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The University of Westminster unveils new portrait of Chancellor, Lady Sorrell OBE

28 March 2017

Lady Sorrell, John Swannell and Professor Geoffrey Petts at the unveiling of a new portrait

A new portrait of Lady Sorrell was taken by John Swannell at a portrait session attended by photography and photojournalism students.

Last week a new portrait of Lady Sorrell, Chancellor of the University of Westminster, was unveiled at a celebratory ceremony attended by Lady Sorrell with her husband Sir John Sorrell, Peter Kyle OBE, Chair of the Court of Governors and Pro-Chancellor, Professor Geoffrey Petts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University and photographer John Swannell as well as Governors of the University.

The official portrait was taken last summer by the renowned photographer John Swannell during a session at the Harrow based Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. The photoshoot doubled as a master class as then current MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism students Sona Gevorgyan, Blanilka Sadilkova, Jana Rajcova and Aya Watanabe attended the portrait session, together with Ben Edwards, Senior Lecturer, MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.

Lady Sorrell was appointed as the the University of Westminster’s new Chancellor in 2015. She is an inspirational education campaigner and businesswoman, and is co-founder and co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1999 to foster confidence and creativity in young people.

John Swannell is one of the biggest names in British photography, celebrated for his consistently inventive work spanning nearly 40 years. He first worked as an assistant at Vogue Studios and to David Bailey before setting up his own studio, developing his distinctive style working for magazines such as Vogue, Harpers & Queen and Tatler. John was asked to photograph HM The Queen to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, and has officially photographed several other members of the British Royal Family. His work features in many permanent collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, V&A, MoMA, and the Royal Photographic Society.

Speaking about her appointment as Chancellor, Frances Sorrell said: “I’m honoured to have been appointed as Chancellor and delighted to join a University with a deeply held ethos around diversity and equality of opportunity. I am looking forward to supporting its work on student mobility and global employer engagement. I’m very excited about helping Westminster provide a springboard to future career and life success."


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.