Staff and students celebrate new Chancellor at Inauguration Ceremony

inauguration with grahamThe University of Portsmouth’s fourth Chancellor, Karen Blackett OBE, was inaugurated at a ceremony on Monday 13 November in the Portsmouth Guildhall. Staff and students attended the event which saw the procession led by the University of Portsmouth Mace and the city of Portsmouth Great Mace.

Academic Registrar, Stephen Wiggins, opened the ceremony by introducing Karen, followed by an address by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith who described a Chancellor of the University as a “representative of what we stand for as a University, what we value, our broader mission in society” and a “representative of our people, that is our students and staff.”

Karen has become chancellor 25 years after completing her undergraduate Geography degree at the University and is Chairwoman of MediaCom, the UK’s largest media industry. Her success is an inspirational example of what graduates of the University can achieve.

Karen is the most senior woman from a Black, Asian and minority-ethnic background in the UK Advertising and Media Industry, featuring five times in the Power List of Britain’s 100 most influential Black People. Her passion about equality and diversity and her commitment to identifying talent and offering opportunities for all make her an excellent ambassador for the University.

During the inauguration, the president of the University of Portsmouth Students’ Union, James Thompson, welcomed the new Chancellor on behalf of all students at the University and emphasised the student focused responsibilities that will give Karen the opportunity to engage and communicate with students.

inauguration with choirKaren will be an ambassador for the University, making visits, connecting people and hosting events to further the aims and objectives of the University.

The University of Portsmouth Gospel Choir performed during the ceremony, followed by an address by the new Chancellor. Karen expressed her admiration for the work the University has been doing for student wellbeing as well as widening participation focused on increasing aspirations and opportunities for young people.

Karen identified the University as instrumental in shaping who she is today and that it allows talent to flourish and shine. She finished the ceremony with a promise to fulfil the role with determination and dedication and to help create the nation’s next generation of talented and skilled superheroes.

You can watch the ceremony below:


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