THE CHANCELLOR spoke of her pride at the university’s commitment to widening participation when visiting MMU last week.
Dianne Thompson CBE highlighted the fact that nearly 50% of MMU’s students come from low income backgrounds and said that without the university she would never have had such a successful career.
“I see myself in those students” said the Manchester-born butcher’s daughter who went on to be Chief Executive of Camelot, the group behind the National Lottery.
“People like me didn’t go to college and go on to lead multi-billion pound turnover companies - but thanks to the this university, I did.”
Speaking at an alumni event last week (June 14) Dianne talked of how the university opened many doors for her, and made her see what was possible.
“And that’s what I want for every student here,” she added, “whatever their background.”
Former Business School students and staff were invited to the event which was held to celebrate a new era in the new £75m building, which Dianne said ‘embodied the aspirations of one of the top centres for business learning and research in the UK’.
Dianne, who studied English and French at Manchester Polytechnic and taught marketing in the business school for seven years in the 1980’s, went on to share some of her ‘business tips for life’.
Integrity pays dividends
“Integrity pays dividends,” she said and praised the school for its commitment to producing students who are committed to high standards of integrity and social responsibility.
“And businesses must innovate or die,” she added. Something she said was especially important given the current economic climate.
Other tips included ‘aiming high’, ‘hiring people who are better than you are,’ ‘learning from mistakes’ and ‘knowing who your competitors are’.
“Do the right thing for your customers, do the right thing for the community at large and you’ll do the right thing for your business ” she added.
Dean of the Business School Professor Ruth Ashford was delighted to welcome Dianne who she called an ‘inspirational role model for staff, students and alumni’.
“We were absolutely thrilled that our Chancellor, Dianne Thompson,CBE, was able to share our Alumni Celebration experience with us.
“It was wonderful to be able to welcome Dianne to the new Business School, as it has changed a lot from the place where she taught in the 1980s.
“Her speech was so uplifting and memorable and we are privileged to have such a wonderful and supportive Chancellor.”