University of Bristol Chancellor to step down after 13 years

Lady Hale plans to retire next year


Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, has announced she plans to retire from the role of university Chancellor next year.

Hale is the most senior female judge in the UK. Chancellor of the University of Bristol, she judges the University’s annual “mooting” competitions held at the Supreme Court in London.

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Image taken from the University of Bristol website

She advised the University’s Court of her intentions, and the process of gathering nominations for her successor starts immediately.

Her own predecessors include Sir Winston Churchill and scientist and Nobel-prize winner Professor Dorothy Hodgekin.

The Chancellor of the University is elected by Court on the nomination of Council. He or she is then the ceremonial head of the University, confers degrees at graduation events, chairs Court, supports fundraising events, and serves as the most senior public face of the University.

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Image taken from the University of Bristol website

Lady Hale was officially installed as the University’s seventh Chancellor in 2004, and will therefore have held the role for well over a decade. She became one of the UK’s 12 Law Lords in January 2004, the only woman to hold such a position in British history. She is also the deputy president of the Supreme Court.

During her time as Chancellor, Lady Hale has presided over 67 degree ceremonies, and has personally spoken to over 67,000 graduating students. Known for her warmth and enthusiasm, Lady Hale will be missed, and her successor, once chosen by the nominations panel and University Council, will undoubtedly have a lot to live up to.