Oct 24 2017
Last Wednesday we welcomed HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University of London, to Royal Holloway for the official opening of our Emily Wilding Davison Building. Although the building has been open for use since the start of term, its official opening establishes an important milestone in our history and has given opportunities to promote ourselves to a wider audience.

Organising, managing and participating in events like these takes a huge amount of effort and teamwork. Colleagues across College were involved, and I’d like to take this opportunity say thank you to you all.  

The day was a great success with The Chancellor commenting "I was reminded that it was a long time ago that I came to open the Bedford Library. It was thought, by some, at the time that libraries were going out of fashion and that they would not be needed. But, because of the constant growth in knowledge and the way that people like to learn, it is still very much an important part of the learning process to have a library. It is a pleasure to see these sites being redeveloped and done so imaginatively and successfully. I hope all of you, who have been involved, feel that is exactly what it is; a success."

The Emily Wilding Davison Building is a re-statement of our ambition for our students’ success and for academic excellence. It provides our entire community with state of the art learning facilities and, for our students, many of the resources and support services they need in one, central location. Already we are seeing the positive impact of the building, for example, our Careers and Employability Team have welcomed 569 students to careers coaching appointments since the start of term, which is a 123 per cent increase on the equivalent period last year.

As well as meeting today’s needs through this new building, we must also recognise that we are custodians of our campus for future generations and act responsibly for its development in a sustainable manner. The Davison Building, along with the George Eliot Hall and the new science building, are all the proud recipients of a BREEAM environmental rating of ‘Excellent’. In the Davison Building, in particular, this has been achieved through the use of photovoltaic solar panels and a biodiverse brown roof.

During the opening ceremony, the Community Action Team received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service from The Chancellor. This Award is the highest level of recognition given to local volunteer groups across the UK. It recognises Community Action’s work in helping build strong communities by inspiring students to volunteer and lead projects to support local organisations. 

The day provides an opportunity for us all to be proud of our campus and its new building, as well as the positive impact our students have in the local community.

Professor Paul Layzell