Hundreds flocked to Leeds Trinity University to witness the installation ceremony of Deborah McAndrew as the new chancellor.
Deborah, 50, was born in Huddersfield but grew up in the Leeds area, and takes over the role from Gabby Logan who stepped down in January.
A playwriter and actor, Deborah is best known for her time in Coronation Street portraying young designer Angie Freeman, before turning her attention to the stage, with her play An August Bank Holiday Lark and her adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol gaining rave reviews. She also holds the role of creative director at Claybody Theatre, a company which she co-founded.
The ceremony was followed by performances from a brass band and the Leeds Trinity Cathedral Children’s Choir, as well as a Yorkshire themed lunch for the guests in attendance.
Deborah said: “Everybody has made me feel so welcome with a fantastic ceremony. There were lovely prayers from the bishop and speeches, as well as fantastic singing from the choir so I have really enjoyed the day.
“I had so much support from my friends and family, but of course I have a lot of connections here in Leeds as well, like the teachers from my old schools and priests, so it was nice to have a small but very important group of people present today.
“I will promote and support the university with dignity and integrity, while always being there for the students.”
Full interview with Deborah
Vice-chancellor Margaret House, spoke of her pride seeing Deborah sworn in as chancellor.
“This is a fantastic day for Leeds Trinity University, and it feels a real privilege to have somebody like Deborah McAndrew as our second chancellor” she said.
“She is such an amazing individual, and she will bring so much to this university”.
Full interview with Margaret
President of the Leeds Trinity student union Charles Isherwood was delighted to welcome Deborah to the university.
“Today has been a celebration of all the fantastic things Deborah has done and why she will do an amazing job as the chancellor of Leeds Trinity” said Charles.
“I look at this as a day to welcome somebody who is going to make us even better than we already are.”
— Yorkshire Voice (@YorkshireV) 15 June 2018
Full interview with Charles and Vice President Georgia Wood
Many high profile guests were on-hand, including business leaders, religious figures and even politicians in the form of Labour MP for Keighley John Grogan, who raced up from London in time for the occassion.
“This is a very important ceremony. I have been coming to Leeds Trinity since I was a little boy for various things and my brother, who now is a bishop on the board of governors, was chaplin here” he said.
“It is a family interest for me, but it’s also an important position in education so I was desperate to see the chancellor installed.
“Her speech was fantastic, laced with passion, humour and Catholicism, which she spoke unashamedly about, and I though it was rather nice that she concluded by saying she was here to learn. It was an unexpected ending which was great.”
Full interview with Grogan