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    Staff and Governors gather to say farewell to Dr David Llewellyn on his retirement

    Posted 10 August 2021

    A group of people gather round a Massey Ferguson TE20 tractor during celebrations at Harper Adams University.

    Pictured left to right at the celebration are: Dominic Wong – current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors; Roger Mercer, Chair of Governors between 2011-2015; Dr David Llewellyn; Alison Blackburn OBE, Chair of Governors between 2007-2011; and Mike Lewis – Chair of Governors (2015-2019. The group are gathered around a TE20 ‘Little Grey Fergie’, currently on loan from the Burgess family, which belonged to Anthony Burgess, former Chair of Governors between 1999 – 2003.

    Staff and Governors, past and present, at Harper Adams University gathered to say farewell to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Llewellyn.

    An informal celebration gave colleagues and friends the chance to give their good wishes to Dr Llewellyn – who retired as Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor at the end of July.

    Current Vice-Chairman of the Board of Governors, Dominic Wong, spoke of how Harper Adams had thrived during Dr Llewellyn’s tenure, citing achievements including the securing of full university status for the institution, two Gold awards in the university sector’s Teaching Excellence Framework, and the expansion of the Harper Adams campus with innovative teaching and education facilities.

    His speech was followed by one from Dr Llewellyn, who reflected upon his time at Harper Adams, since commencing as Director of Corporate Affairs in 1998, and taking up the role of head of institution in 2009.

    He spoke about his gratitude to University staff and students for their role in helping the institution’s development and success – including the Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education in 2005 and 2017 and The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 naming Harper Adams Modern University of the Year.

    He also cited 2021 successes, including in the UK Government’s Graduate Outcomes and National Student Surveys and the recently-announced Student Crowd University Awards, in which Harper Adams was named the top university in the UK.

    Dr Llewellyn spoke of how these successes, and the delivery of other innovations such as the National Centre for Precision Farming, the Harper & Keele Veterinary School, and many others, required a team effort – and made clear his gratitude to staff for their hard work.

    Dr Llewellyn also recalled the hard work and commitment of the University’s students, members of its Board, the Trustees of the Development Trust, the University’s alumni and a great number of supporters from industry, charities and other bodies, many of whom have made a significant contribution to the life and success of Harper Adams during his time at the University. In turn, staff demonstrated their appreciation of Dr Llewellyn during the event, both in formal speeches, and in informal chats after the formalities had concluded.

    Dr Llewellyn and his family were presented with gifts marking the occasion, including a watch, a Harper Adams rose, and the final bottle of gin from a bottling flavoured with crops grown on the University’s Hands-Free Hectare project in 2017.

    A book filled with photographs and memories from Dr Llewellyn’s time at Harper Adams was also prepared for the occasion – and filled with messages and well-wishes from staff across the University.

    Three former Chairs of the Harper Adams Board of Governors, Alison Blackburn OBE – Chair of Governors from 2007-2011, Roger Mercer – Chair of Governors from 2011-2015 and Mike Lewis – Chair of Governors from 2015-2019 – attended the event, to express their thanks to Dr Llewellyn.

    Dr Llewellyn’s successor, Professor Ken Sloan, will take up his role in November 2021 with Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Lee, currently taking the role of Interim Vice-Chancellor.

    Professor Lee paid tribute to Dr Llewellyn, saying: “Although we worked together for only a short time, Dr Llewellyn’s legacy is clear to see and it is a great honour to support the University in this way as interim Vice Chancellor, following on from David’s Herculean achievements, before passing the reins on to Professor Sloan to continue this exciting development of Harper Adams University as the leading specialist Agriculture and Land Use University.”

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