When Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell and former Border Television and ITN presenter Fiona Armstrong (now Lady McGregor) were introduced at the recent Royal Television Awards, North East and Borders, Professor Mennell proposed a visit to the university’s Brampton Road campus.
Fiona, who was there to receive an outstanding achievement award for her work as a broadcaster, admitted it had been many years since she had last visited the campus and immediately accepted the invitation.
A tour of the campus was arranged, to demonstrate the development that has taken place since Fiona’s last visit to the site, when it was the estate of the university’s legacy institution, Cumbria Institute of the Arts. The tour included a visit to the Border TV archives which are managed by the university and housed at the Brampton Road campus.
Introduced to a number of current students on a variety of courses, Fiona discussed with them their programmes and experiences.
The day continued with meetings with Professor Mennell, Director of the Institute of Arts, Roddy Hunter, Principal Lecturer Media Arts, Michael Mitchell, and Development Manager Karen Jones. University of Cumbria Honorary Fellow and former colleague at Border Television, media mogul John Myers, was also involved in the visit.
Discussions covered current and future plans and activities for the campus and the university, updating Fiona on the investment in state-of the-art facilities, first class teaching and consequent student successes and supporting awareness raising and re-engagement.
Fiona is an expert on Scottish clan history, writing and filming on the topic, and chairs the Clan Armstrong Trust. She is also a columnist for a number of magazines and newspapers. She is currently Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries.