University of Manchester. My first 100 days as Chancellor.

On stage at the launch of the the film Suffragette alongside Helen Pankhurst.
Speaking at  the student Union at University of Manchester.
Speaking to 600 trainee teachers at University Place at University of  Manchester
With BBC Philarmonic in Salford for  ten pieces live lessons:  The  BBC’s best ever music education initiative. 12295487_560189184129310_3724202865960124099_n-1
Keynote at Digital Manchester conference 22626824767_fb3e498d71
Speaking with students and arts workers at Islington Arts and media College IMG_7673id
Speaking at North West Schools Led Conference for head teachers
Speaking at ADHD conference in Liverpool with Rory Bremner 12193877_554732928008269_3759022099761590057_n
Speaking in The Clore Ballroom at  Southbank Centre with Jude Kelly CBE for The WHY Festival at Southbank Centre 11057730_554446231370272_3227037747233859605_n
Reading poems at a literature festival in Rotterdam
12189954_555217377959824_2789207072997874042_nDelivering a TEdX talk at Addis Ababa University  12227134_558959534252275_6613671492140165888_n
Attending my first graduation ceremony as  Chancellor at University of Manchester.Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 20.50.37
Launching public art poem “Let There Be Peace”  at The British Council in Addis Ababa.
These are only a few of the events I have taken part in since
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I became  Chancellor at University of Manchester 100 days ago.
So what’s happened in 100 days besides the aforementioned? Firstly and uniquely  I was awarded  an honorary doctorate.
The citation for the doctorate was read by professor Jeanette Winterson. Here I am sat in front of Jeanette.   I am sat to the right of  President and Vice Chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell with  Dr Joan Bakewell to my right.IMG_9455
Ambassador Berhanu for Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia  came to the Ceremony.
Then a few days later I flew to  The library of Congress in The United States of America.1H6A9745 (Large)
Where I read for an audience which included HIH Prince Ermias Sahle Selasie.
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In December I returned to the United States to Capitol Hill to meet  member of Congress  Chris Van Hollen of Maryland’s 8th district.
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Where I was honoured and presented with a citation
van hollenI received a Resolution and Commendation  from Member of Congress Michael M Honda of 17th District California
At my reading in Takoma  I was received by Kate Stewart the new Mayor of Takoma Park. CZppXJ7WYAEHoGS
It’s still my first 100 days. I’m writing this blog  from Ethiopia where I share special guest status with  actor, and Miss France 2000,  Sonia Rolland.  We are here to support charity fashion gala in aid of  ECF childrens fund.  Many of the children are orphans. We visited the school.
The Gala is Fashion. Fashion changes society through vision.   The designers, the models, the set designers, the make up artists, the organisers…. everyone involved is dedicated to raising money for these children. All of Addis Ababa society turned out.
IMG_3272  The gala is run by ex model and philanthropist Anna Getaneh.This year was the 20th anniversary of ECF Childrens Fund.
IMG_3386 At the auction this green jacket (donated by naked ape)  was auctioned for 30,000.  The woman next to me is Maya Haile . The dress she wore was auctioned at 70,000 birr. Approximately 250,000 was raised for ECF that night.
I met with  Foreign Minister for The Federal Republic of Ethiopia  Tedros Adhanom.  Ethiopia has expanded its university program. 25 years ago Ethiopia had 10 Universities   Now there are 34. 10  more will be opening in the next 5 years.It was an honour to share the latest University of Manchester Magazine with the Foreign Minister.IMG_3208
University of Manchester has many links with Ethiopia.   Sylvia Pankhurst is buried in Ethiopia. Her son Dr Richard Pankhurst lives in Ethiopia. The news broke on the 100th day: By popular vote   Manchester’s first statue of a woman in 100 years is Emmeline Pankhurst.  Below Professor Richard Pankhurst at his home in Addis.
Seven weeks after my chancellorship I spearheaded a campaign to raise money for  Christmas Dinners for care leavers.  We raised £45,000 in forty days.Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 18.35.13
University of Manchester were kind enough to donate The Chancellors Hotel and much more  to the young care leavers of the North West.I can say with pride that  I spent  Christmas day at University of Manchester.
can inspire and be inspired by this incredible revolutionary university led by president and vice chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell
resize I am lifted by the graduands. These inspirational moments give me great pride.
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In 100 days  I have performed in front of thousands and broadcast to millions.  I’ve written articles for national newspapers and inspired exhibitions.   My desert Island discs became pick of The Year for BBC radio 4 . My BBC North West TV program on 50th anniversary of The Race Relations Act – Race Apart  – gives me great pride as a member of University of Manchester.  My work on Ten Pieces has been ordered by three quarters of all the secondary schools in Britain.  There is more.

