19 Jun 2023
Honorary Fellow Sir Terry Waite has been appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) for his services to charity.
The humanitarian and former hostage, 84 was recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.
Sir Terry spent almost five years in captivity after being kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in Lebanon. On his return to the UK he spent some time at Trinity Hall as he recovered from the ordeal and wrote his first book. He continues to work supporting the families of others taken captive.
Trinity Hall’s Master Mary Hockaday said: “We are delighted to hear of this honour for Terry Waite. His connection to the College dates back to when he first returned to the UK after a lengthy period of captivity. His life has been exemplified by his humanitarian work and we were very pleased when he took up his Honorary Fellowship of Trinity Hall in 2022.”
Sir Terry travelled to Beirut as an envoy for the Church of England to try to secure the release of four hostages, but was kidnapped and held captive from 1987 until 1991.
He was kept in solitary confinement, forced to put a blindfold on when anybody came into the room, faced a mock execution and was beaten.
Sir Terry was released on 18 November 1991 after 1,763 days. Following his release on 19th November 1991 he was elected a Fellow Commoner at Trinity Hall where he wrote his first book Taken on Trust.
The KCMG honour recognises service in a foreign country or in relation to foreign and commonwealth affairs, such as the work of diplomats overseas.
Speaking of his honour, Sir Terry, co-founder and president of Hostage International, told the BBC: “It really is a big surprise. I had no idea that this was coming up.
“And, of course, whenever this sort of award is given I recognise that there are a lot of people to whom one shares that award with, particularly with Hostage International and Emmaus [a homelessness charity of which he is president].
“They have worked incredibly hard and still do over the years to make those organisations what they are today. I’m just a figurehead, really.”
Sir Terry added: “I think I’ve been very fortunate to get this because there are many other people who are deserving of honours who don’t get mentioned.”
Honour for alumnus for services to the Commercialisation of Science, Technology and Innovation
Dr Timothy David Bestwick (alumnus, 1981) is Chair, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. He was awarded an OBE for services to the Commercialisation of Science, Technology and Innovation.