Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Rothesay will be formally installed as Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen on Monday June 10.
The traditional ceremony will take place in Elphinstone Hall before an audience of University alumni, staff, students, supporters, civic dignitaries, chancellors and vice-chancellors from across the Scottish university sector.
The Installation Ceremony is similar to a graduation ceremony, involving academic processions and musical interludes, with key elements of the ceremony delivered in Latin. The ceremony will include the historic Declaration of Fealty and the Chancellor’s Address. The Chancellor’s first task will be to bestow honorary degrees on six outstanding individuals for their academic and personal achievements.
Music during the ceremony will include organ variations by JS Bach and Sweelinck, traditional fiddle arrangements performed by postgraduate student Ronnie Gibson, and a new composition by Professor Paul Mealor entitled Blessing which has been written specially for the occasion and will be performed by the King’s College Chapel Choir.
Professor Sir Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “The University was founded with Royal patronage, but this is the first time we have been honoured with a Royal Chancellor. This will be a tremendously important and exciting day for the University and I am delighted that we will be sharing it with so many of our alumni, friends and supporters. They will join us in welcoming our new Chancellor to the Aberdeen family, and also in recognising the achievements of great individuals in the fields of education, the arts, science, medicine, law and sporting achievement.”
During the ceremony, the new Chancellor will bestow honorary degrees on Sir Eric Anderson, educationalist and former Provost of Eton College; playwright and President of the Royal Literary Fund, Sir Ronald Harwood; Professor Philip James, leading international expert on nutrition and obesity and former Director of the (then) Rowett Research Institute; distinguished haematologist Dr Audrey Dawson; Scotland’s Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland; and local sporting hero Neil Fachie - the first Scot on the Paralympics GB Team to gain a gold at London 2012.
Following the ceremony the Chancellor will attend a reception on the King’s Playing Field, meet representatives of the Students Association, staff and supporters of the University.
Her Royal Highness will be the University’s eleventh Chancellor, in a role which dates back to the merging in 1860 of King’s and Marischal Colleges to create the University of Aberdeen.
Her Royal Highness succeeds Lord Wilson of Tillyorn, who stepped down from the role at the end of December, having served as Chancellor since 1997.
Professor Iain Torrance will assist the new Chancellor in the role of Pro-Chancellor. Aberdeen-born Iain Torrance has a long association with the University of Aberdeen, becoming Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Divinity in 2001 and serving subsequently as Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and President of Princeton Theological Seminary.