Annie Lennox named first female chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University

Scottish singer Annie Lennox gets sworn in as the Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Picture: SWNS
Scottish singer Annie Lennox gets sworn in as the Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). Picture: SWNS
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Annie Lennox has been installed as the first female chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University

The singer-songwriter and social activist said she was “humbled and awed beyond measure” to be appointed to the position at the university.

She pledged to use her ceremonial leadership role to further the university’s mission to promote the common good during a special ceremony at its Glasgow campus on Monday.

The Eurythmics star succeeds Nobel Peace Prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus in the role of chancellor.

She said: “I am humbled and awed beyond measure. I only wish my parents, grandparents and great grandparents could be here today to witness this special occasion, as it would have filled them with pride and disbelief, proving in some way that miracles can sometimes happen. After all, it’s with thanks to them that I am here in the first place. “

The new chancellor said she has no degree herself but could be described as “an honorary graduate from the school of life”.

She added: “I come from a long line of hard-working Scots from the times when class boundaries, economic identities and gender roles were very firmly established.

“Young women from working-class backgrounds gaining university degrees were as rare as kangaroos in the Antarctic.”

Students and staff were joined by invited guests including Olympic rower Dame Katherine Grainger, singer-songwriter Midge Ure OBE and Scottish actor Martin Compston at the ceremony.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a speech while Scotland’s Makar Dr Jackie Kay, the nation’s official poet, read a specially-commissioned poem to commemorate the occasion.

Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, vice-chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University, said: “Our values-led mission is to collaborate with others to deliver excellent education and research which transforms the lives of the individuals and communities we serve to create lasting social benefit.

“The students, staff and lay governors of the university share a common sense of purpose, to work together for the common good.

“We are deeply honoured to welcome our inspirational new chancellor to our university.”

The singer has sold more than 83 million albums worldwide during a musical career spanning four decades.

As well as her time as part of Eurythmics, she has had a solo career and has been recognised with numerous musical awards.

She has also worked to raise awareness about the HIV/AIDS pandemic and received an OBE from the Queen in the New Year’s Honours list in 2011 for her humanitarian work, recognising her contribution in raising awareness of the pandemic as it affects women and children.

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