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Royal visit marks College's long-standing history

Posted on 28/06/2011

Royal Holloway, University of London celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of the College and the silver jubilee of its merger with Bedford College in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London yesterday ( 27 June).

The Chancellor arrived by helicopter and was met by a welcoming party, including the Principal, Professor Paul Layzell, Sir Andrew Burns, Chairman of the College Council, and College visitor, The Rt Hon Lady Justice Arden DBE, before being taken to the Queen Victoria Statue where she was shown before and after pictures of its restoration.

The Principal escorted the Chancellor into the Chapel where he made a welcome address and thanked her for joining the College on this special day.

He talked about celebrating the College’s roots and paid tribute to former principals, but he also focused on future plans for Royal Holloway’s continued success and growth.

He said:  “We will preserve the great tradition inherited from our founding colleges and the principles upon which they were based, but, true to Holloway’s deed of foundation, in these changing times, we must be prepared to adapt the way in which we deliver our educational objectives in the best interests of our students and the wider society we serve.”

The Chancellor also said a few words and offered her congratulations and praised the College’s many achievements. She said: “It is a pleasure to be here to celebrate two very distinct anniversaries. Pioneering seems to be a word that fits in with the history of both institutions.”

She referred to Queen Victoria (her Great-Great-Great Grandmother) opening the College in 1886 and Her Majesty the Queen, who inaugurated the merged College in 1986 – both at a ceremony in the College Chapel, and said: “I am delighted to follow such distinguished footsteps.”

The Chancellor was presented with a gift of an original print of the opening of Royal Holloway by Queen Victoria and was invited to sign the Visitors’ Book.

A celebratory poem, entitled ‘Made by Thomas Holloway’ composed by Sir Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate and Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, was recited by English undergraduate Anoosheh Dastbaz.

A short musical interlude followed, including the first verse of the National Anthem, performed by English Soprano and College alumna Susan Bullock, accompanied by the Choir of Royal Holloway.

The visit was concluded in the Picture Gallery where the Chancellor met guests, staff and students and was shown around small exhibitions on current and future research projects and an exhibition on the Royal Visits to the College since the merger.



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