HM The Queen honours work of University

Posted by pt91 at Feb 28, 2014 05:25 PM |
Multidisciplinary work receives highest accolade
HM The Queen honours work of University

L-R: HM The Queen and Prince Philip congratulate Richard Buckley and Professor Sir Bob Burgess. Credit: HM The Queen and British Ceremonial Arts Limited

HM The Queen has honoured the University of Leicester for its world-class work in history, heritage and archaeology, particularly the discovery of King Richard III.

At a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, members of the University led by Chancellor Lord Grocott and the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Robert Burgess received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

These prestigious biennial awards are the highest form of national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution and a mark of the outstanding work at world-class level conducted at the University.

This is the third time in two decades the University of Leicester has won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize- the previous Awards to the University were for work in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and for work in Genetics.

The ceremony at Buckingham Palace began with a reception at The Guildhall on the previous evening.

Professor Burgess said HM The Queen asked whether the remains of King Richard III – her 14th great granduncle – were found under a car park.

Representing the University at  Buckingham Palace were:

  • Rt Hon The Lord Grocott, Chancellor;
  • Professor Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor;
  • Mr Richard Buckley, ULAS Director;
  • Dr Patrick Clay, ULAS Director;
  • Professor Lin Foxhall, Head of School of Archaeology and Ancient History;
  • Ms Giulia Chakkalakal, Student (BA Archaeology, 3rd year – top performer in single subject archaeology);
  • Mr Matt Morris, alumnus, Archaeological Assistant, Site Director Greyfriars;
  • Ms Vicki Score, alumna, Project Manager, Overall Director of Hallaton Project;
  • Mr John Thomas, alumnus, Project Officer, Co-Director of Burrough Hill Training Dig
  • Ms Amy Wale, Student (BA Ancient History and Archaeology, 3rd year – top performer in 2nd year jt hons);

Describing the occasion, Professor Burgess said: “It was a significant event for the University as it acknowledged high quality work in archaeology, genetics, engineering and many other subjects.  It is a truly multi-disciplinary programme of work.”

Also honoured for Richard III-related work was the University of Dundee.  After the Greyfriars bones had been scanned, a 3D scan of the skull was sent to the University of Dundee where the muscles and skin were modelled by Caroline Wilkinson, Professor of Craniofacial Identification at the University of Dundee, using a computer process known as stereolithography. This work, which was commissioned and funded by the Richard III Society, resulted in a lifelike bust of the king which was shown on Channel 4 documentary Richard III: The King in the Car Park.

A total of 17 universities and 3 further education colleges won the highest national honour in education in the announcement of the 2012-14 round of winners.

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said, “I warmly congratulate the twenty universities and colleges honoured in The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. I welcome the role that the Prizes play in enabling our institutions to publicise their successes. Britain’s ability to compete depends on the quality of the teaching and research undertaken by our universities and colleges; and particularly on the translation of that work into real benefits for society, business and the growth of the economy.”

You can watch interviews with the Queen's Anniversary Prize winners on YouTube:

There is a description of the occasion at The Guildhall here:

  • The Dig for Richard III was led by the University of Leicester, working with Leicester City Council and in association with the Richard III Society. The originator of the Search project was Philippa Langley of the Richard III Society.