Lancaster University graduate Alan Milburn was officially ‘installed’ as the third Chancellor of Lancaster University at a special ceremony on the University campus on Wednesday 4 March 2015.
The Installation Ceremony in the Great Hall saw Vice-Chancellor Professor Mark E. Smith make the official appointment of the University’s new ceremonial head in front of an audience of invited guests.
After a lunch for 190 guests to mark the occasion, the newly appointed Chancellor opened the University’s new, multi million pound Engineering Building. Later in the day he attended an afternoon tea to meet University staff before giving an evening Public Lecture at The Dukes in Lancaster.
The Role of the Chancellor
The role of Chancellor is largely ceremonial as the titular head of the University. It is an honorary appointment by the University Court.
The Chancellor’s most public role is to preside over graduation ceremonies whenever he is able to do so. However, the Chancellor plays an important role in the life of the institution, supporting staff, students and alumni, and presiding at events and promoting the University around the world.
The Chancellor presides over meetings of Court but does not become involved in day-to-day executive management, which is the responsibility of the Vice-Chancellor.
In the 50 years since the University gained its Royal Charter, The Rt Hon Alan Milburn will be only its third Chancellor. The first Chancellor, HRH Princess Alexandra KG GCVO, served from 1964-2004 and was one of the longest serving university chancellors in the UK. She was succeeded by Sir Chris Bonington CVO CBE DL who stepped down in December 2014 after a decade in the role.