Leicester Mercury

University granted the freedom of a borough



COUNCILLOR­S have granted the Freedom of the Borough to the University of Leicester.

Oadby and Wigston Borough Council approved the honour at an extraordin­ary meeting this week.

The case for the university to be granted the highest civic honour the council can award was put forward by head of customer service and transforma­tion, Philippa Fisher.

The motion was proposed by Councillor Samia Haq, a Leicester alumnus, and seconded by the leader of the council, John Boyce.

Chief executive officer Anne Court said: “As the University of Leicester celebrates its second centenary year in 2021, the council supports the university’s commitment to showcasing the contributi­on and impact of its people, places and events, which demonstrat­es the university’s full and diverse history and steadfast commitment to inclusivit­y, and thereby marking its distinguis­hed and eminent services and associatio­ns with/in the borough.”

Councillor Boyce said: “The university has existed to improve lives and its motto ‘Ut Vitam Babeant’ (So That They May Have Life) is its driving and motivating force.

“The students and staff at the university are aptly-styled Citizens of Change, with a collective social conscience that pushes it to build better futures in its community and the wider society. This


laudable sentiment cannot be truer in and resonates throughout the borough.”

Professor Nishan Canagaraja­h, president and vice-chancellor of the university said: “This is a tremendous honour and we are incredibly grateful to Oadby and Wigston Borough Council.

“The university was uniquely founded by community fund-raising as a living war memorial following the First World War.

“Residents in Oadby and Wigston played a pivotal role in our founding story and the relationsh­ip between the university and the borough is key to our future.

“The majority of the university estate is located in the borough and we continue to discuss with colleagues in Oadby and Wigston the ways in which the university can continue to benefit the area.”

Since the council’s inception in 1974, it has only conferred the honour on to one individual and two military organisati­ons: Horst Embacher, a former burgomaste­r of the borough’s German twin, Nordersted­t; The Royal Anglian Regiment; and B Squadron, (Leicesters­hire and Derbyshire), Royal Yeomanry.

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