Lancaster University

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Chancellor Opens The Bonington Step

04/18/2008 16:02:14

The Chancellor at the Bonington Step
The Chancellor at the Bonington Step

Lancaster University’s Chancellor Sir Christian Bonington CBE has officially opened The Bonington Step -the first part of the University’s estate to be named after Lancaster’s second Chancellor since he came to office in 2005.

The newly landscaped area in front of the Fylde and Furness residences and near to the new Postgraduate Statistics Centre has been designed for students to enjoy. The naming honours the Chancellor’s contribution to the University and follows the precedent already set in the naming of Alexandra Square - after Lancaster’s first Chancellor HRH Princess Alexandra - to honour a Chancellor during their time in office.

Sir Christian said: “It’s a real privilege to think my name will be here at the University forever more. I’m delighted to be associated with Lancaster because this is a terrific University, good academically and with a lovely atmosphere.”

The name The Bonington Step was chosen as a light-hearted play on words after The Hillary Step, a significant milestone on the Everest ascent which is named after Sir Edmund Hillary who made the first successful ascent in 1953. Sir Christian led another successful expedition to the summit of Everest in 1975.

Sir Christian, who still climbs regularly as far afield as Nepal and Australia, said: “The Hillary Step is 40 foot high just below the summit of Everest and it’s the hardest part of the climb. The Bonington Step is a metre high so it’s a nice fun association.”

The Vice-Chancellor Prof Paul Wellings said the Step provided green space for students.

“We’ve done a lot of new build but now we’re focussing on the public realm with open space between Fylde and Furness and I’m sure it will be well used by students.”

LUSU President Tim Roca said: “It’s going to be wonderful for JCR events for both colleges and it’s great to have an open space right in the middle of campus.”

The Chancellor was later interviewed at the student-run Radio Bailrigg about the role of Chancellor and his experiences as a world-class mountaineer.

The Chancellor is interviewed by Kenny Donohue of Bailrigg FM:photo courtesy of Sara Bury
The Chancellor is interviewed by Kenny Donohue of Bailrigg FM:courtesy of Sara Bury