Oxford Chancellor Christopher Patten to give 2015 commencement speech
Observer Staff Report | Friday, February 27, 2015
Oxford Chancellor Christopher Patten, Lord Patten of Barnes, has been named Notre Dame’s 2015 Commencement speaker, according to a University press release.
Patten was slated to deliver the Commencement address last year, but health concerns led to a change of speaker.
“We were very disappointed that Lord Patten was unable to attend last year, and we are equally delighted that he will join us this year,” University President Fr. John Jenkins said in a press release. “He is a highly respected statesman in Great Britain and around the world who has taken on and helped resolve complex international issues, including the transfer of governance in Hong Kong and policing reforms in Northern Ireland, and he is a leading Catholic who led the planning for Pope Benedict’s very successful visit to Great Britain. His experience and expertise are certain to resonate with our Class of 2015.”
Patton, who has been chancellor of Oxford since 2003, has also served as chair of the BBC Trust, the governing body of the British Broadcasting Corporation, and chancellor of Newcastle University. In 2005, he was bestowed the title of baron.
Patton began his career as a desk officer, and later a director, in the research department of the Conservative Party after his graduation from Balliol College, Oxford. In 1979, he was elected as a member of Parliament for Bath. He served in the position until 1992, when he was named governor of Hong Kong. He served as governor until the territory was handed over to the People’s Republic of China in 1997.
Recognized as one of the most influential Catholics in Britain, Patten has worked with Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.
Notre Dame’s 170th Commencement ceremony will be held Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in Notre Dame Stadium.