Page last updated at 15:24 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Designer is university chancellor

Zandra Rhodes
Zandra Rhodes learnt the basics of fashion design at college in Medway

Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has accepted the post of chancellor at the university where she once studied.

The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) announced the Chatham-born designer had accepted the post and would be formally installed in 2010.

Ms Rhodes studied at Medway College of Art - one of the Kent and Surrey colleges that formed UCA last year.

The designer, whose clients included Princess Diana and Freddie Mercury, will be UCA's first chancellor.

Ms Rhodes said: "I feel very honoured to have been chosen to be the first Chancellor for the University and will endeavour to be inspirational to the students with some emphasis on the old values that I was trained with."

'Formative years'

She said she learnt the basics at the college that "carried me through the rest of my life and career".

Ms Rhodes, whose mother was a draping and dressmaking teacher at the college, said: "My years at Medway College of Art were my formative years and shaped me into what I am today.

"The caring, dedicated staff guided and nurtured me."

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Elaine Thomas said: "We are delighted that she is joining UCA where her knowledge and expertise will be embraced by the next generation of creative practitioners."

As chancellor, Ms Rhodes will be the figurehead for the University, which has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester and will preside at graduation ceremonies.

Loyd Grossman, chairman of the board of governors at UCA, said Ms Rhodes was an "inspiring personality who represents the adventurous, colourful, exciting and prominent role that the creative arts play in our society".

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