Despite having never attended university, Winston Churchill in 1929 became the Rector of Edinburgh University and was installed as the Chancellor of Bristol University. In the article “Bristol’s Churchill” in a recent issue of the Nonesuch, the magazine of Bristol University, the story of Churchill’s tenure as Chancellor from 1929 to 1965 is recounted. From the start Churchill was popular with the students and brought a great deal of prestige to the university. Dr. Sophie Hatchwell of the university’s Department of History of Art has researched the relationship of Churchill and Bristol University and observed in the article that, “From 1945 onwards, degree ceremonies over which he presided were always oversubscribed, and he received so many individual representations that the University eventually had to put measures in place to prevent students from contacting him directly.” Hatchwell also added, “It’s extraordinary to uncover new information about such an important figure as Churchill, especially because of what it tells us about his local connections to the University and the city.” The article is available here. A more detailed study of the subject is Heroic Chancellor: Winston Churchill and the University of Bristol 1929-65 by Sir David Cannadine.

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