Sport and media executive and trailblazer Dawn Airey has been announced as the new Chancellor of Edge Hill University.
She was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the European Diversity Awards for her work to advance women’s football and in recognition of her position at the top of the media industry.
As a strong, hard-working woman with the confidence to challenge inequality and break down gender stereotypes, Dawn embodies the Edge Hill ethos and aims to inspire the next generation of students and graduates.
Dawn said it was a “huge privilege” to become the new figurehead – “but a hands-on one” – of Edge Hill, a university with a history of championing women’s rights since its founding in 1885 as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women.
“I was humbled and intrigued to be offered this opportunity and I’m very excited about what I can contribute,” she said.
“I’m from the North West, I’m a Preston lass, and I profoundly believe in the importance of education.
“Edge Hill is a university whose values, mission and vision I’m absolutely aligned with. How could I say no?”
Dawn, who was born in Lancashire to Liverpudlian parents, is an internationally well-respected executive in the broadcast and media industries; she has been CEO of Channel 4, Channel 5 and Getty Images and worked at the highest levels within ITV, Sky and Yahoo!
She chairs the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and Championship Board, the national Youth Theatre and the educational platform Digital Theatre+, and she is a Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Television Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Edge Hill University awarded Dawn an Honorary Doctorate of Arts in 2018 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the media industry.
Dr John Cater, Vice Chancellor of Edge Hill, described Dawn as “an inspiration” as he welcomed her to the University.
“Dawn embodies the attributes we hope to nurture here at Edge Hill, she proves that determination, hard work and a positive attitude can help you achieve your ambitions in life.
“We are excited to work together to ensure the opportunities we provide are inclusive and have a genuinely transformative effect on the individual and the wider community.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Dawn to our community.”
On a recent visit to the Ormskirk campus, the mum of two highlighted the importance of a University education.
“There’s a big debate going on about the value of the university experience but for me I’m really super clear about that. Edge Hill’s motto, ‘opportunity through knowledge’, and their ambition to inspire minds and change futures says it all – the University is expanding the horizons of thousands of young people year after year and I can’t wait to be part of that.
“This is a period of life when you’re moving from childhood to adulthood, it’s a unique opportunity to study something you’re passionate about with others who share that passion as well as all the other experiences a University education has to offer – that’s building lifelong friendships, exploring your interests on the sports field or in the arts for example.
“Your time at university provides a precious opportunity to decide what you want to do with your life, that’s unique.
“These are foundational, seminal experiences which set you up with the skills to pursue a fulfilling career.”