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Lord Jack McConnell appointed as university Chancellor

The Rt Hon Lord Jack McConnell (2)

The former First Minister has been appointed the university’s new Chancellor. Credit: University of Stirling.

The University of Stirling has nominated Lord Jack McConnell as its new Chancellor.

His appointment marks the homecoming of the former Stirling student.

Following his time at the university, Lord McConnell went on to serve as First Minister of Scotland between 2001 and 2007, before being appointed to the House of Lords in 2010.

Lord McConnell’s appointment succeeds Jim Naughtie, as the author and broadcaster stood down earlier this year after serving as Chancellor for a decade.

The Chancellor acts as the ceremonial head of the university, with the formal duty of presiding over degree congregations.

Lord McConnell is a well-known figure at the university. After graduating in Mathematics with Education, he taught in local high schools between 1983 and 1992. He then returned to the university to receive the degree of Doctor of the University in 2008, in recognition of his contribution to public affairs.

Lord McConnell said he is “deeply honoured” to serve as Chancellor at the university. He said: “I feel deeply honoured to be asked to serve the University of Stirling as their Chancellor, following in the footsteps of such distinguished previous Chancellors, including – of course – Lord Robbins, who was the very first in 1967.

“The University has always been innovative, dynamic and ambitious. It has also always held a special place in my heart.

“I will be determined to do all I can to help the University to continue to grow and develop, while retaining the essential values that have helped build its success over the past 50 years.”

During his time at Stirling, the former First Minister was an active member of the university, having served as President of the Students’ Union from 1980-82, as well as National Union of Students Scotland Vice President from 1982-83.

Stirling Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerry McCormac said: “We’re delighted to welcome Lord McConnell back to Stirling as our new Chancellor.

“Ever since he was a politically engaged student here, Lord McConnell has always remained an active, loyal and much-valued friend to our University and I look forward to working closely with him for the benefit of of our student staff, and wider community.”

Welcoming the announcement, Fiona Sandford, Chair of the University Court, said: “We are delighted Lord McConnell has accepted the role as the University’s new Chancellor. He will continue to be an excellent ambassador for Stirling’s achievements and I know will inspire others to make a positive change.”

Lord McConnell’s appointment as Chancellor will take place at the University’s summer degree ceremonies in June 2019.

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