Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 13:27 UK

May installed as uni chancellor

New Chancellor of John Moores University, Brian May
Dr May studied Astrophysics in London in his 20s

Queen guitarist Brian May has been formally installed as the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

The 60-year-old was awarded an honorary fellowship for his contribution to astronomy and services to the public understanding of science last year.

He studied Astrophysics at Imperial College, London, but put his academic career on hold to play with Queen.

Dr May has taken over the Chancellor's role from former Prime Minister Tony Blair's wife, Cherie.

His duties will include presiding over graduation ceremonies and representing the university on special occasions.

He said he was "proud" to take up the role and insisted people were "never too old" to start learning.

About 500 people, including university staff, students and alumni, watched the installation ceremony at St George's Hall in Liverpool.

Cherie Booth QC, who served as Chancellor between 1999 and 2006, and John Moores CBE, her predecessor, who served as Chancellor from 1994 to 1999, were also at the ceremony.

'Tremendous role model'

Dr May gained a BSc in his 20s, and even used Liverpool John Moores' remote telescope in the Canary Islands to complete his PhD.

More than 30 years later in 2007, he completed his PhD thesis, A Survey of Radial Velocities in the Zodiacal Dust Cloud and was awarded his doctorate.

The guitarist recently co-authored a book, Bang! The Complete History of the Universe, with Sir Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott.

It is never, ever too late to start learning
Dr Brian May

In a statement released by the university, he said: "I am very proud to be the new Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, and I am particularly touched that so many staff and students are able to be here today. I am passionate about education and lifelong learning.

"It really doesn't matter how old you are or what stage of your life you are in, it is never, ever too late to start learning.

"I proved that by completing my PhD, 30 years after I started it. As Chancellor, I hope that my personal experiences will act as an inspiration for others."

Vice Chancellor of LJMU, Professor Michael Brown, said: "The ethos of this university is summed up in three simple words: Dream, Plan, Achieve.

"No-one embodies this more perfectly than our new Chancellor, Dr Brian May.

"While gaining global recognition as a musician, and supporter of the performing arts, he never lost sight of his dream, his passion for astronomy and science."

He added: "There is no doubt that Brian May will be a real champion for LJMU and a tremendous role model for our students. We are delighted to welcome him as our new Chancellor today."


video and audio news
Brian May talks about his new post



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