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Duke's Vulcan salute for Stewart

Published 13/07/2015

The Duke of York is replacing Sir Patrick Stewart as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield
The Duke of York is replacing Sir Patrick Stewart as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield
The Duke of York is replacing Sir Patrick Stewart as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield

The Duke of York has told former Star Trek captain Sir Patrick Stewart to "go forth and prosper" as he replaced him as Chancellor of Huddersfield University.

Andrew quoted the Vulcan saying - and gave the famous hand salute - as he took up his new post during an awards ceremony presided over by the Hollywood star who stepped down after 11 years as the head of the university.

Stewart famously played Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the long running Sci-fi series Star Trek: The Next Generation and also in a series of successful movies.

The Duke, who has a strong association with Huddersfield University, told Stewart during the awards ceremony: " Patrick thank you very much indeed for your 11 years. It's been, from all that I have heard, a most remarkable time for this university t hank you for what you've done.

"And I believe there's only one way to say at the end of your 11 years, farewell and welcome, which is just simply to say - live long and prosper."

Andrew gave the Vulcan salute, with the fingers of his right hand in the shape of a V, as he said the final words to laughter from Stewart, the senior academics and guests.

The actor is a local boy who grew up in the village of Mirfield a few miles from Huddersfield and during the ceremony he said if the Duke was unable to fulfil a commitment he would be happy to step in.

He told the audience that taking up the post had reinvigorated his stage career: "When I was offered the Chancellorship I was in this order - astonished, speechless and instantly accepted, because, although I did not know it at the time, it has transformed my life.

"For example, t he opportunity to relocate myself in the UK, this appointment was a catalyst for the reinvigoration of my stage career in this country, which has been for me very rewarding."

He went on to say: " No one was more astonished then me when Paramount Pictures cast me as the captain of the (star ship) Enterprise in 1987.

"What would they want with a bald, middle-aged, British, Shakespearean at the helm of the Enterprise? Well it seemed a lot actually."

He added that after more than 15 years in Los Angeles he welcomed becoming Huddersfield's chancellor in 2004, a move which "re-rooted" him in his past.

Andrew also has a strong connection with the institution, he became its patron in 2013 and that year opened The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre where a team of business advisers work with student and graduate entrepreneurs.

The centre also hosts the annual Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards, designed to recognise the best business ideas developed by students at Yorkshire's universities.

Andrew has also supported the university in recruiting overseas students and met alumni in countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.

Professor Bob Cryan, the University's Vice-Chancellor, said at the time the Duke accepted the appointment: "It is obviously a great honour and a source of great prestige to have a member of the Royal Family at the head of our university, but in the case of the Duke of York, this is much more than a ceremonial appointment."

He added: "When he visits us and talks to students who are launching businesses, his grasp of detail and his ability to get to the heart of an issue are always highly impressive. Also, he has consistently taken an interest in the University of Huddersfield and the progress that we are making.

"Now he will be at the heart of the story. I and my colleagues really look forward to working with him."

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