Glasgow & West Scotland

Annie Lennox installed as GCU chancellor

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Media captionAnnie Lennox installed as chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University

Annie Lennox has been installed as chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

The singer-songwriter said she was "humbled and awed beyond measure" to be appointed to the ceremonial role.

During a special ceremony at the Glasgow campus, she pledged to further the university's mission to promote the common good.

The Aberdeen-born star of the Eurythmics is the first woman to take on the role.

She succeeds Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus, an anti-poverty campaigner who founded the micro-lending Grameen Bank.

Ms Lennox told the audience that she did not have a degree but she was "an honorary graduate from the school of life".

"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," she said.

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

Image copyright PA
Image caption First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a speech at the ceremony at Glasgow Caledonian University

She added: "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," she said.

"After all it's with thanks to them that I am here in the first place."

Ms Lennox was appointed in front of an audience of invited guests, including the Olympian Dame Katherine Grainger, singer-songwriter Midge Ure and Line of Duty actor Martin Compston.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave a speech and Scotland's national poet, Jackie Kay, read a specially commissioned poem.

In this University for the Common Good,

Robed and dressed for the part, singing,

Your tender heart, the dreams of your girl self

Will run to greet you, up the tenement steps,

A skip and a jump into the future.

A life of full circles. Sing, my sister, sing.

Extract from poem by Scots Makar Jackie Kay

The Oscar winning musician has sold more than 83 million albums worldwide and has also worked to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

She was made an OBE in 2011 in recognition of her humanitarian work in raising awareness of the effect of the pandemic on women and children.

And she received the George Harrison Global Citizen Award last year for her work in helping disempowered women and girls.

In her new role as chancellor, she will be involved in formal and ceremonial duties.

Her first job will be on Tuesday - when she confers degrees to students on the first day of the university's summer graduation season.

Prof Pamela Gillies, the vice-chancellor of GCU 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."

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