Sir Brian Leveson said he was “thrilled” as he was installed as the new Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University when he officially took over from Dr Brian May in a ceremony at the city’s Anglican Cathedral.
Lord Justice Leveson – who led the high-profile public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press – said he was proud to be part of LJMU, telling JMU Journalism that he thinks the university has much to offer.
He said: “The great pluses of LJMU are its work with students to help them engage with the community, with the city, with work, with opportunities that are open to them through the university they would not otherwise have.
“One of the great things about LJMU is the extent it reaches out to those who have never previously had members of their family to go to higher education and that is absolutely fantastic.”
Leveson, 63, who also received an Honorary Fellowship from the university last year, expressed his pride at representing an institution in his home city.
He said: “I am thrilled to be associated with LJMU and to be back here in Liverpool. I lived here for 43 years of my life and I have an enormous affection for Liverpool and all that it does. To have this opportunity to be part of the city is truly fantastic.
“I share LJMU’s belief that the university should be a positive force for change, both in the lives of individuals and also in society more generally, through research, scholarship, and meaningful public engagement.”
Sir Brian, who becomes the university’s fifth Chancellor, acknowledges that he has a tough job by succeeding Queen guitarist Brian May, who served a five-year term and will stay involved with the university as Chancellor Emeritus.
Leveson spoke highly of the astrophysicist rock star. He said: “The challenge of following a star who has an interest in stars is truly formidable.
“I come from much more mundane stock so I’m very conscious of the difficulty of even starting to stand in his steps but I will do my part to such an extent I can to help LJMU achieve what it wishes to achieve which will only be for the good of the city of Liverpool.”
In his speech at the ceremony former Liverpool College student Sir Brian said it was “with pride, pleasure and no little humility that I formally accept the role of Chancellor”.
Dr May described his successor as “a man of great prestige” and said he was very happy to hand over the role to him: “I think he’ll be great. My congratulations go to Sir Brian, he will be an excellent ambassador for LJMU and I look forward to continuing my association now as Chancellor Emeritus.
“He seems definitely to be the right man for the job.”