Freedom of the City of London award for 27 Goodenough Members

The Members were awarded the Freedom of the City of London in a ceremony at the Lord Mayor’s official residence on 10 June.

One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade. As well as being nominated for, or applying for, the Freedom, it is also offered by the City of London Corporation to individuals as a way of paying tribute to their outstanding contribution to London or public life, or to celebrate a very significant achievement.

The Goodenough Members were hosted by Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli who, along with the City Corporation’s Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, acted as the Members’ nominators for the Freedom.

The awards were given as part of the Lord Mayor’s ‘Connect to Prosper’ programme, which focuses on the City’s expertise in areas including finance, law, art, and engineering, and brings together leading experts from diverse backgrounds to work on critical global challenges, such as AI and climate change.

Members prepared for the award through a series of private visits and tours of several City institutions, including the Bank of England, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Guildhall and on the City’s fringes, Tower Bridge, and London Metropolitan Archives; concluding with the submission of essays on their impressions of the City.

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Professor Michael Mainelli, said: It has been my absolute pleasure to recognise the exceptional talents of these young people by awarding them the Freedom of the City of London as part of their graduation ceremony, which makes it a particularly memorable day.

“By singling out and championing these scholars, we are continuing our efforts to forge much valued and enduring connections between the four corners of the globe and London, essentially, the world’s coffee house.”

Director of Goodenough College, the Hon Alice Walpole OBE, said: “We feel enormously privileged to be the first group of scholars to participate in this innovative educational programme. Our College members are tomorrow’s leaders and opinion-formers in their own countries and I am proud and delighted that they take home with them a substantial understanding of, interest in and affection for the City of London.”

Goodenough Member Julius Ocen said: “I am thrilled to have received the prestigious Freeman of the City of London award, joining the ranks of extraordinary individuals such as Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill. This recognition validates my significant contributions and reaffirms my unwavering commitment to upholding these remarkable figures’ legacy of exceptional service and excellence. As one of the few Africans to receive this honour, it symbolises the city of London’s acknowledgement of diversity and global citizenship.”

Goodenough Member Lubna Zulkifli added: “This honour is not just a title; it acknowledges my connection to London and prompts reflection on my academic journey, personal growth, and the friendships forged at Goodenough College. It highlights our collective accomplishments and the supportive environment that nurtured our talents. This milestone encourages me to pursue my goals with renewed purpose, embodying the values of the City of London and Goodenough College.”

The Goodenough Members are in good company: other recent high-profile recipients of the Freedom of the City of London award include former captain of the England rugby union team, Sir William (Bill) Beaumont; theatre entrepreneurs, Dame Rosemary Squire and Sir Howard Panter; and former Managing Director and Chief Privacy Officer at the London Stock Exchange, Vivienne Artz.


Goodenough Member with the Lord Mayor of the City of London
Goodenough member Julius Ocen receiving his Freedom of the City of London certificate from the Lord Mayor
Goodenough students and guests pictured with Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli
Goodenough Members and guests pictured with Lord Mayor Professor Michael Mainelli