Farewell celebration for ‘VC Bob’ sees official portrait unveiled

The official portrait of Loughborough University’s outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Robert Allison, has been unveiled at a special sporting farewell dinner.

Held at the University’s football stadium, the event was attended by staff from Loughborough’s Sports Development Centre, as well as senior colleagues from across the campus.

Professor Allison had the honour of unveiling his portrait, painted by the artist Paul Brason, which will be put on display at Loughborough University London.

He also had an extra surprise, when it was announced that a stand at the stadium has been renamed the ‘Allison Stand’ in his honour.

Professor Allison, who has served as Vice-Chancellor at Loughborough for nine years, retires at the end of July.

Speaking about the event he said: “It was a true honour to unveil my official portrait, Paul has done an incredible job. And to learn that a stand at the stadium has also been named after me was truly wonderful. Sport is such an integral part of Loughborough University and over my years as Vice-Chancellor I have enjoyed being able to celebrate the many sporting successes achieved by our students and staff.”

John Steele, Loughborough’s Executive Director of Sport, hosted the farewell event. He said: “It was great for the University’s sporting family to be able to say thanks to VC Bob. He has made a huge impact on sport at Loughborough and through his leadership and vision we have had the support to build a world class environment for our students, athletes, support staff, coaches, and practitioners.

“The Allison Stand will be a lasting reminder of everything he has done for Loughborough Sport over the last nine years.”

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 21/138

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, named the best university in the world for sports-related subjects in the 2021 QS World University Rankings and University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2019.

Loughborough is in the top 10 of every national league table, being ranked 7th in the Guardian University League Table 2021, 5th in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2022.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

The Loughborough University London campus is based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and offers postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities. It is home to influential thought leaders, pioneering researchers and creative innovators who provide students with the highest quality of teaching and the very latest in modern thinking.