Letter: Lady Boothroyd as OU chancellor

Gina Bridgeland writes: Betty Boothroyd brought humour and natural authority to bear as chancellor of the Open University

As well as speaker of the Commons, Betty Boothroyd served as chancellor of the Open University. I saw her preside over a degree ceremony in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, that was packed.

When a severely disabled graduand arrived on stage in a wheelchair, it seemed that the cheering would never stop – until Lady Boothroyd, resplendent in her blue and gold official robes, stepped forward, raised her hand, and cried: “Order! Order!” Needless to say, she brought the house down.

I shall never forget that moment – it was the combined essence of Lady Boothroyd’s personality and of the ethos of the university in which I am proud to have worked.

Gina Bridgeland

The GuardianTramp

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