Dr Grainger to become Oxford Brookes Chancellor

Oxford Brookes University is proud to announce that Dr Katherine Grainger CBE is to succeed Shami Chakrabarti CBE as the University’s Chancellor.

Katherine Grainger is best known for her significant sporting achievements.  Having won three Olympic silver rowing medals in Sydney, Athens and Beijing, she fulfilled her ultimate ambition in winning Olympic gold at London 2012.

It is a particularly exciting time to join the University with next year being the 150th anniversary.


Dr Katherine Grainger CBE

This makes Katherine the only British female athlete from any sport to win medals in four consecutive Olympic Games.  Her services to rowing were recognised in the 2013 New Year’s Honours when she was awarded a CBE.

Already a dedicated supporter of the Oxford Brookes Social Entrepreneur Awards, Katherine has sat on judging panels which have supported a number of inspirational projects which benefit society.

Through this work, Katherine has shared her personal experiences of achieving her life goals with our students.  The University officially recognised Katherine’s achievements by awarding her an honorary degree this year.

Dr Katherine Grainger commented: “I have huge admiration for each of my three predecessors as Chancellor of Oxford Brookes and I’m very honoured to have the opportunity to build on the outstanding work they have each done on behalf of the University during their terms of office.

“It is a particularly exciting time to join the University with next year being the 150th anniversary.

“As we celebrate a great history we should also look forward together to the next 150 years of an institution that can be proud of the difference it continues to make to the lives of individuals and the contribution it makes to society more widely.”

Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, said: “Katherine is the embodiment of Oxford Brookes’ values.  Tireless in the pursuit of her goals, she also finds time to help others through her charity work.

“Oxford Brookes has benefitted hugely from having Shami as our Chancellor and I am delighted that in Katherine the University has an inspirational figure to take on this important role. Katherine will be an incredible role model for our students, staff and wider community.”

Katherine follows in the tradition of Brookes Chancellors by being passionate about human rights and, in particular, those of offenders.  She recently completed her PhD at King’s College London, which focused on the implications of whole-life prison sentences.

Commenting on the appointment, Shami Chakrabarti said: “Katherine Grainger is the perfect next Chancellor of Oxford Brookes, epitomising excellence, endeavour and the positive values that are so important to our tradition. I have no doubt that both student and academic bodies will be as proud of this inspired appointment as I am.”

The University will install Katherine as its next Chancellor at one of the key events to celebrate its 150th anniversary – the ‘Three Chancellors’ – scheduled for 20 March 2015.

This will also provide the University with the opportunity to thank Shami for her enormous support over the last seven years.