September 20, 2017, by Liz Cass

Farewell Professor Sir David

A series of events and special celebrations are taking place to mark the retirement of Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham.

Sir David’s tenure as Vice-Chancellor is the culmination of a thirty-year commitment to the University of Nottingham and he has led the institution with great distinction at a time of profound change in UK and international higher education.

Freeman of the City

As a mark of the contribution he has made, not just to our university, but to Nottingham, the City Council is proposing to install Sir David as an Honorary Freeman of the City.

The decision will be formally taken at a special meeting of the Council in November, and will see Sir David become the 39th Honorary Freeman of the City, joining Rev William Booth, Brian Clough and Sir Paul Smith for the special title bestowed on those who have given ‘eminent service’ to Nottingham.

Sir David said: “This is a deeply meaningful honour, and I am both thrilled and humbled to be recognised in this way. The vitality of our City and its future development is very close to my heart and I will continue to support the many initiatives in place to help make it an ever more supportive and attractive place to be, and to ensure the world knows what a great City we have, and what great people we have.” 

A career in pictures

A picture gallery has been created showcasing Sir David through his career with highlights including graduation ceremonies, fundraising bike rides and receiving his knighthood in 2014.

Public Policy

Meanwhile Sir Vince Cable, Sir John Savill, Martin Wolf and Sir Andrew Witty will be among invited guests speaking at A Public Policy conference arranged at the University in honour of Sir David’s contribution to economics.

The conference, which takes place on Wednesday 27 September, will include discussion on topics such as the Economics of Brexit and the Future of Public Research Funding in the UK.

Share your memories

Staff and students have been asked to share memories of working or studying with Sir David at the University of Nottingham in an online memory book or via hard copy books located around the university.

One comment read: “I have enjoyed listening to the many addresses given by David at the Graduation ceremonies, and also the advice he has given to our graduands: ‘Always give more than you take, that way you will always be adding value’. The sincerity in the delivery of this statement was always so powerful, it will be my lasting memory of David. What great life advice, and what a great legacy David has himself added here at Nottingham.”


The University’s gift in recognition of Sir David’s service will be in the form of two scholarships which Sir David has identified as resonating with him personally. The Greenaway Scholarships will aim to remove financial barriers for ambitious students from low-income families who reside in Nottingham and the East Midlands while the The Sir David Greenaway Sports Scholarships will open the door for athletes to compete in the world’s most prestigious competitions, while continuing to achieve their full academic potential.

Countless achievements

Sir David has led the University as Vice-Chancellor since 2008, is a renowned economist, researcher, teacher and academic leader with an international reputation.

He was appointed to the University as a Professor of Economics in 1987 and was subsequently a Dean, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, and founding Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy. He was a Member of the Government’s Asia Task Force and Higher Education Task Force and is Chair of the CASE Europe Board of Trustees, Chair of the Russell Group of Universities, and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire.

His academic and professional achievements both in the Uk and internationally, are countless and he has also placed significant importance on fundraising at the University. Over the last seven years he has cycled almost 7,000 miles to help raise more than £2.8 million.

The last word

He has recently written what will be one of his last blogs as Vice-Chancellor, reflecting on Nottingham Life Cycle and the dedication of all of its volunteers. He said: “You have helped change the lives of many people for the better, in the process you have enriched our University, and you have changed my life.”

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