Ambassador Fellowship for Vice-Chancellor
18 July 2011
Pro-Chancellor presents "a very special award to a very special man."
Pro-Chancellor Sir Malcolm Thornton, Chairman of LJMU’s Board of Governors, presented Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Brown with an Ambassador Fellowship in recognition of "11 years of outstanding service to the University."
The presentation took place at the end of Friday’s graduation ceremony – the last ceremony to be presided over by Professor Brown, who retires as LJMU Vice-Chancellor at the end of August.
During a heartfelt speech, Sir Malcolm praised Professor Brown for his "vision, sense of purpose and determination" not to allow LJMU to be pigeon-holed as a post-1992 university. Instead thanks to the Vice-Chancellor’s strong leadership, LJMU had developed into a "vibrant, forward-looking" entrepreneurial university fit to meet the challenges that lie ahead for the sector.
Given this impressive legacy and his role as such an outstanding ambassador for the University – and one held in such great affection by so many - it was fitting, added Sir Malcolm that he use the occasion of the graduation ceremony to make a "very special award, to a very special man."
Sir Malcolm concluded by saying that it had been both a "privilege and a pleasure" to work with Professor Brown and extended special thanks to Andrea, the Vice-Chancellor’s wife, wishing them both "joy and happiness in the years to come."
University Orator delivers final oration
During the same graduation ceremony, Sir Malcolm also recognised and thanked Professor Frank Sanderson, the University Orator, for his years of service to LJMU. Fittingly, Professor Sanderson’s last oration was for the Vice-Chancellor as he too retires this summer.
Comparing the Vice-Chancellor’s leadership to a "quiet revolution", Professor Sanderson cited some of his achievements – such as the EFQM award, the World of Work (WoW) Skills programme, the Queen’s Anniversary Prize and the Liverpool Science Park as well as the University’s improved systematic management of risk, internal resource allocations and the development of new income streams – to aptly demonstrate how Professor Brown had shown "exceptional and sustained service to LJMU".
Professor Brown was visibly moved by the conferment of the Ambassador Fellowship, which he admitted came as a total surprise.
After first joking that Professor Sanderson was sacked, Professor Brown said that moving to Liverpool to take up the role of Vice-Chancellor had been a "risk" but was the "best investment" he had ever made. He added that his achievements reflected that "LJMU is stuffed full of good people" before deflecting attention away from himself and back on the graduates who, he said, deserved every success for the future.
Professor Brown’s self-effacing response exemplified the words spoken by Sir Malcolm as he presented the Ambassador Fellowship to him saying that he could think of "no finer man for the role."