Brian May reflects on LJMU Chancellorship

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LJMU Chancellor Emeritus Brian May. Photo by Josh Parry

LJMU Chancellor Emeritus Brian May. Photo by Josh Parry

Dr Brian May has spoken of his pride to be associated with Liverpool John Moores University after handing over as Chancellor to Sir Brian Leveson.

The Queen guitarist will still have a role with the University as Chancellor Emeritus, but told JMU Journalism he does feel a degree of regret that his involvement with now be scaled down.

He said: “There is certain sadness because I won’t be as close as I was but I’ve enjoyed it.

“I love this university and I’ll be very happy to stay close because I’m now Emeritus Chancellor but you’ll still see me around here.”

Dr May, who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the university in 2007, initially described becoming Chancellor of the university as being ambushed in a very nice way by the then vice-chancellor Professor Michael Brown CBE back in 2008.

Dr Brian May

 

“I wish I could have done every single ceremony actually because I could see it had a great effect on people. Just that brief moment of contact is worth a lot, really.”

But May, who holds a PhD in Astrophysics, told JMU Journalism he enjoyed his time in the job, describing it as an “enormous privilege”, and praised the staff of the university for the work they do.

“It’s been an eye-opener for me, a voyage of discovery and I feel very proud to have been associated with the people here,” he said.

“They’re a fantastic bunch of people dedicated to encouraging people’s individuality and coaching their growth.”

The rock legend, who sported an eye-catching pair of white trainers at the ceremony where Sir Brian Leveson was installed as Chancellor, said it was great to be a representative of the city spoke about the affection he has for Liverpool and its people.

He said: “I feel like I have a lot of closeness with this wonderful city and it’s a very cultural city and you feel the spirit of this place. I don’t know any other city like it because there is the kind of incredible optimism and spirit of adventure Liverpool has. I love it and I love being part of it.

LJMU Chancellor Emeritus Brian May talks to JMU Journalism's Ian Bolland. Photo by Josh Parry

LJMU Chancellor Emeritus Brian May talks to JMU Journalism’s Ian Bolland. Photo by Josh Parry

“We do go back a long way as Queen in Liverpool because some of our first gigs were here and a lot of our friends were here. We used to sleep on people’s floors in Liverpool, wake up and cart our gear around and set up and play up here.”

May, 65, insisted that  “it’s not the end” as far as his relationship with the university goes – and says he will look back on his time as Chancellor of what he calls a “unique institution” with great pride and enjoyment.

His duties included presiding over graduation ceremonies but said he would like to have done more.

“I wish I could have done every single ceremony actually because I could see it had a great effect on people. Just that brief moment of contact is worth a lot, really.

“I share the feeling of this university, the ‘Dream, Plan, Achieve’ ethos of this place. It’s very much where I come from and that momentary handshake is a confirmation of that feeling I guess.

“I’ve loved it. I’ve really had a great time and I’m very happy to hand over because that’s the way things are and that’s the way the world moves but I’ll always stay close.”