University of Dundee University of Dundee
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28 April 2004

Lorraine Kelly's Rectorial address

Extracts from Lorraine Kelly's Rectorial address, University of Dundee, 28/4/04.

"I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as Rector of the University. I would like to thank everyone who nominated me, especially my team who helped with the campaign on a very cold and snowy February day - and of course all of those students who voted for me.

I would really like to thank Fred MacAulay who did such a splendid job as Rector for the last three years and who will be a very tough act to follow. In fact the list of previous rectors is rather intimidating and includes the late, much lamented Sir Peter Ustinov. I had to interview him very early in my career and he could not have been more charming to me. He was such a wonderful communicator, never patronising, always entertaining and he really loved this city.

Other past rectors include Clement Freud and Stephen Fry - very distinguished and erudite gentleman. I am also very pleased to be the first woman to hold the post.

As you may know, we are broadcasting my GMTV show live from the University tomorrow morning. It's a packed show and I will be joined live by distinguished Dundee actor Brian Cox.

Brian is working closely with the University to raise four million pounds to build a centre of excellence in tropical diseases and diabetes. He will also be talking about his role in the forthcoming epic Troy which also stars Brad Pitt and is starring in Uncle Varek (a new version of Chekovís Uncle Vanya by John Byrne) at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.

As well as talking to Brian, we will be showing off the best the city of Dundee has to offer and highlights of today's proceedings. It all kicks off around 8.30am and should be really good fun.

My main aim as rector is to be the voice of the students. I hope they will come to me with any problems or worries they may have - or any ideas to make things even better. I will be here on campus for regular surgeries and I want students to feel they can write to me, email me or come up and say hello. I will also be an ambassador for the University both here in Dundee but also throughout the UK.

This is a vibrant, exciting place of learning. It is also a place where you can work hard and play hard. DUSA has some cracking facilities and it has to be the best students union in the country.

Those students who are already here know they are somewhere very special and those coming here to study later in the year are very lucky indeed.

I hope I can help to make their time in Dundee even more enjoyable and memorable.

I am very proud to be associated with such a wonderful, successful forward looking University and I am really looking forward to the next three years."


Ladies and Gentlemen

My name is Alan Langlands and I am the Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University. It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this ceremony to install our new Rector, Ms Lorraine Kelly. I am particularly pleased to welcome members of her family, her friends and a cross section of the students who elected her.

The Rector is one of the Principal Officers of the University, with specific responsibilities for promoting the interests of the students. Lorraine Kelly will be the tenth person to hold the post of Rector and the first woman to do so in the history of the University. About time too! Just a few weeks ago we lost our first rector - Sir Peter Ustinov - who said in his rectorial address in 1968 that he wanted the University to be characterised by open minds, mutual respect and good humour. I think that we have managed to keep faith with the Ustinov tradition and I have no doubt whatsoever that Lorraine Kelly has all of these attributes, and many more.

The University is defined by the quality of its people - the students and staff who form this community of learning. We are proud of their achievements and I can assure the new Rector that she will be joining a University that is committed to excellence in learning and teaching and to promoting research and scholarship of real international standing - a University that enables students and staff to develop to their full in an environment of equal opportunity. We are also a University that knows how to have fun.

When we welcome distinguished visitors to the University, we often have difficulty in tracking down even the most basic biographical information. We had no such difficulties with our new Rector - a 'Google' search revealed 286,000 entries in 0.23 seconds. Such is the power of television and the internet. But how can you distil so much information? Well, the quintessential Lorraine Kelly is an experienced, award winning journalist and broadcaster who has hosted a number of high profile television and radio shows. She is known in the industry for her cool head, her warm personality and her versatility. Not only at home with news reporting - she covered the Piper Alpha and Lockerbie tragedies while working as TVam's Scotland correspondent - she has also handled sensitive health and human interest stories, showbiz chat on the sofa and full scale outside broadcasts.

LK Today on GMTV is packed with glitz, glamour and gossip and it is with this in mind that you should know that this afternoon, Lorraine is wearing: "A robe of Union jack red ottoman with a Stewart blue yoke collar and full length 5 inch facings also in ottoman. The sleeves are 'cape' sleeves (mine are bag sleeves with an inverted T arm-slit braided in silver!) Lorraine's "cape" sleeves are the same style as student sleeves but fuller."

I can see a large thinks bubble above your heads which reads, "What is he talking about?" Well, ottoman is a corded fabric - in this context it is nothing to do with the Empire, the Turkish language or a padded box where you keep your spare blankets! The serious fashion point is that our new Rectorís robe is an elaboration of the student gown and is designed to signify the special relationship between the Rector of a Scottish University and the students.

In welcoming Lorraine Kelly to the University, we celebrate that special relationship and I now invite Chris Bustin, the President of the Studentsí Association to introduce the Rector.

By Jenny Marra, Head of Press 01382 344910, out of hours: 07968298585,