Leading UK drama school Rose Bruford College has announced that Professor Bernardine Evaristo OBE will take up the role of president from January 2021.
The famous writer, critic and academic was a joint winner of the 2019 Booker Prize for her eighth novel ‘Girl, Woman, Other’ – becoming the first Black woman and the first Black British person to win the award. She is also a professor of creative writing at Brunel University London, a lifetime honorary fellow of St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, lifetime vice president of the Royal Society of Literature and a longstanding advocate for the inclusion of writers and artists of colour.
She will hold the ceremonial role at the South London drama school, which provides degree programmes in acting, actor musicianship, theatre arts and various disciplines of stagecraft, for five years. The position was previously held by theatre director position previously held by Sir Richard Eyre.
As president, Bernardine Evaristo’s involvement with Rose Bruford College will include officiating at graduation ceremonies, advocating on the college’s behalf regarding issues that affect the institution and its community, and carrying out visits, talks and events with current students and alumni.
Bernardine Evaristo is herself an alumna of Rose Bruford College, where she studied on the community theatre arts course. She became a fellow of the college in 2018.
“It is quite surreal that nearly forty years after I graduated from Rose Bruford College, I am returning as President,” said Bernardine Evaristo. I loved studying at the College and credit it with laying the foundations for my lifelong career as a creative practitioner and activist who believes in social change and the power of the arts to transform our society. The College has always blazed a trail and its change-maker ethos is impressively in keeping with the spirit of our times. I look forward to the next five years ahead.”
“We are delighted that Bernardine has accepted our invitation to become President of Rose Bruford College,” said college principal Clarie Middleton.
“We knew that we needed to look to someone of high profile in the creative arts; someone who has a connection with the College, is an activist in their own right, and who will be an influential ambassador for our vision and values including our commitment to equality and inclusion. Bernardine is a creative artist of considerable integrity who has been a Change-Maker all of her professional life, and she will be an enormous inspiration to us, as we continue to deliver the highest standards of learning and teaching and strive to make our own change in the field of creative arts higher education and to motivate our students to become the Change-Makers of the future.”
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