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Mr. Mike Smithson, Director of Development at Oxford, represented the Vice-Chancellor at the ceremony. He welcomed Sri Chinmoy on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor and read out the following letter:

Dear Sri Chinmoy,

I am delighted that you have chosen to honour the University by visiting Oxford today, and lifting up so many of our colleagues in your very special ceremony. My one regret is that I am unable to witness these events myself.

Please accept my warm best wishes for your important and continuing work.

Very sincerely,
Sir Colin Lucas
The Vice-Chancellor

Mr. Smithson added, “Welcome to Oxford and welcome to everybody who has come to watch this extraordinary ceremony.”

Dr Piyasi Morris, main organiser

Lady Margaret Hall was started in 1879 and has shown quite a remarkable achievement over the years that it has been here. The pioneering women of Oxford who came to study here opened the doors to learning that were previously the domain of men.

In 1979, with its pioneering role fulfilled, Lady Margaret Hall opened its doors to men, and the College, like so many others that were previously all female, became mixed.

This College offers a very special environment for study, both for teachers and for students, and now women stand equal to men in the fields of medicine, the arts, sciences, commerce and government.

We are very fortunate to have this very significant and beautiful setting for our event today. Thank you.