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House of Lords reception to mark University’s 21st


Chancellor Lord Paul of Marylebone and Vice Chancellor Geoff Layer, Michael Elliott, Chairman of the Board of Governors and graduate Sofina Islam,Dignitaries, including University alumni, honorary graduates, politicians, and leaders in busines and education were invited to the Westminster venue on Tuesday (October 8) for the occasion.

Throughout the evening, speeches were given by the University’s Chancellor Lord Paul of Marylebone and Vice Chancellor Geoff Layer, Michael Elliott, Chairman of the Board of Governors and graduate Sofina Islam, who is now head teacher at Stanton Bridge Primary School, in Coventry.

Guests included former alumni like Marcus Wareham, global account manager for Facebook; honorary graduates like soul singer Jaki Graham; and international ambassadors like Tun Datak eri Panglima Haji Juhar bin Haji, Head of State in Sabah and Chancellor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

There were also politicians, like former home secretary Lord Baker of Dorking, and leading education figures, like Heather Fry, director of education, participation and students at the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

John Phillips, West Midlands regional director of the Institute of Directors and David Loughton, chief executive of New Cross Hospital were also in attendance.

The event marked the culmination of a series of celebratory events that have taken place throughout the year to mark the 21st anniversary of the University of Wolverhampton gaining university status.

It was an opportunity for staff at the University to meet new contacts and for alumni and honorary graduates to tell key figures from across the globe about their experience and relationship with the institution.

Through a series of speeches, guests heard about the achievements the University has made throughout its 190-year history, and how it will improve on these and carry its values forward into the future.

In his speech, Vice-Chancellor Geoff Layer said: “We started as a free library and place of learning for working men in 1827.  We gave our first student scholarships in 1905 to students who would not otherwise be able to access higher education. In 1939 a third of our students were female. We are the original widening participation university.

“We are very much a University that works for and with our region to enhance social inclusion, social mobility and the economic regeneration and development of the Black Country and surrounding areas.  But we are not only focussed on the region.  As a University, we must also work nationally and internationally to fulfil the four key principles of higher education.

“We are, and have always been, the University of Opportunity and will continue to build, develop and enhance opportunities for all who wish to study and work with us.”


For more information please contact Chris Jones in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: Wednesday 9 October 2013

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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