Former University of Leicester student to be installed as new Chancellor

Posted by pt91 at Jan 22, 2013 09:51 PM |
Distinguished Labour Life Peer the Rt. Hon. Lord Grocott to be installed as sixth Chancellor of the University of Leicester on Thursday 24 January

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 22 January 2013

Lord Grocott will be installed as Chancellor of the University of Leicester at the Degree Ceremony on Thursday 24 January 2013 at 4pm at De Montfort Hall.

Images of Lord Grocott available from

A former student of the University of Leicester who has devoted his life to public service is to return as Chancellor- the first time that this has occurred in the history of the University.

The Rt. Hon Lord (Bruce) Grocott, who is also an Honorary Graduate of the University, will be installed as Chancellor at the Degree Ceremony on Thursday 24 January 2013 at 4pm.

He is the sixth Chancellor of the University of Leicester, succeeding Sir Peter Williams who stepped down in 2010 after five years of sterling service.

The Labour Peer studied Politics at the University of Leicester and went on to take a PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) at Leicester in the early Sixties. It was while studying at Leicester that he met his wife, Sally, who had come to Leicester to study Sociology.

During the 1980s he worked for Central Television in Birmingham as a presenter and later producer on current affairs programmes.

During a political career that has spanned over 40 years, Lord Grocott served in local politics and then nationally, firstly as the MP for Lichfield and Tamworth from 1974 -1979 and then for the Wrekin, later named Telford, from 1987 to 2001, when he was then raised to the peerage.  His distinguished Parliamentary career has included serving as Deputy Shadow Leader of the House and Deputy Campaigns Co-ordinator from 1987-92 and Parliamentary Private Secretary to Tony Blair: as Leader of the Labour Party 1994-2001 and as Prime Minister 1997-2001.

He served as the Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords and member of the Cabinet from 2002 until 2008.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester Professor Sir Robert Burgess said: “ I am delighted that Lord Grocott has agreed to become the University’s next Chancellor.  He and his wife, Sally, are great supporters of the University, as alumni.  I am confident that he will be an excellent role model for Leicester’s students and Leicester graduates.  Lord Grocott will be able to offer great inspiration to our students and will encourage them to have high aspirations.”

Chairman of the University Council Roger Bettles said: “The University is delighted to have found a new Chancellor in Lord Grocott. He and his wife are Alumni of the University and very committed to giving their support in whatever ways they can."

Lord Grocott said: “ I could never have imagined when I graduated from Leicester with a politics degree in 1962 that I would return fifty years later as the university’s Chancellor.  For me, it is a great honour, mixed with a real sense of pride, to be re-joining such a fine and successful university.”

In the UK university system, the office of Chancellor is held by a distinguished individual, from academia or public life, who is not usually resident and does not hold any other University office. The role is largely Ceremonial and sees the Chancellor presiding at major ceremonies – including the conferment of honorary degrees and degree ceremonies and serving as Chair of the annual meeting of the University’s Court.

The University’s previous Chancellors have been:

•       The Lord Adrian (1957–1971)

•       Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (1971–1984)

•       Sir George Porter (1984–1995)

•       Sir Michael Atiyah (1995–2005)

•       Sir Peter Williams (2005–10)



Electoral history

Contested South West Hertfordshire 1970 and Lichfield and Tamworth February 1974 general elections. MP (Labour) for Lichfield and Tamworth October 1974-79. Contested Lichfield and Tamworth 1979 and The Wrekin 1983 general elections. MP for The Wrekin 1987-97, for Telford 1997-2001

Parliamentary career

PPS to John Silkin: as Minister for Planning and Local Government 1975-76, as Minister of Agriculture 1976-78; Deputy Shadow Leader of the House and Deputy Campaigns Co-ordinator 1987-92; Opposition Frontbench Spokesperson for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1992-93; PPS to Tony Blair: as Leader of the Labour Party 1994-2001, as Prime Minister 1997-2001

Lords career

Government Spokesperson for: Defence 2001-02, Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2001-02, International Development 2001-02, Work and Pensions 2001-02; Government Whip 2001-02; Chief Whip 2002-08; Deputy Chair of Committees 2002-08; Deputy Speaker 2002-08

Councils, public bodies

Councillor, Bromsgrove Urban District Council 1971-74

Political interests

Foreign affairs, media, health service, machinery of government

Countries of interest


Name, style and title

Raised to the peerage as Baron Grocott, of Telford in the County of Shropshire 2001

You can read an oration by Professor Stewart Peterson on the occasion when Lord Grocott was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws in July 2011:

You can watch and listen to Lord Grocott’s response on the occasion when he was awarded an honorary degree:      

The oration for Lord Grocott starts at 33mins 30secs, with Lord Grocott’s response following at 42mins.

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