Liverpool Hope University’s new Chancellor used her installation speech to call for ‘healing’ and ‘unity’ in Britain’s post-Brexit landscape.
Professor Monica Grady, Professor of Planetary and Space Science at the Open University, was officially installed as Chancellor at yesterday’s Foundation Day ceremony.
And in an impassioned speech, Professor Grady said Hope would stand as a ‘beacon’ of tolerance when faced with division.
She said: “Liverpool Hope is starting a new chapter as it enters its 176th year. This is a new chapter for me too - I’ve never been a university Chancellor before.
“But it’s also a new chapter for our country. We’ve been through three years of disturbance and division.. Yes, I’m afraid I’m talking about Brexit.
“But now we have an opportunity - whether we wanted to remain or we wanted to leave. We have to heal from those decisions.
“Whenever we encounter intolerance, may we bring understanding. And however we encounter division, may we bring unity.”
Vowing to bring and share ‘love’ throughout the University, she added: “I hope we will be able to show that we have no truck with racism, with anti-semitism, with ill-informed bigotry, that we are a beacon of rationality, a beacon of knowledge and of friendship.
“And I hope that I will be able to take a real part in the community of Liverpool Hope University in my years here as Chancellor.
“I want to enjoy my time with you, learn about Hope, and I would really like to see Hope continue its marvellous development, with its mission and values of love, hope and friendship.”
During the Service, Senior Fellowship awards were also conferred on Revd Canon Malcolm Rogers MBE, The Bishop of Liverpool's Canon for Reconciliation, and Mrs Lynne Tembey OBE, former Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union.
As well as working for the European Space Agency and having an asteroid named after her, Professor Grady was made a CBE in 2012 for services to space sciences.
It’s not the first accolade Professor Grady has received from Hope - she was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters honoris causa by Liverpool Hope during the Summer 2019 Graduation celebrations.