Development & Alumni Relations Office 


5 February 2019

Following the untimely death of Queen’s Chancellor Dr Thomas J Moran in New York on 12 August 2018, steps are now being taken by the University to appoint his successor.

This process, which is conducted in line with the University Charter and Statutes, involves the establishment of a Special Committee (membership of which can be viewed here) which is now seeking nominations from staff, students and graduates for the position.

The individual will require many qualities but - in the context of the University’s global ambitions - international standing, networks and recognition will be particularly important. In addition, they will also require a breadth of experience combined with a number of personal attributes, including integrity, sound judgement, charisma and presence.

In practice, the role of chancellor in British and Irish universities traditionally involves three main aspects:

  • A ceremonial responsibility, which involves presiding at degree congregations and attending other ceremonies from time to time.
  • An ambassadorial remit, where the holder of the office may be able to 'open doors' for the University as it seeks to fulfil its mission.
  • An advisory role, where the Chancellor would be available to the Vice-Chancellor and senior University staff, as a 'sounding board' when his or her counsel could be valuable in identifying a means of addressing a particularly contentious issue.

Tom Moran, who was Chancellor from 2015-18, was a native New Yorker with ancestral roots in Fermanagh and Cavan. He graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics.

He was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Mutual of America Life Insurance Company from October 1994, the first person to have been appointed President from within the Company, until his retirement in 2016. He was also Chairman of Concern Worldwide (US), an international humanitarian relief organisation that operates in 30 of the poorest countries of the world.

Previous Chancellors of Queen’s University have also included

  • The distinguished theatre director, Sir Tyrone Guthrie (1963-70)
  • Former Chairman of Unilever Plc and of the British Council, Sir David Orr (1992-99)
  • US Democratic Representative and former US Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, Senator George Mitchell (1999-2009)

Graduates of Queen’s have been invited to submit nominations for the position and have until Monday 25 February to download and return the nomination form which is available on the University website.

Nominations can be mailed, in the strictest confidence, to:

Registrar’s Office                                               

Lanyon South

Queen’s University Belfast


Northern Ireland


Alternatively, forms can be emailed to

To assist the Special Committee in its deliberations, it is important that the nomination form is completed as fully as possible. The names of those putting forward nominations will not be disclosed to the Special Committee.

In making nominations, account should be taken of the role and responsibilities of the Chancellor, as set out on the website, where further details can also be found.

To submit graduate news items, or for general enquiries about this story, please contact Gerry Power, Communications Officer, Development and Alumni Relations Office, Queen's University Belfast or telephone: +44 (0)28 9097 5321.


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