Dr Heather Melville sitting down with text that reads "Dr Heather Melville, University of York Chancellor"

University of York welcomes new Chancellor Dr Heather Melville

The University of York’s new Chancellor today (18 Jan) said she was “humbled and excited” as she was formally welcomed at a special inauguration ceremony.

Dr Heather Melville is welcomed as the University’s seventh Chancellor

Dr Heather Melville, OBE, became the University’s seventh Chancellor during a ceremony at the University of York’s Central Hall, attended by heads of academic departments and centres, Faculty Deans and University officials and specially invited guests.

As part of today’s inauguration, Dr Melville conferred honorary degrees upon a number of distinguished people, including Dame Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, and Colin Salmon, one of Britain’s most renowned actors.

Dr Melville, said: “When I first came to York, I was heartened to find a University so focused on driving social change and public good. The University has a rich tradition of social justice, which is so very important to me and close to my heart.

“I am deeply humbled and excited to be here and look forward to supporting the team here in their endeavour to remove barriers and to build inclusiveness, to develop partnerships and bring collaborations to benefit generations to come.

“It is not just what we do, but how we do it, that will make the difference.”

The Chancellor is the ceremonial and honorary figurehead of the University and plays an important ambassadorial role for York, promoting its work as a University for public good in the UK and internationally.

With a career spanning over 40 years and an extensive track record of helping organisations create inclusive cultures that nurture innovation, Heather is bringing all of this experience to her new role as the University’s Chancellor.

Dr Melville is Senior Managing Director at the global CEO advisory firm, Teneo. She also holds a number of Trustee positions; on the Board of the Chair of Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and of its Women’s Advisory Committee, Enfield Enterprise; a Patron of Women in Banking & Finance (WIBF); and was a member of the PwC Colour Brave Charity Committee.

In 2017, Dr Melville was awarded an OBE for her services to female entrepreneurs, diversity in business and gender equality. 

The Department of Music performed a range of choral, orchestral and operatic pieces by Orlandus Lassus, Ray Charles, Glenn Miller Orchestra and Joanna Marsh. 

To view the full ceremony visit the University’s YouTube channel.