Hartpury University and Hartpury College have announced the appointment of British actor and presenter, Martin Clunes, as their inaugural Chancellor. Martin will serve as the honorary head of both specialist educational institutions, representing Hartpury in a ceremonial and ambassadorial capacity.

The Gloucestershire university and college offers specialist undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and diplomas in agriculture, animal, business, equine, sport and veterinary nursing, as well as A-levels and T Levels.

Horse lover Martin is one of Britain’s best-loved actors, with a career spanning decades. He has starred in series and films including Doc Martin, Shakespeare in Love, and Men Behaving Badly, for which he won a Bafta. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List and appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant (DL) of the County of Dorset in 2019.

Martin and his family run a 130-acre farm which is home to horses, cows, sheep, chickens, dogs and cats. He is an advocate for animal welfare and he shares Hartpury’s focus on driving positive change in animal and equine wellbeing through its research and University and College academic programmes.

Martin is also a president of the British Horse Society, a patron of the Wormwood Scrubs Pony Centre, the Horse Course, Julia’s House Children’s Hospice and the Fortune Centre.

“I’m deeply honoured to be appointed as the inaugural Chancellor of Hartpury University and Hartpury College,” he said. “I look forward to sharing many of my passions and interests with like-minded students, staff, governors and alumni and am excited to share in their numerous success stories.

“I also look forward to advocating for the University and College’s many impressive achievements, helping to champion and support Hartpury at an exciting time in its 75-year history.”

Professor Andy Collop, Vice-Chancellor, Principal and CEO of Hartpury University and Hartpury College, said the team was delighted that Martin has been appointed.

“We look forward to him playing a pivotal supporting role in the growth and evolution of Hartpury University and Hartpury College,” he said. “Martin’s commitment and experience in the equestrian, agricultural, animal and countryside realms align particularly well to Hartpury’s own values and specialisms. I have no doubt that he’ll contribute to Hartpury’s rich heritage and help to inspire staff and students alike”.

Martin will be officially installed as Chancellor this summer.

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