The Chancellor’s long association with the University has been celebrated with a thank you dinner.
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who was University Chancellor since 1953, retired from the position in December 2010.
Every year, His Royal Highness hosted a Chancellor’s Dinner at Holyrood House for senior University staff, members of the General Council and representatives from Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA).
This year, the University hosted a celebration and thank you dinner that paid tribute to the involvement, guidance and support that His Royal Highness has given to the institution.
Since his inauguration as Chancellor in 1953, His Royal Highness has overseen the Institution’s development, providing invaluable support and guidance to senior university officers, staff and students alike.
As Chancellor, His Royal Highness has conferred a number of honorary degrees to contemporary world figures, as well as formally opened a huge number of University buildings.
In addition, his tremendous behind-the-scenes work to support the University’s fundraising efforts has been critical in helping facilitate many new research programmes and the development of numerous facilities.
He has also always been keen to see the research work carried out by staff and students, and to provide encouragement to this wherever possible.
The Chancellor has frequently taken steps to improve relationships between students and the University. In 1969, he chaired a discussion on the future of education at the University’s newly-constructed George Square lecture theatre.
Equally, when former Prime Minister Gordon Brown - the first undergraduate student to become University Rector - faced opposition from senior staff as he sought to chair meetings, he received considerable support from the Chancellor.
The one person who gave me enormous encouragement and support and recognised that the students wanted to have someone there to represent their interests was the Duke of Edinburgh himself… He saw the changes that were taking place around us and made it possible for me and others to play a larger part in university life.