of its Winter Graduation event.

 “To be honoured as the youngest ever honorary graduate today is one of my proudest moments and I truly am speechless. Ditch the Label is now a global movement and I am proud to devote my career to standing up for the civil rights and liberties of others.”