On Friday 9th December, the University of Reading held a special graduation ceremony where the university inaugurated its eighth Chancellor, Lord William Waldegrave of North Hill PC. Lord Waldegrave is succeeding Sir John Madejski, who will continue as an ambassador of the university as Chancellor Emeritus.
Lord Waldgrave served as a Conservative Member of Parliament from 1979 to 1997, representing the Bristol West Constituency. During his time in Parliament, he was in a ministerial role for 16 years of which seven of them were cabinet positions ranging from Minister for Agriculture, and Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to Secretary of State for Health and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. In 1999, Waldegrave became Lord Waldegrave of North Hill. After leaving parliament, Lord Waldegrave worked in the city for a range of companies before becoming Chairman of Coutts.
In his new role, he will carry out a number of duties, including representing the University at special occasions and conferring degrees and other academic awards. Lord Waldegrave has a prestigious background in education, attending Oxford University and Harvard in Massachusetts, before entering parliament in 1979.
During the ceremony Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell said that he wanted to thank Sir John “for his engaging and enthusiastic support of the university over his time as chancellor”, and further commented that “the university will be forever in his debt for what he has given to the university”.
Vice-Chancellor Bell introduced the incoming Chancellor Lord Waldegrave as a “worthy successor” to Sir John due to his experience as a “Politician, Businessman, Academic and as the Chairman of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee.”
At the inauguration ceremony the new Chancellor of the University, Lord Waldegrave told the graduating students; “This is an immensely proud day for me, my first as Chancellor of this great university, succeeding Sir John Madejski who has done so much both for the University and for the town of Reading.”
“Our Government is proposing radical new structures to regulate universities and manage research: we must ensure that the academic freedom and the institutional autonomy on which great universities like Reading have been built over many years are strengthened and not weakened in any reforms which Parliament approves.”
In handing over to the new Chancellor, outgoing Chancellor Sir John Madejski, said “I feel honoured and privileged to have served the University of Reading as Chancellor for the past ten years. Everybody at the University, from the Vice-Chancellor down, has been exceedingly supportive, helpful and kind; my task there was relatively straight forward and incredibly fulfilling.”
“The highlight of my tenure was presiding as Chancellor over the opening of the fabulous new University Campus in Johor Bahru, called the University of Reading Malaysia, the University’s South-East Asia hub. The University is now poised to go from strength to strength, which fills me with enormous pride and satisfaction.”
See News Editor Will Cole’s interview with outgoing Chancellor Madejski by clicking the link: https://sparknewspaper.co.uk/news/sir-john-madejski-interview-transcript/