Reporter 454, 19 June 2000

Sunshine and ceremonial make a day to remember

Lord Bragg of Wigton has been installed as the sixth Chancellor in the University’s history, in a ceremony marked as much by warmth and good humour as by dignified ceremonial. The celebrated broadcaster and novelist paid tribute in his inaugural address to ‘a university whose reach grows by the year’.

Chancellor's speech: Lord Bragg in full flow during his historic installation speech
To view details and photos of the whole day, see the installation and honorary degrees website:

The new Chancellor said the six recipients of honorary doctorates on the occasion of his installation would bring credit to any university. Historian Lord Bullock, artist David Hockney and theatre director Jude Kelly received Doctorates of Letters, philanthropist Robert Ogden and clinical scientist Alan Roberts were made Doctors of Laws and astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell was conferred with a Doctorate of Science.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Wilson, said the scholarly, questioning and intellectual approach Lord Bragg brought to all his work made him admirably qualified for the University’s highest office.

The June 8 ceremony - on a splendid summer’s day - was a triumph of planning and execution, attended by 500 guests in the Great Hall and accompanied by music from the staff and students of the Department of Music. The programme ranged across four centuries, from Purcell and Mozart to the world premi`ere of a work by Leeds lecturer Philip Wilby.

Apart from attracting extensive publicity in the national press, the event was broadcast live on the University’s website to a world-wide audience.

Professor Wilson said the ceremony was a great success, thanks to the work of many people in many ways.

"Graham Barber, Philip Wilby and all the musicians were magnificent; and Beverley Kenny and her catering teams had enormous challenges and, as ever, worked wonders," he said.

"I want to say how much I appreciate all the hard work which made this a great occasion."

Presiding at his first ceremony, University Pro-Chancellor David Ansbro said: "It was a truly joyful occasion, and notable for how, in the twenty-first century, people still saw the relevance of such an event.

"The delight of the new Chancellor was obvious."

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