Meet our new Pro-Chancellors

24 Apr 2024
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The University of Winchester has announced the appointment of three new Pro-Chancellors who bring with them an array of experience and achievements in the fields of commerce, the media, history and the military.

The new Pro-Chancellors are Honorary University Fellow and Winchester property developer Mohamed Bakhaty, soldier and royal commentator Major-General Alastair Bruce, and businesswoman and heritage champion Maggie Carver.


This the first time the University has appointed Pro-Chancellors, an honorary role alongside the Chancellor. They will undertake ceremonial duties and represent the University in ambassadorial roles.

The Pro-Chancellors’ appointment follows the recent news that the University’s new Chancellor was to be TV comedian and actor Hugh Dennis, best-known for Mock the Week and Outnumbered. Hugh succeeds writer and TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh.

All four will be formally installed at a ceremony to be held at the University this Spring.

Their first official duties are likely to be at October’s graduation ceremonies in Winchester Cathedral.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Professor Sarah Greer said: “We are delighted to have such an inspiring and distinguished ‘ceremonial team’ supporting the University.

“Our three Pro-Chancellors are prominent local residents, who bring with them a deep commitment to the success of the city of Winchester and wider region. They also have a wealth of experience across many disciplines which are relevant to our students in their studies and future careers. I am sure their presence will enhance many major events at the University.”

Incoming Pro-Chancellor, Major-General Alastair Bruce, said: “I love this university because of the energy of its students, and also the grounding of its foundation provides something of a unique elision for Winchester. This enhances our community and, after a lifetime of encouraging young soldiers to be their best, this role gives me the privilege of affirming scholars as they encompass their best for a life of challenge and opportunity”.


More about our new Pro-Chancellors:

Woman with dark hair, red jumper and pearlsMaggie Carver CBE DL

Maggie Carver is the chairman and founder of the charity Licoricia of Winchester, which since 2018, has been educating the public about city’s Jewish heritage and promoting religious tolerance and understanding.  In 2022 the then Prince of Wales unveiled a statue of Licoricia, a prominent medieval Jewish mother and businesswoman, in Jewry Street.


After reading Biochemistry at Oxford, Maggie’s early career was in banking and strategy before moving into the media sector.


Maggie has served on the boards of around 20 companies and charities, including The Eden Project. She chaired the boards of international news and media provider ITN and the British Board of Film Classification. She was recently Deputy Chair of Ofcom, having served as Interim Chair from January 2021 to April 2022.


Older Asian man with grey hair and moustache and glasses

Mohamed Bakhaty

Commercial property developer Mohamed is a leading figure in the Winchester business and civic community and is an Honorary Fellow of the University.


He has worked in Winchester for nearly 40 years restoring and improving many prominent buildings. Examples of his projects include 32 and 33 Southgate Street and Barclays Bank in Jewry Street. His redevelopment of a former antiques shop in Jewry Street attracted top chef Raymond Blanc to the city.


In 2008, Mohamed received the Winchester City Council Millennium Egg at the Winchester Business Excellence Awards for his outstanding contribution to the local economy.


 Middle aged man with green jumper looking over ornate banister railMajor-General Alastair Bruce of Crionaich OBE DL VR

Alastair Bruce, born in Winchester in 1960, has combined a successful military career with those of an historian and a media commentator.


A senior Army reservist and Officer of Arms in the Royal Household, he has been Governor of Edinburgh Castle since 2019.


Alastair is also Royal, Religious and National Events Commentator for Sky News and has been involved in the broadcasts of several major state occasions including the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2011, Alistair was appointed Honorary Professor of Media by the University.


An accomplished historian, Alastair has written several books and has worked on a number of documentaries. His subjects include the last Tsars of Russia, the British monarchy and the Vatican.


Alastair has also served as historical adviser on films and TV series, including The King’s Speech, Young Victoria, The Greatest Showman and Downton Abbey.

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