YolanDa Brown OBE DL, the celebrated musician and broadcaster, has been appointed as the University of Kent’s seventh Chancellor stepping into the prestigious role and succeeding Gavin Esler, who served for nearly a decade.

YolanDa’s impressive journey includes a first-class undergraduate masters degree in European Management Science with Spanish from Kent Business School, followed by a second masters degree and a PhD. Her official installation as Chancellor will take place during one of the University’s graduation ceremonies in July.

Throughout her illustrious career, YolanDa has harmonized her love for music and education. Not only has she released critically acclaimed albums and shared stages with legends like The Temptations, Jools Holland, Billy Ocean, and Dave Stewart, but she has also chaired Youth Music for six years.

Currently, she holds key positions, including being a member of the Arts Council, Chair of the BPI (the voice of UK record labels), and an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. Recently, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appointed her to the Arts and Media Honours Committee.

As Chancellor, YolanDa will preside over degree conferrals, lead the University’s Court, and represent the institution on special occasions. Her tenure coincides with the University’s 60th Anniversary, marking a momentous milestone. Professor Karen Cox, the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President, expressed her delight, emphasising YolanDa’s unwavering commitment to education and her inspirational impact on young people. 

By Ed

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