Alumna YolanDa Brown appointed as new Chancellor

We are delighted to announce that double-MOBO winning musician, broadcaster, and Kent alumna YolanDa Brown OBE DL has been appointed to the role of Chancellor, succeeding Gavin Esler who has retired from the position after almost 10 years.

Having graduated with a first-class undergraduate masters degree in European Management Science with Spanish from Kent Business School, before going on to achieve her second masters degree and undertake a PhD, YolanDa will be installed as Chancellor during one of the University’s graduation ceremonies in July.  

YolanDa’s commitment to music and education has been synonymous throughout her career. As well as releasing critically acclaimed albums and touring with the likes of The Temptations, Jools Holland, Billy Ocean, Dave Stewart and more, YolanDa was Chair of Youth Music for six years and is currently a sitting member of the Arts Council, Chair of the BPI - the representative voice for record labels in the UK – and an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, among other positions. She was also recently appointed a member of the Arts and Media Honours committee by Prime Minster Rishi Sunak.  

In her role as Chancellor, YolanDa’s duties will include conferring degrees, chairing the University’s Court and representing the University on special occasions. She takes up the role at a time when the University is preparing to celebrate its 60th Anniversary.

Speaking about her new role, YolanDa Brown said: ‘My time at the University was character building, life affirming, and a bucket full of emotions. Every single time I am on campus a new memory returns, so you can imagine my joy accepting this role as Chancellor. The University has always been at the forefront of fostering a diverse, inclusive, and vibrant community. Its dedication to providing outstanding education, promoting research that makes a real-world difference, and its unwavering support for students from all walks of life resonate deeply with my own values.

‘I am excited to work alongside the talented staff and students to build on this foundation as the University strives towards new heights of achievement.’

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