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Scene is set for huge celebration to mark Investiture of Baroness Doreen Lawrence

The stage is set for hundreds of students, staff and VIPs to witness one of De Montfort University Leicester’s great historic occasions, when Baroness Doreen Lawrence will officially be made Chancellor.

Scene set 1

Finishing touches are being put into place at the impressive multi-million pound The Venue@DMU which will be hosting its first major event since it opened in October last year.

More than 1,000 metres of cables have been laid, 700 seats put in place, 100 spotlights fitted, five giant screens assembled and 200 metres of curtains draped in preparation for the spectacular event which starts at 4pm tomorrow, Friday 22 January and will include performances by students showcasing the best of DMU creativity.

BARONESS MAIN JAN 20

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said: “We are going to witness one of the most historic occasions for DMU.

“Baroness Lawrence is a true leader and a woman of great stature and we know she is going to be a very active and dynamic Chancellor. Students and staff are thrilled that she is going to play a major role at DMU.

“It will be a ceremony that acknowledges the gravitas and history of DMU but also the excitement and dynamism for which we are renowned.”

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Louise Holland, head of global communications agency Holland Alexander, has organised the ceremony with the DMU Events Team.

She said: “It is an honour to produce the show for an inspirational leader like Baroness Lawrence. We’re looking forward to putting on a celebration fit for such a momentous occasion in DMU history.”

Scene set 2

A day-long celebration will precede the ceremony featuring performances from students including poetry, dance, theatre and music as well as special “speed lectures” to showcase DMU’s diverse research.

The Chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university and, as such, acts as its figurehead and ambassador. Baroness Lawrence was chosen by students and staff for her work to champion issues affecting young people, education and social change.   

Following the death of her son Stephen, she established the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in 1998. It has supported young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, helping them start careers in architecture, journalism and law.

She has also worked to increase the numbers of students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds attending university.

Baroness Lawrence was created a Life Peer in 2013. The following year she was named one of the most powerful women in the UK by the BBC.

In the House of Lords, Baroness Lawrence has used her political standing to inspire and empower young people to engage in politics. Last year she was made an Honorary Doctor of Laws by DMU.

Posted on Thursday 21st January 2016

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