The appointment comes as the leading Catholic University prepares to celebrate its 165th anniversary.
Blair will take up her post at St Mary’s Centre for Law and Culture from January 2015. She will deliver lectures drawing on her vast experience of human rights law as part of the Centre’s public lecture series next year.
St Mary’s is the largest Catholic university in the UK. In 2015 it will celebrate 165 years since its foundation in 1850. The University recently appointed Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, as its Chancellor.
The 165th anniversary of St Mary’s will be marked by a number of high-profile events, including the co-sponsorship of a series of public lectures on the theme of ‘Ethics in Public Life’ with the Von Hügel Institute (VHI), St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, and Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars, Oxford University.
Cherie Blair CBE QC said:“I am honoured to accept the role of Visiting Professor at St Mary’s. I know the University attracts ambitious young people and I look forward to getting to know them during my visits and passing on the benefit of my knowledge and experience. This is a great opportunity for me to help encourage the next generation before they embark on their careers and become successful members of society.”
A practising barrister since 1976, Cherie Blair has considerable experience in the higher education sector. She is Emeritus Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University after serving as its Chancellor from 1999 to 2006. She is also Governor Emeritus of the London School of Economics, Governor of the Open University and in 2011 was appointed Chancellor of the Asian University for Women, the first female liberal arts university in South Asia.
“We welcome Cherie into the St Mary’s family with open arms,” said Francis Campbell, Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University.
“Cherie very much shares the values we hold at St Mary’s – a commitment to high standards and a dedication to helping others. We greatly look forward to her lectures and presence around the campus which the staff and students will no doubt benefit from immensely.”