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“It’s been a real privilege” - University stalwart says goodbye after 10 years

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Published on 29 July 2022

John Mowbray and wife Lynn
John Mowbray and wife Lynn

After 10 years of tireless service to the University of Sunderland, Chair of the Board of Governors John Mowbray has said a final farewell. 

John has served on the Board of Governors since 2012 and been Chair since 2017.   

Under his leadership, John has overseen the development of the School of Medicine and the University’s wider health provision, encouraged the expansion of the University of Sunderland in London, and promoted the expansion of the University’s worldwide ‘footprint’.  

Not only that, John has also been central to the University’s crucial role in the culture-led regeneration of Sunderland as a city.  

Today marks his official final day with the University. 

John said: “It’s been a real privilege. 

“There has been so much change for good over my time on the Board and of course, some challenging times like the pandemic.  

“People make any organisation and this university is blessed with amazing staff who day after day work tirelessly to help change people's lives.  

“Their agility in dealing with challenge and change is remarkable. There are many highlights in my time from the growth of the health programme, including the Medical School, to the real development of the London campus and the support of cultural regeneration in Sunderland itself.  

“I’m very proud of everything that has been achieved by staff and of course, students. I’ll keep watching the progress of the University and the people who walk through its doors.” 

John is also a Trustee of Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust and a board member of Sunderland Business Ltd, Sunderland Culture Limited, as well as co-chair of the Empire Theatre Trust.  

He was President of the North East Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the North East Cultural Partnership, Chair of Durham City Vision, Vice-Chair of NewcastleGateshead Initiative and a Director of Live Theatre and the Community Foundation for Tyne and Wear and Northumberland  

Sir David Bell, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive today thanked John for his “outstanding contribution to the University”.  

He added: “John has served 10 years as a governor and during all that time he has been a passionate and committed advocate of our work. 

“At a personal level, I could not have asked for a better Chair as John always offered the right combination of challenge and support. He was always accessible and available, not least during the pandemic when his wise counsel and excellent advice were invaluable.  

“As an institution, we will be eternally grateful for John’s service during a pivotal decade in our history.”