New role for chair of trustees

by Foundation of Light

University Chancellor position for Sir Bob Murray.

Foundation of Light founder and Chairman of Trustees Sir Bob Murray CBE has been announced as the new Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan University.

The former Sunderland AFC Chairman has been a leading business figure in Yorkshire for the past 43 years and will formally accept the position at a special ceremony early next year.

The appointment continues the 66-year-old’s long-standing relationship with the renowned institution dating back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy at the University’s predecessor Leeds Polytechnic.

In 2008, Sir Bob was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

Sir Bob said: “I feel very privileged to have been invited to become the Chancellor of such an esteemed institution as Leeds Metropolitan University and was thrilled to accept. It is a highly-respected University that plays such an important role in developing the potential and talent of thousands of students from many different parts of the world.

“As a former graduate and as someone who has worked in Yorkshire for more than 40 years it will be a great honour to take on such a leading role with the University. I hope my experience and track record in business, lifelong focus on education, and passion for sport will give me the necessary qualities to support the University, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitious and exciting aspirations.”

Recently Sir Bob spearheaded the development of St George’s Park, England’s £100m National Football Centre at Burton, but he is best known for his time as Chairman of Sunderland AFC during which he built the 49,000 capacity Stadium of Light and Academy of Light, the club’s state-of-the-art training facility.

As someone who believes passionately about the power of education and inspiring people from all sectors of society to achieve their full potential, Sir Bob established the Foundation of Light (formerly SAFC Foundation) in 2001 to involve, educate and inspire children, families and adults across the North East each year through programmes that can improve their lives.

Despite stepping down as Chairman of Sunderland AFC following the takeover of the club by Niall Quinn’s consortium of Irish investors in 2006, Sir Bob continues to play a significant role within the Foundation of Light as Chairman of Trustees and lends his name to the annual Sir Bob Murray Graduations which celebrates the achievements of the charity’s Family Learners at the Stadium of Light.

In 2002, he was awarded the CBE and knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours in 2010 for his services to football, charity and education. In October 2011, Sir Bob was awarded the Honorary Freedom of the City of Sunderland.