THE Duchess of Rothesay is to be the new Chancellor of Aberdeen University, it was announced today.
She will be the first member of the Royal Family and also the first woman to hold the prestigious post at the university.
The Duchess, a frequent visitor to the university, succeeds Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, who stepped down from the role at the end of December, having served as Chancellor since 1997.
She will be the university’s eleventh Chancellor - a role which dates back to the merging in 1860 of King’s and Marischal Colleges to create the University of Aberdeen
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the university, said: “I am delighted that the Duchess of Rothesay will be our new Chancellor. Lord Wilson was a wonderful champion for the University both here in the UK and abroad, and we know that the Duchess will be a brilliant ambassador for the international centre of excellence in learning that we are proud to be.
“We have very much enjoyed the Duchess’s visits to our campuses, and the huge enthusiasm and interest she has shown in meeting our students and staff and hearing about their work and achievements. I look forward to formally welcoming Her Royal Highness to the university team.”
Lord Wilson also welcomed the appointment of his successor. He said: “I feel privileged to have held office as Chancellor during a time of important transformation at the University of Aberdeen. We have seen student numbers increase significantly, standards rise, and a huge investment made in the campus which will enhance the experience students have at Aberdeen in a way which will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”
I am delighted that the Duchess of Rothesay will be my successor. I pass on my very best wishes for her new role which I am certain she will enjoy just as much as I did.”
A university spokesman said that Professor Iain Torrance, a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, had agreed to assist the Duchess in her role by accepting the appointment of Pro-Chancellor.
He said: “Aberdeen-born Iain Torrance has a long association with the University of Aberdeen, becoming Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Divinity in 2001 and serving subsequently as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and President of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Professor Torrance said “This is a great honour, and I am looking forward to supporting the Duchess in her new role as Chancellor of this wonderful university.”