Steve Cram named new Chancellor

Released: Friday 23rd May 2008 at 00:00

The University of Sunderland is delighted to announce that Steve Cram MBE will become the institution’s new Chancellor

The University of Sunderland is delighted to announce that Steve Cram MBE will become the institution’s new Chancellor.

Steve will be installed at a special ceremony at the university’s Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s on Friday, June 27. The former Olympic medallist will take over from Lord Puttnam, who retired last year after ten years as Chancellor.

Steve has a strong relationship with the university, going back 25 years, so he was an obvious choice for Chancellor.

In 1983 Steve received his sports studies degree from Sunderland and three years later the former 1500m world record holder was back at the university to receive an Honorary Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to sport. In 1994 he became Honorary President of the University of Sunderland Alumni Association.

Steve, who is now the BBC’s chief athletics commentator and a Guardian sports writer, is a great friend and supporter of the university.

His passion for the university, the city of Sunderland and the region makes him an ideal choice. He is also known for his widespread work for charity, particularly his own charity, COCO.

The Jarrow-born father-of-two, who is one of the world’s most distinguished and successful middle distance athletes, is also Chairman of the English Institute for Sport. After being installed as Chancellor Steve will prepare to head up the BBC’s commentating team for the Beijing Olympics in August.

Professor Peter Fidler, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sunderland, said: “We are delighted that Steve, who has been a friend of the university’s for a long time, will be joining us as Chancellor. It is wonderful for the university to have such a great ambassador.

“Steve proved himself to be one of the very best athletes of his time in an era when there were so many. Since then it is probably no surprise that he has gone on to become one of the finest commentators and experts in athletics. Add to that his commitment to charity and public life and you have an inspirational leader who will be a great example to our students, and staff.

“Personally, I am looking forward very much to working with Steve as the university moves forward. We are at the beginning of a new era for the university, academically and in terms of our physical development, so it is fitting that Steve is joining us now.”

Steve said: “I'm delighted and honoured to have been asked to accept the post of Chancellor of the University of Sunderland. I'm passionate about the North-East, Sunderland and education and this will give me a wonderful opportunity to combine all three. The growth and development of the university in recent years has become a shining example of excellence in the North-East and I look forward to playing a role in helping the staff and students to continue and enhance their success in the future.”

Former Chancellor David Puttnam welcomed Steve’s appointment. He said: “I’m delighted at the news that Steve has been appointed Chancellor. This is a tremendous coup for the institution.

“Steve is a genuinely motivational and inspiring national figure, ideally equipped to build upon the university’s extraordinary achievements and help propel it through the next crucial stages of its development.”