Sudden death of UEA chancellor Sir Brandon Gough

The University of East Anglia last night said it was 'profoundly shocked and saddened' following the sudden death of its chancellor Sir Brandon Gough.

Born on Merseyside in 1937, the father and grandfather, who passed late on Wednesday, was installed as chancellor at the UEA in October 2003.

He played an active role in university life despite his ceremonial role.

It is not known how the former Cambridge scholar died but the news was described as 'sudden and unexpected'.

Last night Edward Acton, the UEA's pro-vice chancellor, said: 'I am shocked and deeply saddened by this devastating news. Our thoughts are with Sir Brandon's wife Sarah, his children and grandchildren at this most difficult of times.

'Sir Brandon was our chancellor for the last nine years, an era of profound change for higher education during which my colleagues and I valued greatly his wise counsel and, above all, his friendship. He made the role of chancellor much more than a ceremonial position and was a frequent visitor to campus, meeting staff and students and taking a keen interest in their work.

'I know how much he was looking forward to our 50th anniversary next year. It is a matter of profound regret that he will not be with us as we celebrate an institution for which he worked so tirelessly.'

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Sir Brandon read natural sciences and law at Cambridge University and has an Open University degree in humanities with classical studies. He was a chartered accountant and for most of his business career was a partner at Coopers and Lybrand, where he spent 11 years as head of the firm and served terms as chairman of its international organisation.

In the public sector he was chairman of Yorkshire Water, chairman of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, from 1993 to 1997, and chairman of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration. He has an honorary doctorate from City University and has also received honorary degrees from UEA and the University of Kent.

He was knighted in 2002 for his public service.

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