Yet most of these events are not official university of Manchester appointments.  My role as Chancellor is ceremonial. 100 days have gone and I’ve loved every minute. My only regret is that I can’t get themback.

11 thoughts on “University of Manchester. My first 100 days as Chancellor.”

  1. Thank you, Lemn. You have inspired me, and many of my friends and relations over the last 100 days. Those days have passed, but they are not lost. They have built strength, tolerance, friendship, inspiration, understanding, empathy and action. And laughter and joy. Thank you for your generous spirit and infectious smile. Namaste and Abraços .

  2. Very impressive! You’ve already done a lot in such a short space of time. Amongst all other things it’s great to see the charity work your doing in ET as well as the talks at Addis Uni. As an Ethiopian and a member of staff at the Uni of MCR I am very proud and inspired. Thanks you and keep up good work. Duressa

  3. Dear Lemn ,here I am with tears rolling down my cheeks,tears of joy,tears of appreciation and tears of admiration.I am sending you one of those invisible kisses which first introduced me to you,There are many rags to riches stories but few from “bad boy” unwanted and unloved to “star of the show”,The one word that touched me most was “lonely” the children in care who for the first time did not feel so lonely but loved.You have lost a hundred days but no doubt have gained a thousand smiles.Take care and thank you for being such an inspiration to many.x

  4. Very impressive! You’ve done a lot in a short space of time. Amongst other thing, I am very impressed with the charity work that you’ve done in ET and also talks at the Uni of Addis. As a member of staff at the Uni of MCR and an Ethiopian I am very proud and inspired to have you as our Chancellor. Well done and keep up the good work. Duressa

  5. Dear brother – Lemn, we are really lucky to have u in our generation. What a beautiful talent and personality to have inspite of what happened in ur earlier life! It was a life time experience to attend ur latest performance in Ghion (Addis). If fear didn’t hold me back, i wanted to scream loud – out of ur spectacular performance. Kind of u for making us smile, see world in different perspectives and also for visiting us, giving a helping hand to ECF Children, celebrating ‘Timket’/Epiphany with us, sharing all the good and bad experiences in our and ur Country. Thank u and well-done. Wish u all z best in ur responsibility ahead as a Chancellor of University of Manchester. U r contributing to make the world a better place to live, and reminding us not to make z same mistakes done to u. U r trying to make us happy. Pls don’t forget to make urself happy too, we need u. With great love, respect, admiration and best wishes.

  6. I’ve long known your skills Lemn, and drank up your art
    As a student and fellow Manc for years, if that’s a start…
    Whilst our city changed, for better or worse yet apace
    The threads you’ve woven made home a much better place

    So now, three decades since we first met in The Moss
    I admire from distant lands a career ascended, accented with gloss
    Not one for money or things of course, simply people – no fuss
    Magnanimous soul, local lad and kindred heart – one of us…

    Thank you for your work, your care and love in giving
    Minded above all else to inspire joy and thought in living
    Through times good and bad on unwavering course
    You’ve given yet more lift to our Manc winged horse…

    So each day you rise on this earth consider, and well
    You’ll be remembered as you touched – as your words fell
    Unreasonably brief though life is, forms cast as kites to time
    Those winds will echo always with your Mancunian rhyme…

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