The first Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has died aged 89.
Sir Francis Kennedy’s first involvement with the University was in 1989 when he joined the Board of Governors. During that time he played a crucial role in the institution’s transition from Preston Polytechnic to the University.
In 1995 he became the first Chancellor of UCLan. He held this position until 2001 and a year later he was recognised for his service with an Honorary Doctorate.
"Sir Francis Kennedy was an exceptional first Chancellor of the University and we were very fortunate to have such a caring gentleman in this iconic position."
His long and distinguished career included roles with the Royal Navy, HM Colonial Service and HM Diplomatic Service. He was HM Ambassador to Angola in the early 1980s and he was Consul-General New York and British Director General of Trade and Investment in the United States. Following his retirement he served on the Boards of a wide range of companies including British Airways, Smith and Nephew and Global Analysis Systems. He was Chairman of British Airways Regional from 1994 to 2000.
Professor Mike Thomas, UCLan Vice-Chancellor, said: “Sir Francis Kennedy was an exceptional first Chancellor of the University and we were very fortunate to have such a caring gentleman in this iconic position."
"We would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time."
Professor Thomas continued: “He made an outstanding contribution to the University and he was such a keen supporter of the work we do. His dedication was immense, he was a great people person and he was a fantastic ambassador for UCLan. His interest in the University was heartfelt and this was witnessed on a regular basis when he attended a wide range of corporate events.
“We would like to offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this very sad time.”