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Admiral the Right Honourable Lord West of Spithead GCB DSC PC has been awarded the honorary degree of Emeritus Chancellor in recognition of his outstanding leadership, service and contributions to the University

12th July 2022

In 2006 Lord West became Chancellor of Solent University, presiding over the University’s formal functions and graduation ceremonies for 12 years.

The Former First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Lord West served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office and has numerous awards including a Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in the Falklands War and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.

Lord West joined the Navy in 1965, spending most of his naval career at sea. In 1980 he took command of the frigate HMS ARDENT taking her south to the Falkland Islands in 1982 where she was sunk during the successful recapture of the islands. He was subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the action and led the Victory Parade through the City of London.

He has held several appointments in the Ministry of Defence in the Plans, Programmes and Policy areas plus three years as Head of Naval Intelligence and three years as Chief of Defence Intelligence covering the Kosovo War.

Promoted to Admiral in November 2000 he became Commander-in-Chief Fleet, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) Commander-in-Chief East Atlantic and NATO Commander Allied Naval Forces North.

In 2006 he advised both Conservatives and Labour on defence and foreign policy and in July 2007, was asked by Gordon Brown to join the Government as one of the GOATs (Government of All The Talents) responsible for national security and counterterrorism as well as cyber and Olympic security.

Lord West was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 2000, Knight Grand Cross in 2004 and a Privy Counsellor in 2010.

Commenting on his award, Lord West says: “I am honoured to receive this award from such an impressive and vibrant university. There is no doubt that the University has been a trail blazer in establishing courses that prepare students for life in the hard competitive world. World renowned as a maritime centre of excellence whether it be preparing young men and women for careers at sea or the superb yacht design course.

“Its focus on media, fashion and beauty highlights, and has drawn on an area of national importance and earning power for our nation. Fine arts, business studies thrive and there has been ground-breaking sports courses and impressive sporting achievements.

“The University is going from strength to strength, and I am delighted to remain involved,” he concludes.