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Cardinal Vincent has been appointed the first Chancellor of St Mary’s University, Twickenham in London. His appointment will take effect from 1st September 2014.

St Mary’s Board of Governors was informed of the Cardinal’s agreement to become Chancellor by Bishop Richard Moth, the Chair of Governors, at a meeting on Thursday 3rd July. The Cardinal will be formally installed as Chancellor at a ceremony later this year.

Bishop Moth said, “We are honoured that Cardinal Nichols has agreed to become the first ever Chancellor of our University. It underlines our long Catholic tradition which is at the heart of all we do. The Governing Body looks forward to working closely with Cardinal Nichols in the months and years ahead to prepare our students for successful, fulfilling lives based on the highest teaching standards in a supportive community of mutual respect underpinned by our Catholic ethos and identity.”

Commenting on this announcement Cardinal Vincent Nichols said, “I am very pleased to accept the invitation of the University. St Mary’s enjoys a long and distinguished history and many generations of Catholic teachers have received the foundations of their service there. Among them I count my own father, Henry Nichols.

“The recent granting of University status to St Mary’s is a sign of the further strengthening of Christian-inspired Higher Education in England and Wales.

“I ask for God’s blessing on St Mary’s, its staff and students, in all of its future endeavours.”

St Mary’s Vice–Chancellor Dr Arthur Naylor added, “This is an exciting time for St Mary’s. Our ties to Westminster have been very close over the past 164 years and are symbolised by our main graduation ceremonies taking place in Westminster Cathedral.

“St Mary’s achieved a full University title in January this year. The appointment now of Cardinal Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, to become the Inaugural Chancellor is enormously fitting. He is the natural choice to become the formal head of our University. We are delighted he has accepted the invitation to take up this role at an important stage in the development of St Mary’s University.”

St Mary’s was awarded a full university title by the Privy Council on 23rd January this year and became St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

Established in 1850 as a Catholic teacher training college, St Mary’s has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence. Its foundation coincided with the re-establishment of the Catholic hierarchy in England and was encouraged by Cardinal Wiseman who became the first Archbishop of Westminster the same year.

With an original intake of just six students, St Mary’s has now grown to around 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across four academic Schools.