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Celebrating excellence - University of York prepares to welcome new Chancellor

Posted on 22 October 2015

The University of York is preparing to celebrate a new era when it formally welcomes its sixth Chancellor next week.

Professor Sir Malcolm Grant will officially become Chancellor on 27 October in an inauguration day which will showcase the University’s excellence in research, teaching and the student experience.

Sir Malcolm has taken up the opportunity to confer honorary degrees on three people who demonstrate the University’s commitment to excellence – Robert Chote, Chair of the Office of Budgetary Responsibility; Hermann Hauser, technologist and entrepreneur; and Sharon White, newly appointed Director of Ofcom.

The day of celebration will begin with the University’s newly-appointed Research Champions setting out their vision for our new research themes of health and wellbeing;  environmental sustainability and resilience; culture and communication; technologies for the future; risk, evidence and decision-making; creativity and justice and equality.

During the day guests will have an opportunity to engage with the work of our diverse and dynamic student body and with the University’s many clubs and societies who will be demonstrating their activities at the National Science Learning Centre.

The University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Koen Lamberts and Sir Malcolm will also outline their vision for the future.

Professor Lamberts said: “On behalf of the University and wider community I’m delighted to formally welcome Sir Malcolm to York.

“Sir Malcolm is recognised globally as a world-leader in education and he has been particularly impressed by our desire to ensure our research and teaching has global reach and impact.

“I look forward to working with him in the coming years. His inauguration promises to be a very special event.”

Sir Malcolm is the current chair of NHS England and formerly chaired the Russell Group. In a distinguished career in higher education he has served as President and Provost of UCL and spent 12 years at Cambridge as Professor and Head of Department of Land Economy.

He was appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor of Cambridge in 2001 and was knighted in 2013 for services to higher education.

Sir Malcolm said: “I am truly humbled to have been invited to take on the Chancellorship of York. I have spent enough of my lifetime in higher education to have become a big admirer of York, its students, staff, alumni and leaders.

“I look forward to serving them in every way possible, hoping that some of my experience as an academic and a university vice-chancellor might prove valuable.

“I'm also delighted that my various inauguration events will include conferring honorary degrees on some outstanding individuals, and I should like to thank publicly the University for this honour and all those who are contributing to the success of the day.”

A highlight of the day will be when all three honorary graduates deliver master classes to some of the University’s students.

Robert Chote was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge, City University, London, and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington DC.

He began his career as an economics writer at The Independent and Independent on Sunday. Moving to the Financial Times as Economics Editor in 1995, in 1999 he became advisor to senior management at the International Monetary Fund.

Serving as Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies from 2002, he was appointed Chairman of the Office of Budget Responsibility in 2010 after Parliamentary approval.

Sharon White was educated at a comprehensive school in Leyton, East London, before studying Economics at Cambridge and University College London.

In her 25 years as a civil servant she has worked as Senior Economist at the World Bank in Washington DC and was a civil service adviser at the Downing Street Policy Unit during Tony Blair’s first Labour government, specialising in welfare issues.

Prior to joining Ofcom in March 2015 she was second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing public finances.

Hermann Hauser completed a PhD in Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, before co-founding Acorn Computers in 1978.

He founded companies in a range of technology sectors, with successes including the Active Book Company, Cambridge Network Limited, Advance Displays Limited and NetChannel, which sold to AOL in 1996.

In 1997, he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, a venture capital company, financing a variety of projects including Solexa, a next-generation DNA sequencing technology which sold for over $600M.

During the ceremony the Department of Music will perform a range of choral, orchestral and operatic pieces of music by Mozart, Monteverdi, Eric Whiteacre and Handel.

The day will conclude with a choreographed fireworks display sponsored by Evans Property Group.

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