Lancaster University

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Lady Joan Smith donates ½ million to Lancaster University

11/08/2005 09:51:45

Professor Mike Pidd, LUMS, Pro Vice Chancellor for external
relations Professor Cary Cooper, Lady Joan Smith and
Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings.

The widow of the late Professor Sir Roland Smith, Lady Joan Smith, has given Lancaster University a £500,000 donation.

Lady Smith presented the cheque to Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, Professor Cary Cooper, Pro Vice Chancellor for External Relations at The Professor Sir Roland Smith Chief Executive Lecture held on 7th November.

Professor Sir Roland Smith, who died in 2003, was one of the UK's top business academics and a leading businessman, but his most famous post was Chairman of Manchester United plc. Sir Roland spent ten years at the helm of Manchester United plc, from the time the club was floated in 1991. At his retirement, in October 2001, the club celebrated pre-tax profits of £21.8M, a record turnover of £129.6M and a new package of club-branded financial services.

Sir Roland once held directorships in more listed companies than anyone else in Britain, including Hepworth plc and the Bank of England. Sir Roland was also Chairman of the House of Fraser, Templebar Investment Trust, Readicut International and P&P plc.

Professor Sir Roland Smith was the first Marketing professor in the UK and ultimately became the Chancellor of UMIST.

Professor Cary Cooper an ex-colleague and friend of Sir Roland said: "Professor Sir Roland Smith was a Lancashire man and Mancunian , he was very proud of the region and he always invested in quality. He would have been pleased at the international standing of Lancaster University Management School."

The Professor Sir Roland Smith Chief Executive Lecture series commemorates Sir Roland's significant contribution to the UK's academic and business communities by inviting a chief executive of a well-known company to speak at LUMS each year - this year Christopher Rodrigues President and Chief Executive Officer of Visa International gave the lecture entitled Leadership and Change Management in Tomorrow's World.

The money is for a chair in strategic management within Lancaster University's six-star (6*) rated Management School. LUMS is one of only two business schools ( the other being LBS ) to be judged by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to be a centre of world class research in business and management.