A CUMBRIAN figure has had her contributions to county recognised with Honorary Fellowship.

After more than 25 years of work, Marcia Reid Fotheringham JP DL has been honoured by the University of Cumbria.

Marcia has been made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria, an award that has been conferred during a graduation ceremony at Carlisle Cathedral in recognition of Marcia’s significant contribution to the public, cultural, community and charitable sectors in Cumbria.

Following the ceremony, Marcia said “I would like to thank the University of Cumbria. 

"When I first learned about this acknowledgement, it was unexpected, and I was thrilled. 

"It is a huge honour to be recognised for the work I have done. 

"I’m truly grateful.  I have to also thank Cumbrians who have been good to me and Cumbria where I have been given – or taken – opportunities. 

"I care a lot about our people and communities. 

"Thank you so very much”.

A familiar face to many in Cumbria, Marcia was raised and educated in the United States of America. After studying sociology, psychology and family therapy, Marcia’s early career spanned a variety of clinical roles.

Whilst holidaying in Martha’s Vineyard, she met her husband Jim and her relationship with Cumbria began.

She moved across the pond in 1997, settling in north Cumbria where the couple co-owned two dental practices. She continues to own a practice in Alston today.

During this period, Marcia became a psychologist and family therapist, spending 10 years working for the National Health Service in North Cumbria.

Marcia was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 2001. Her service to the Crown included Bench roles locally and service on the National Bench Chair Forum and the national Probation Sentencing Board.

Marcia took a year’s leave of absence working as a magistrate during 2019-2020 to serve as High Sheriff of Cumbria. Returning to the Bench in 2020, Marcia served a further year before standing down in August 2021.

Marcia also has significant non-executive experience in different sectors, becoming a well-respected voice for the region.

For five years she was a board member of Safety Net, an agency that supports victims of exploitation, and sexual and domestic abuse across Cumbria.

Marcia is a member of the board of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, the Cumbria Victims Charitable Trust, the Cumbria Community Foundation, Multicultural Cumbria, the Cumbria Opera Group and the Grasmere Lakeland Sports and Show. Marcia is a trustee of the Carlisle Cathedral Development Trust and co-chair of Carlisle Culture. She is also the founder and co-chair of the Cumbria Race Equality Network, a patron of the British Energy Coast Business Cluster and AWAZ, which is a community interest company empowering the voices of black and minority ethnic people and communities in Cumbria. 

Marcia was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria in 2020.

University Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “Transforming lives and livelihoods is at the heart of the mission of our university.

“Marcia is a champion for Cumbria who continues to make a significant contribution to the life of our county and our communities.

“Her passion and enthusiasm for others, to equip them to make the most of their potential and make great things happen, is inspirational. We are proud to award Marcia her Honorary Fellowship and look forward to continuing our positive relationship with her.”