Keele supports London Lord Mayor Alumna in annual pageant
This weekend (Saturday 9th November), staff and students from Keele University will be representing the region on a national stage to mark the moment that one of Keele’s eminent alumni becomes Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, a Law and Psychology graduate from Keele University and recent past President of the Law Society of England and Wales, will be the second female Lord Mayor of the City of London. Her appointment will be celebrated with the largest un-rehearsed pageant in the world and Keele University will be one of 70 floats touring a three mile long procession route, which will transform London into a swathe of music, movement and pageantry.
The Lord Mayor’s show is an annual event which dates back to 1215 (the year of the Magna Carta) and is broadcast to a global audience. This year, more than 7,000 people will help to welcome the new Lord Mayor into London. While Fiona Woolf will travel in QRB Gloriana, the traditional Thames barge made famous in the Jubilee celebrations, businesses, ward clubs, livery companies, schools, bands and community groups will take to the streets of London from 11am to travel from Mansion House, to Cheapside, round past St Paul’s Cathedral to the Royal Courts of Justice and back to Mansion House via Victoria Embankment, at Temple Avenue.
Acknowledging Fiona’s position as a leading international energy lawyer, the theme of this year’s procession will be ‘the energy of life’ and as the UK’s biggest green university campus and one of world-leading universities on research into environment and sustainability, the environment will be the key theme for Keele’s float.
Almost 50 staff and students will accompany the float on-route. On board, the Taiko drummers, who regularly perform at Keele and hold workshops in local Staffordshire schools, will be drumming up the atmosphere, while students cycle alongside, representing Keele’s cycle to campus scheme. Meanwhile, several Keele representatives will be waving the crowds on in ‘green-themed’ costumes, including solar panels, wind turbines, recycling logos and energy saving light-bulbs. The costumes will represent various green initiatives and successes at Keele including the prototype McCamley wind turbine, which was installed on campus last year and the fact that the University purchases 100% green electricity from renewable sources and has increased Keele’s recycling rates to 44%. Keele University will also be holding an invitation-only dinner for stakeholders and patrons at Tower Bridge on Thursday 7th November in recognition of Fiona's achievements and to appropriately mark this unique event in the life of one of our distinguished alumni.
Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor at Keele University, comments: “We are delighted to be supporting Fiona Woolf CBE as she becomes Lord Mayor of the City of London. Through the years she has been very supportive of Keele, regularly returning to the University to speak to students and attend events at the School of Law.
“It’s also very apt that this year’s pageant is sustainability themed as it is one of Keele’s aspirations to become a sustainable community. Just last year, we appointed environmentalist Jonathon Porritt as our Chancellor, and sustainability is now embedded as a core theme in the Keele curriculum, with all students encouraged to learn more about the environment. We’re now looking forward to showcasing our sustainability credentials on a global stage this weekend in the procession.”
Fiona Woolf CBE adds: “It is great to see my University playing a role in this year’s procession and supporting my appointment as Lord Mayor. I have gone back to campus on a number of occasions since graduating and it is always a pleasure to speak to the students about their passion and enthusiasm for their future careers. Through the years, I have also seen Keele’s commitment to the sustainability agenda grow and given the theme of the procession, it is very fitting that they are involved.”