Chancellor's Visit to Homerton

Photo: Geoff Ward and Lord Sainsbury at Homerton College

Credit: Sir Cam

On October 2nd, Homerton was delighted to welcome the Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Lord Sainsbury of Turville, for his first formal visit to the College.

After an initial gathering with the senior leadership of the College, Lord Sainsbury was taken by the Principal, Professor Geoff Ward, on a brief tour of the grounds before meeting Homerton students, staff, and Fellows over drinks in the Combination Room. There he inspected the College’s founding documents – the Trust Deed, Grants of Arms, and the 2010 Royal Charter marking Homerton’s transition to becoming the 31st Cambridge College. 

After an official welcome from the Principal, the Chancellor thanked the College for welcoming him and said that Homerton was perfectly placed through its location and its history to have a great impact both in academia and the world beyond. He then raised a toast to ‘Homerton College’, before receiving a special lunch in the Drawing Room. 

The office of Chancellor is held by a distinguished individual, from academia or public life, who is not usually resident in the University and does not hold any other University office.  The Chancellor presides at major ceremonies - the best-known being the annual ceremony for the conferment of Honorary Degrees - and is also, ex officio, the Visitor of ten Cambridge Colleges, including Homerton.  

Lord Sainsbury was elected Chancellor of the University in a ballot of the Senate in October 2011, succeeding HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. He is a Cambridge alumnus, having read History and Psychology at King’s College, Cambridge. He has a life-long interest in education and has supported many projects in schools and universities through his Charitable Foundation, called the Gatsby Foundation. In 2003 he received, on behalf of the Sainsbury family, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Philanthropy, and was the first Briton to give over a £1 billion pounds to charitable causes.  He became Lord Sainsbury of Turville in October, 1997, sitting in the House of Lords, and was appointed Minister of Science and Innovation, serving from July 1998 until November 2006, under the Premierships of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

For more photographs of the event, see the University’s Flickr pages here and here.