Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – The University of Nottingham joins the nation in mourning

Thursday, 08 September 2022
The Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham, Professor Shearer West, has expressed her great sadness on behalf of the university at hearing the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

Professor Shearer West said: “The University community joins the Royal Family and the nation in mourning the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“As sovereign to the UK and Commonwealth for more than 70 years, and as the longest-reigning British Monarch, she leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of service and dedication.

“From a young girl who did not expect to be Queen, to an iconic and celebrated figure who became Britain’s longest reigning monarch. For every generation, she provided an example and continuity that unites us today in offering our heartfelt condolences.”

Flags will be flown at half-mast across the university’s campuses and books of condolence will open on all campuses from Friday 9 September.

Professor West has written to the Royal Family expressing condolences at the loss of a national figure who has demonstrated extraordinary devotion to duty in the service of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II and the University of Nottingham

Although King George V officially opened the Trent Building on University Park back in 1928 his granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II’s reign has had the biggest impact on our University.

Here we look back at some of her numerous visits to Nottingham.

In July 1964, a shortage of doctors in the UK prompted a significant announcement by Minister of Health, Anthony Barber. With healthcare in the Nottingham area the most under-resourced in the country at that time, the Minister announced that a new teaching hospital of around 1200 beds would be built on 42 acres of land next to the University campus.

(First image, top left.) When the new Queen’s Medical Centre was officially opened by The Queen on 28 July 1977, it was the biggest purpose-built hospital in Europe with 27 miles of corridors.

(Next 2 images) The Queen came to visit The University of Nottingham again in 1981. Her Majesty unveiled a plaque to commemorate the centenary of the foundation of University College. In the photographs above she is pictured en route to Hallward Library, chatting to the then-Vice-Chancellor and leading a procession of dignitaries.

(Next image) The Queen returned in 1999 to open the initial phase of the University’s Jubilee campus. The campus has grown tremendously over the years and is now home to the School of Education, Computer Science, the Business School and Innovation Park. The engaging photograph above captures Her Majesty sharing a joke and taking tea with staff and students.

(Final 2 images) During celebrations for her 90th birthday scientists based in the new Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre in the School of Chemistry etched their birthday wishes on a corgi hair. The hair was kindly donated by Cracker and CJ – two corgis living in Nottinghamshire who are from the same blood line as the Queen’s corgis. 

The message was preserved in a tiny glass corgi specially made by Clive Dixon, The University of Nottingham glassblower and sent to the Palace where it has been kept to posterity in the Royal Library.

During her 70-year reign the Queen has celebrated dozens of University staff and academics with birthday and New Year Honours, including most recently Sir Jonathan Van Tam, Professor Robert Mokaya and Professor Tony Avery.

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