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A Legacy Founded On Hope

By Professor Nishan Canagarajah, President & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester

Picture Credit: University Of Leicester

After two years of living with the pandemic, it was heartening to begin the year with something to celebrate.

In Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year’s Honours, Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre and a doctor who has risen to number one in the world in his academic field and helped establish an international centre of excellence in diabetes research in Leicester, was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

Professor Khunti, who is Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University, was among a number of distinguished individuals associated with the University to be honoured for the benefits and impact their work has upon the wider society.

PhD student and sports scholar Nick Cummings was honoured for his services to wheelchair rugby.

Core to the mission of the University of Leicester is striving to foster a culture in which the transformative power of education brings benefits to the world. We create Citizens of Change, with a collective social conscience that pushes us to build better futures in our community and wider society.

Therefore it was with much pride and joy that we were able to hold our first degree congregations for two years, graduating the class of 2020, 2021 as well as from 2022. Hundreds of graduates and their families, many of them local, gathered to mark this milestone in their lives, a rite of passage that takes them into the world to make a difference.

More than 200,000 alumni across the world are ambassadors for the University and many of them continue to have an abiding influence upon their alma mater. Many graduates returned for the opening of our redeveloped Percy Gee Students’ Union building and I was delighted to meet alumnus, and highly-successful tech entrepreneur, Sam Barnett for the opening of our new home for the School of Business, Brookfield.

Brookfield is the former family home of one of the University’s philanthropic founders. A century after Thomas Fielding Johnson helped create the University, by donating the building that now bears his name, it is highly appropriate that his family home, Brookfield, is formally opened for use by the University.

This investment in new buildings, like our development at Freemen’s Common, is a signal of hope and confidence for the future. As we enter our second century as a University, we are creating an environment where new generations of scholars can generate new ideas and produce the leaders of the future.

A legacy founded on hope continues to grow stronger.

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