Hollywood star Sir Patrick Stewart told how his association with Huddersfield has been an “amazing experience” when he unveiled a new plaque to name a building after him.
He unveiled the plaque on premises which were known as the Milton Building before a multi-million pound transformation into a spacious, well-equipped drama department with studios and theatres for all kinds of performance, teaching and research.
Mirfield-born Sir Patrick, who is famous for his classic stage acting as well as roles on TV and in movie blockbusters, was Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield from 2004 until 2015 when he handed the role over to the Duke of York.
“In the 12 years since I was invited to be Chancellor, the university has been such an important part of my life. I wanted to be as hands on as possible, which has not always been possible. As I have found myself working away from the North of England and even away from this country, I have done less than I would have liked,” he said.
He is now Emeritus Chancellor of the university, which he has frequently visited over the past 12 years, presiding over many graduation ceremonies and meeting large numbers of students.
He is a professor of drama at the university, and has also served in an overseas ambassadorial role.
The building which was renamed yesterday has been used for drama since 2004, and Sir Patrick said he had been in it many times. “I think it’s fabulous. I wish we had a building like this when we were at school. It’s wonderful.”
Sir Patrick was full of praise for University Vice-Chancellor Professor Bob Cryan, who escorted him around yesterday, “He is a most visionary Vice-Chancellor because he has made this university count, and he has made it more accessible for students who might have not have thought university was for them.
“A significant number of students at the university are from backgrounds where a university education would not have been thought possible.”