Singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé returns to Sunderland University to open School of Medicine
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The singer, who was born in Sunderland after her parents met at the then Polytechnic, spent the day at the University where she officially opened the School of Medicine as well as meeting and talking with the next generation of young doctors.
The School of Medicine, which accepted its first 51 students last September, provides opportunities to study medicine to students with talent and ability. The School will address the region’s chronic shortage of doctors.
Emeli herself attended the University of Glasgow, from where she graduated with a degree in neuroscience.
Professor Scott Wilkes, Head of the School of Medicine, said: “'Emeli is the perfect person to open our new medical school and understands exactly what it takes and what we are aiming to achieve at Sunderland.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a role model and figurehead at our University.”
Officially opening the School, Emeli said: “I have a deeply personal connection to medicine. I began a medical degree myself but something else intruded – music.
“To the medical students here today, I would like to say that you have all worked incredibly hard to achieve your place.
“We are all so grateful that you chose to study here and begin the exciting journey towards becoming a doctor. I honour and applaud you, as well as thanking you for dedicating yourself to the health, wellbeing and service of others.
“The University has a life-changing ethos and everything I have seen here today suggests that students, from all backgrounds, are getting the opportunity, it’s inspiring to be a part of it.”
In the afternoon, Emeli visited the University-owned National Glass Centre, where she got the chance to see a glass blowing demonstration and meet students from the Glass and Ceramics programmes.
Professor Kevin Petrie, Head of the School of Art and Design at the University, met Emeli during her tour of the venue.
He said: “It was great meet our new Chancellor. Dr Cate Watkinson who leads our MA Glass and Ceramics programme took her behind the scenes to see our facilities and chat to some of our students who were very pleased to meet her.”
John Mowbray, Chairman of Board of Governors at the University, said: “It was wonderful to have Emeli with us today. She has a busy schedule but was very keen to spend some time here at the University. We’ve made sure that she met as many people as possible as well as opening the School of Medicine.”
Emeli was installed as Chancellor of the University in a ceremony on in July last year, during the University’s summer Academic Awards.
Emeli’s parents, Diane and Joel, studied together at Sunderland in the 1980s and Emeli was born in the city in 1987.
The Chancellor’s music videos have had over 340 million video views, she’s sold 19 million singles, with three hitting Number 1 in the UK. Emeli was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for her services to music.