Welcoming our new Chancellor on an extra special day

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Chancellor Katherine Grainger

Friday 20 March is a date which will live long in the memory for Oxford Brookes.

Hundreds of students, staff and guests joined together to welcome Dr Katherine Grainger CBE as the University’s new Chancellor. The day was also the perfect opportunity to officially open the award-winning John Henry Brookes Building. 

Dr Katherine Grainger was joined by her three predecessors with Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Jon Snow and Baroness Helena Kennedy QC also delivering an engaging debate on our human rights and the pressures they currently face.

A short video of the four Chancellors reflecting on the John Henry Brookes Building and the future of the University can be viewed below.

 


Before passing on the ceremonial Chancellor’s medal during a inspiring inauguration ceremony, Shami Chakrabarti reflected on her time at the University, saying: “I feel very privileged to say that I have been the Chancellor of Oxford Brookes and I have no doubt that I will continue to watch with pride as this great University continues to thrive.

“I would like to see more and more people have the wonderful opportunity that I had and that Oxford Brookes student have. To learn and thrive in an environment that isn't just about the classroom but is so connected to the wider community and there couldn't be a better example of that than Oxford Brookes University.”

The ethics, morals, principles and values of this University hold true. They’re not just a list in a handbook, they’re not just words on a wall - they are lived and breathed by the staff and the students of the University.

Dr Katherine Grainger CBE, Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University

After being officially enrolled as Chancellor, Dr Katherine Grainger delivered a heartfelt inaugural speech in which she described accepting the role, her inspirations and her vision for the role. 

She said: “I've had quite a lot of ties with Oxford Brookes University over the years and I have never failed to be impressed by just what a warm and welcoming institution it is.

“The ethics, morals, principles and values of this University hold true. They’re not just a list in a handbook, they’re not just words on a wall - they are lived and breathed by the staff and the students of the University.”

After the ceremony had concluded, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Jon Snow and Shami Chakrabarti joined Dr Katherine Grainger in officially opening the award winning John Henry Brookes Building.

Unveiling the John Henry Brookes Building plaque

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.

Speaking about the John Henry Brookes Building, Jon Snow said: “The amazing thing about this space is that it has been composed in such a way that people flood into it and use every section of it. I think it is a genuine architectural achievement of massive proportions.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC used the day’s celebrations to reflect on Oxford Brookes’ legacy and how this will continue to shape the future of the institution, commenting:  “It is true that it [Oxford Brookes] has established its identity as being very distinct and its excellence as being very different.  One of the things that I love is that people are learning and acquiring knowledge about the world but they are also learning about putting that into practice in the professions.”

A personal article from Dr Katherine Grainger on becoming Chancellor was published in the Oxford Mail’s University Life column today (24 March) and can be read on the Oxford Mail website

Friday’s inauguration ceremony and Chancellors’ debate are available to view online.