An evening of fearlessness and resilience at the 2018 Chancellor's Dinner
With big shoes to fill as new University Chancellor, Karen Blackett OBE was a huge hit as she hosted the 2018 Chancellor’s Dinner on Friday 9 February at Portsmouth Guildhall. Over 200 alumni, University staff and students attended the event, now in its 5th year, along with Karen’s special guests Olympians James Cracknell OBE and Donna Fraser.
Guests arrived on the red carpet and were welcomed with a drinks and canapé reception. Before taking their seats in the main hall for dinner, guests enjoyed the open photo booth with friends.
After the main course, Karen took to the stage to present the Chancellor’s Cup; an award instigated in 2016 by former Chancellor Sandi Toksvig OBE as a way to reward student groups.
The Netball Club scooped the award for their hard work and dedication to sport, and took to the stage to collect the Cup and say thank you to Karen.
Then it was time for the moment everyone had been waiting for. Karen welcomed former rowing World Champion and double Olympic Gold Medallist James Cracknell OBE, and four time Olympian and Vice-President of UK Athletics Donna Fraser.
With the evening themed around fearlessness and resilience, Karen explored the guests’ professional and personal journeys and delved into what they both had to overcome including James’ near-fatal accident in 2010 when he was struck from behind by a truck while cycling through Arizona. Donna has had her own fights along the way including her battle against breast cancer in 2009 and retiring from her career.
The evening concluded with dessert, coffee, and guests having photographs taken with James and Donna.