Former Chancellor and key figure in Nottingham's scientific heritage has died

01 Jun 2015 12:50:40.710
Sir Gordon Ivan Hobday, a leading British scientist and former Chancellor and graduate of the University of Nottingham, has died aged 99.

Sir Gordon worked with pharmacologist, Sir Alexander Fleming on the discovery of the antibiotic, penicillin.

He joined Boots in Nottingham as a research chemist in 1939 and, in 1952, was director of the research team that developed the anti-inflammatory drug, ibruprofen. 
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In a distinguished career, spanning more than 40 years, he rose to become Chairman and Chief Executive of Boots, before retiring in 1981.

Born in Sawley, Derbyshire, on 1 February 1916, Sir Gordon was educated at Long Eaton Grammar School, Derbyshire.

He graduated from the University of Nottingham (known then as University College, Nottingham) in 1937 with a first-class honours degree in chemistry and later a PhD in biochemistry research.

In 1977, Sir Gordon received an honorary Doctors of Laws degree from the University of Nottingham for his contribution to science and the pharmaceutical industry. He was knighted in 1979.

As Lord Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire (1983-91), 4th Chancellor of the University of Nottingham (1978-92) and Chairman of ATV Midlands (later Central Television) he continued to play a significant public role in the county.

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “Sir Gordon Hobday was a proud graduate and honorary graduate, who served as our Chancellor for almost 15 years, working with two of our six Vice-Chancellors, Dr Basil Weedon and Sir Colin Campbell. He had a life-long interest in the University and visited on a number of occasions in recent years in support of our public engagement programme. He will be remembered fondly by many in the wider University community who worked closely with him.”


Image: Sir Gordon Hobday (1916-2015), 4th Chancellor of The University of Nottingham (1978-1993) oil on canvas, 1980, by Norman Hepple RA RP
Collection: The University of Nottingham. Copyright: the artists's estate 

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.

The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC) is holding events throughout 2015 to celebrate 15 years as a pioneer of transnational education. Based in Semenyih, UNMC was established as the UK's first overseas campus in Malaysia and one of the first world-wide.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

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Emma Lowry - Media Relations Manager

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 846 7156  Location: University Park

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