The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has been appointed the first Chancellor of St Mary’s University in Twickenham, west London.
To be formally installed as Chancellor at a ceremony later this year, his appointment will take effect from September 1, reported Independent Catholic News.
Established in 1850 as a Catholic teacher training college, St Mary’s had an original intake of just six students. Now, it has now grown to around 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across four academic schools.
“We are honored that Cardinal Nichols has agreed to become the first ever Chancellor of our University,” said St. Mary’s Chair of Governors Bishop Richard Moth. He added, “It underlines our long Catholic tradition which is at the heart of all we do.”
Cardinal Nichols said: “I am very pleased to accept the invitation of the University. St Mary’s enjoys a long and distinguished history and many generations of Catholic teachers have received the foundations of their service there. Among them I count my own father, Henry Nichols.”
He continued, “The recent granting of University status to St Mary’s is a sign of the further strengthening of Christian-inspired Higher Education in England and Wales.
“I ask for God’s blessing on St Mary’s, its staff and students, in all of its future endeavors.”
St Mary’s was given a full university title by the Privy Council in January and became St Mary’s University, Twickenham.
Cardinal Nichol’s appointment is the latest change at the most senior levels of the institution. At the end of April this year, Francis Campbell was appointed principal of the university. A former UK ambassador to the Holy See, Campbell once served as a policy adviser to Britain’s ex-Prime Minister, Tony Blair. (D.C.L.)