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Camilla hails installation of university principal as ‘occasion for hope’

Professor George Boyne was formally appointed in the role during a ceremony at the University of Aberdeen.

The Duchess of Cornwall installs Professor George Boyne as vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen (Andrew Milligan/PA)
The Duchess of Cornwall installs Professor George Boyne as vice-chancellor of the University of Aberdeen (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall has congratulated the new principal and vice-chancellor of one of Scotland’s oldest universities as he was formally installed in the post.

Professor George Boyne took up the position at the University of Aberdeen in August and was officially installed in the role at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Camilla joined around 500 guests including university alumni, staff and students, as well as senior figures from other universities, at the ceremony in Elphinstone Hall.

She presided over the occasion, which resembles a graduation ceremony, in her role as chancellor of the university.

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Professor George Boyne met with the duchess after the ceremony (Andrew Milligan/PA)

She said: “May I congratulate you, Professor Boyne, on your new appointment. Famously, (novelist) John Buchan said ‘It’s a great life, if you don’t weaken’. Given that you are an Aberdonian yourself, I know you won’t weaken: Aberdonians are made of stern stuff.

“And given your deep understanding and experience of public sector administration, I know that you will be more than equal to the challenges involved in running a great university in the 21st century.

“These are challenging times, no doubt, but I feel today, vice-chancellor, with your installation as the university’s new leader, this is indeed one of those ‘occasions for hope’.

“I will finish with one more quotation from John Buchan: ‘The task of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.’

“This is a great university, with a great heritage and the prospect of many great things to come. I wish you well in your office, vice-chancellor, and I wish the university and all its members well this year and in the years to come.

“It is a great honour for me to be part of such a very special community.”

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Camilla is chancellor of the university (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Camilla also handed an honorary degree to Edward Stevenson, who worked in the university’s biomedical physics department for more than four decades and supported the team that created the world’s first clinical MRI scanner.

The event formed part of a programme of engagements for Camilla – known as the Duchess of Rothesay in Scotland – at the university on Wednesday.

She is also visiting the university’s School for Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition at Foresterhill.

Professor Boyne said:  “I look forward to serving the interests of the University in the role of Principal, and to working with the whole university community to ensure that we remain open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others in Aberdeen, the north- east and the wider world.”

Edward Stevenson, who received an honorary degree from the Duchess, said: “I never expected anything like this and it has been quite overwhelming not only to receive an honorary degree but to be given it by Her Royal Highness.”

PA

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