Jack’s back in senior uni role
McConnell is named as Stirling’s new chancellor
Former First Minister Jack McConnell, who was a student at Stirling University, is returning as its new chancellor.
He succeeds ex-BBC ‘Today’ presenter Jim Naughtie, who stepped down earlier this year following a decade in the post.
A ceremonial role, the chancellor has the formal duty of presiding over the university’s graduation ceremonies.
Lord McConnell said he was honoured to be following in the footsteps of distinguished previous chancellors including the first incumbent in 1967, the economist Lord (Lionel) Robbins.
“I will be determined to do all I can to help the university to continue to grow and develop while retaining the essential values that have helped build its success over the past 50 years, ”he added.
The new chancellor graduating from Stirling University with a degree in mathematics in education.
He was also a two-term president of the students’ union.
His first foray into politics saw Jack McConnell elected to the former Stirling District Council where he served for eight years, eventually as leader.
The university’s principal Gerry McCormac said: “Ever since he was a politically engaged student here Lord McConnell has always remained an active, loyal and much-valued friend to our university.
“I look forward to working closely with Lord McConnell for the benefit of our students, staff and wider community.”
Jack McConnell served as First Minister from 2001 until 2007 and was appointed to the House of Lords in 2010 as Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale.
He was awarded an honorary degree by the university in 2008 for his contributions to public affairs.
In 2013 the Scottish Political Archive, based at Stirling University, acquired Lord McConnell’s political papers.
Ranging from early election leaflets to diary entries from his time as First Minister, the McConnell archive went on display last year during a guest lecture by Lord McConnell on climate change.
Fiona Sandford, chair of the university court, said: “Lord McConnell will continue to be an excellent ambassador for Stirling’s achievements and I know he will inspire others to make a positive difference.”
Lord McConnell is expected to serve as chancellor from his installation at the summer graduation ceremonies in June 2019 until 2029.
He will be the sixth chancellor. His predecessors include the actress Dame Diana Rigg, who starred in the 1960s cult drama ‘The Avengers’.
Happy return Lord McConnell at Stirling University