The University of St Andrews has paid tribute to a former rector, Sir Clement Freud.
The broadcaster and former Liberal MP was elected as the rector of St Andrews for a three-year term from 2002-2005.
Sir Clement Freud secured the post in October 2002 to succeed journalist Andrew Neil as rector of Scotland’s oldest University.
Mr William Berry, Senior Governor of the University Court during the three years Sir Clement was rector, said, “I was very sad to hear the news of Sir Clement’s death. He was a distinguished Lord Rector of the University and was most conscientious both in representing the interests of the students and in presiding over meetings of the University Court.
“The whole University of St Andrews’ community has reason to be grateful for his service to the University.”
Sir Clement, who was 78 at the time of his appointment, polled more than 50% of the votes cast, defeating feminist Germaine Greer and a 27 year-old postgraduate student Barry Joss.
In one of the highest rectorial election turn-outs a total of 1901 votes were cast. Sir Clement polled 992 votes with Ms Greer in second place on 595.
President of the Students’ Association Andrew Keenan commented, “Sir Clement was a popular and eccentric character amongst the student body from his arrival in a postal van to the end of his three-year term.
“As Rector, he helped many student societies with his ‘charitable trust’ including both the student newspaper ‘The Saint’ and the student radio station ‘Star’.”
Sir Clement, who also completed two three-year terms as rector at Dundee University from 1974-80, was installed by former Chancellor of the University Sir Kenneth Dover in February 2003 at a ceremony in The Younger Hall.
In November 2005 at the annual St Andrew’s Day Graduation Ceremony, Sir Clement was awarded an honorary degree in recognition of his services as Rector of the University of St Andrews.
The Rector is a post unique to Scotland’s ancient universities. Elected by the matriculated students of the University, the Rector holds office for three years, and presides over the University Court.
Former Rectors of St Andrews include Frank Muir, John Cleese, Sir Douglas Haig, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Rudyard Kipling. The current rector is Kevin Dunion who succeeded Simon Pepper and was installed in March 2009.
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