A day to remember at Oxford Brookes

Thursday, 12 March 2015

New Chancellor Dr Katherine Grainger CBE

Oxford Brookes will host a series of special events on Friday 20 March to celebrate the inauguration of Dr Katherine Grainger CBE as Chancellor of the University.

It is a tremendous honour to become the Chancellor for a University which has an international reputation for its teaching excellence and innovation

Dr Katherine Grainger CBE
  • Special ceremony to introduce Dr Katherine Grainger CBE as University’s new Chancellor (3pm)
  • Three previous Chancellors return to debate the importance of rights and freedoms (6pm)
  • Official opening ceremony for John Henry Brookes Building

Dr Katherine Grainger’s three predecessors will join students, staff and specially invited guests at the inauguration ceremony.

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow and Director of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti CBE will also join Dr Katherine Grainger in officially opening the award winning John Henry Brookes Building.

Baroness Kennedy Jon Snow and Shami Chakrabarti - Baroness Kennedy copyright credit to Alister Thorpe

Since opening in February 2014, the building has won a number of awards including a national award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA considered it to be one of the top 15 buildings in making the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.

Following these two momentous ceremonies, Oxford Brookes’ three previous Chancellors will be speaking as part of the University’s 150th Anniversary Lecture Series for a sold out debate entitled On Liberty, Magna Carta and our future.

In a wide ranging discussion, the three ex-Chancellors will speak on our fundamental rights and freedoms and the unprecedented pressures they currently face.

On Liberty, Magna Carta and our future debate

Speaking ahead of the special day, Dr Katherine Grainger CBE commented: “It is a tremendous honour to become the Chancellor for a University which has an international reputation for its teaching excellence and innovation. 

“It will be particularly special for my inauguration to be in the company of my three predecessors who played a key role in the ongoing success of the University and continue to be inspirational figures. The official opening of the John Henry Brookes Building is another significant moment for the University and I know that it has already had a hugely positive impact on students, staff and the wider community.  

“I can’t wait to get started as Chancellor in this momentous 150th anniversary year for Oxford Brookes and being a part of the future of this fantastic institution.”

The award winning JHBB

Shami Chakrabarti CBE said: “It has been a pleasure to serve as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes for the past seven years. This special day for the University is the perfect opportunity to pass on the baton for what is an extraordinary and inspiring role. Katherine is the perfect choice as the next Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, epitomising excellence, endeavour and the positive values that are so important to the University’s tradition and future.”

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice Chancellor, said: “We are very blessed to have an illustrious history of distinguished Chancellors who have inspired our students, staff and graduates. It is an honour and a privilege to add Katherine to this list. Students, staff and partners of the University are thrilled by the appointment and I personally look forward to working with Katherine in the years ahead.”

A video of Dr Katherine Grainger CBE speaking about taking on the role of Chancellor can be viewed below.


Further information on Oxford Brookes’ 150th Anniversary, and what is happening in 2015, can be found on the University’s website.

Find out more about the award-winning John Henry Brookes Building, based on the University’s Headington Campus, on the Space to Think webpages.