POMP and splendour was in abundance to welcome the second chancellor of the University of Bolton.
A colourful procession, made up of guests, academics and students as well as representatives from the community, wound its way through the town centre, and up the Town Hall steps to the Albert Halls for the ceremony to formally install Sir Ernest Ryder as chancellor.
The ceremony took on extra significance as it marked the start of a special celebratory year as the University of Bolton commemorates 190 years since its origins as Bolton Mechanics Institute.
Sir Ernest said: “I am feeling elated. It is a very happy day, particularly for the university. It is probably one of the most colourful days Bolton has had in a long time.
“There are representatives from every community here, every academic disciplines and our honorary doctorates represents the science the arts and everything.”
Sir Ernest said he would help drive the university’s “global reach ambitions” further, working with partners and universities across the world.
Sir Ernest was born in Bolton and educated at Bolton School.
He graduated from the University of Cambridge after studying politics, economics and law.
After a legal career as a barrister and queen’s counsel specialising in family and administrative law, Sir Ernest was appointed a justice of the High Court and knighted in 2004.
He was elevated to the Court of Appeal and sworn as a member of Her Majesty’s Privy Council in 2013.
His other judicial roles have included appointments as the presiding judge of the northern circuit and the judge in charge of the modernisation of family justice which led to the creation of the family court.
He is presently lead judge for the strategic development of the judiciary. In 2013, he was awarded a Doctorate of Laws by the university for his contribution to the legal profession.
As chancellor, Sir Ernest is the principal figurehead of the University of Bolton. His tenure will run for three years.
In his speech he paid tribute to the first chancellor Baroness Trish Morris, saying she had set the bar “very high”.
He said: “During my appointment as Chan-cellor I will do my utmost to achieve excellence and encourage partnership and opportunity in our teaching.”
Deputy vice-chancellor Professor Rob Campbell said: “It is a really significant time. We are celebrating the beginning of 190th year and it is significant we are marking this in the centre of Bolton.
“I have been with the university for over 30 years and I am very pleased to see where it has come to and where it can potentially go.”