RGU installs Dame Evelyn Glennie CH as new Chancellor in official ceremony

Thursday 09 September 2021

Dame Evelyn Glennie
Ahead of a new term when students and staff return to campus, RGU has installed internationally renowned solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie CH as its new Chancellor.

The double GRAMMY winner took to the stage following a tour of the Garthdee campus, alongside staff representatives and students, where she was formally installed as the titular head of the Institution, a title previously held by Sir Ian Wood.

As Chancellor, Dame Evelyn Glennie CH, who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music from RGU in 2016, will play a crucial ambassadorial role for the university, helping to raise RGU’s profile regionally, nationally and internationally, and building on the remarkable work of her predecessor.

After nearly two decades at the helm of RGU, Sir Ian Wood recently departed his role as Chancellor, leaving the University in a very strong position, having been named Scottish University of the Year 2021 by the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide and Top Modern University in Scotland and the UK for student satisfaction. Sir Ian was appointed RGU’s second Chancellor and throughout his 17-years’ service, he has been an exceptional advocate for the University and played a pivotal role in helping raise its profile worldwide. 

Commenting on her new role, Dame Evelyn said: “I am honoured to join Robert Gordon University as its Chancellor. It has been my life’s mission to widen access to music and use it as a medium to build social cohesion. I also know that listening is the key to inclusion and collaboration. RGU shares these values and I support the University’s ambition to eliminating barriers to higher education and widening participation among underrepresented groups.

“I intend to build on the work done by Sir Ian Wood to enhance RGU’s reputation. I recognise this is a great privilege and I am proud to represent the University not just nationally but on an international stage.”

Colin Hunter, Chair of the Board of Governors at RGU, commented: “Today has been a glint of sunshine on what has been a challenging eighteen months for our staff and students. Dame Evelyn, an inspiration to many of us, has a clear focus on people - the values of enhanced access to higher education and enabling achievement. We are all looking forward to her contribution to the life of the University over the next few years.”

At the same ceremony, which was held at RGU’s Garthdee campus, chief executive of trade body Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) Deirdre Miche, OBE, and world-renowned Scottish fiddle player Paul Anderson, MBE, were presented Honorary awards for their contribution and commitment to their industries.

Sir Ian Wood GBE conferred a Doctor of Technology on Ms Michie, who has headed up the OGUK since 2015 and has extensive experience as a senior business leader in the oil and gas industry covering upstream, downstream and globally. She was awarded an OBE in 2018 for her services to the industry.

Dame Evelyn conferred a Doctor of Music on Paul Anderson, who has committed his life to music and was recently awarded an MBE for services to the Scottish fiddle tradition and charity, his passion and commitment to music, and his energy in support of raising money for charity through his musicianship.

Professor Steve Olivier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of RGU, added: “We are extremely honoured to officially install Dame Evelyn Glennie as the new Chancellor of RGU.

“Aside from being one of the world’s greatest percussionists, Dame Evelyn has dedicated her life and career to helping others, whether that’s through her association with charities or by supporting access to music and education for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – values which are synonymous with this University.

“We are extremely lucky to have had Sir Ian Wood as Chancellor for the last 17 years, and we now look forward to what the future holds with Dame Evelyn as the titular head of our institution.

“Our honorary graduates, Dierdre Michie and Paul Anderson have both made highly significant contributions in their field and I am extremely delighted to see them honoured for their commitment and dedication.”

The Installation ceremony took place on Thursday, September 9, at RGU’s Garthdee Campus.

You can view the installation ceremony in full on YouTube.

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