Roger Lewis, Group Chief Executive of the Welsh Rugby Union explains how the award of an Honorary Fellowship from the University has given him exciting new opportunities.
To my great surprise and delight I was also given an Honorary Fellowship by Cardiff University in 2007 for the career I embarked on primarily in music and media. My career highs have included being Head of Music at BBC Radio 1, a Managing Director at EMI Records, World Wide President of Decca and Managing Director of Classic FM, but the Honorary Fellowship was a great honour and I felt hugely humbled.
Education has always been very close to my heart. Iím a huge supporter of teachers and academia. I still remain the chairman of the Youth Music Trust in England and my work with the Welsh Rugby Union is focused upon how we identify, develop and nurture young talent. It is very important to me.
Cardiff University is unique because of its city centre location. It is bang in the heart of the city and it occupies a very distinctive and impressive site. For potential students, itís a superb location, and the Universityís facilities are so impressive. Itís also a safe environment - it has a very warm and homely atmosphere.
Part of the cultural regeneration of Cardiff is its development as a centre of educational excellence. The University is without doubt a key driving force in making Cardiff a great city. I always got a sense of the wonderful relationship between the University and the town. It was a very positive experience. Scholars like Nobel Prize Winner Sir Martin Evans are able to help position the University as a world player, and the University can draw strength from its history, heritage and alumni.
The Universityís Business School is a hugely impressive organisation which really does punch well above its weight in terms of its ranking. Likewise, the School of Medicine, Cardiff Law School and the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies are all leaders in their field. When I was managing director at ITV, we took a number of graduate trainees from the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies - it is one of the finest schools of journalism in the UK. The School of Music also has a very impressive reputation and some very distinguished people have passed through its doors.
Recently Iíve been asked to chair an international advisory board for the Business School which Iím hugely energised and excited about. The School has assembled a very impressive board of people to give it advice from time to time on certain issues and topics.
All of a sudden after 30 odd years of living in England, Iím reconnecting with Cardiff and the University and more so, understanding its importance and significance as a seat of learning. It certainly is a jewel in the Welsh educational crown.
Celebrate the past. Celebrate 125 years. But more importantly, shape the future.