Attenboroughs pledge support for Leicesters centenary celebration

Sir David Attenborough OM and his nephew, Michael Attenborough CBE, were the guests of honour at the University's Alumni Association’s Black Tie Dinner event in London last night, where they were announced as the patrons of our upcoming centenary celebrations.

The University will commemorate its centenary from 2018 to 2021, celebrating a landmark 100 years in which it has made world-changing discoveries, including the invention of DNA fingerprinting and the discovery of King Richard III.

Sir David Attenborough said: “It is wonderful to see how the University College of my father’s time has grown into one of the most distinguished of the UK’s universities. I am proud to be a patron of this new step in its development.”

Following the announcement of Sir David and Michael as patrons of the centenary, Sir David, who was also the guest speaker at the event, gave an address to the room about his memories of the University’s early history. Nearly 500 alumni and guests attended the dinner, which was held in the Grand Connaught Rooms in London’s Covent Garden.

Envisaged as a living memorial to the local people who made sacrifices in the First World War, the University College for Leicestershire and Rutland – later to become the University of Leicester – traces its beginnings to Armistice Day, 11 November, 1918. On that day the University’s founders opened an endowment fund, thanks to gifts from the people of Leicestershire and Rutland made in honour of loved ones who died in the war. Students were first admitted to the University College in 1921.

Watch Sir David Attenborough's speech:

Watch Michael Attenborough's speech: