Grainger, Britain’s most decorated Olympic champion and elite rower, will take the University’s highest position.
Dame Katherine Grainger has been selected by the General Council to replace Sir Kenneth Calman as chancellor, effective this June. She is the first woman to hold the office at Glasgow University, and has previously been the chancellor of Oxford Brookes University.
Grainger is Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, winning a gold and four silver medals in five successive Olympics, along with eight medals at the World Championships – six of which were golds.
However, her career outside the river is equally admirable. She served as Chair for UK Sport for the British Olympic Association and has helped various charities, such as International Inspiration, to bring sports to low-income children and promote health and fitness in deprived areas across the world.
The position of chancellor means she will confer degrees to the University Senate, or appoint a vice-chancellor, usually the principal, in her absence; making it a largely honorary role. The position is for life or until retirement. Her predecessor served the office for 16 years.
She is a graduate of the University and a Glasgow local. She additionally has a law degree from Edinburgh and a PhD from King’s College London, on top of honorary degrees from a number of Scottish universities, such as Aberdeen and Robert Gordon.
She noted her appreciation for the post saying, “Glasgow is where I was born and went to school. It will always hold a very special place in my heart. The years I spent at the University gaining a Master of Philosophy were happy and rewarding years. During that time, as I learned more about the University and its standards, values and strengths, I increasingly admired it. I have absolutely no doubt that as I get to know the University even better, my respect will continue to grow.”