Inspirational alumna careers

The Right Honourable Lady Justice Rafferty, DBE

(LLB Law, 1971)

lady raffertyDame Anne read Law at our University, graduating with an LLB in 1971 and beginning her pupillage in 1974. She's now our University Chancellor and exemplifies the qualities of hard work and dedication that she wants to inspire in our current students.

Dame Anne was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and a Recorder of the Crown Court in 1991.

In an outstanding career, Dame Anne has served in a number of senior positions including Chairmanship of the Criminal Bar Association and of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee – in each case the first woman in these roles. She was made a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2011 and in August 2014 she became Chairman of the Judicial College.

Dame Anne suggested and wrote the 1989 Pigot Committee recommendation (how the young or vulnerable give evidence in court), acknowledged as a major contribution to the administration of justice and replicated internationally.

Following the retirement of University Chancellor Sir Peter Middleton in summer 2015, Dame Anne was appointed Chancellor. The Chancellor is the senior lay officer of the University and empowered to confer degrees and other academic awards.

The appointment was approved by University Council following a nomination period; University students, staff, alumni and friends were invited to nominate individuals who they felt embodied the professional and personal qualities needed for this unique ambassadorial role.

Chairman of University Council Tony Pedder commented: “As Lord Justice of Appeal, Dame Anne is one of the UK’s leading judges and a University of Sheffield alumna whose professional achievements and personal qualities make her a perfect fit for a role which combines tradition and a belief in the crucial importance of scholarship, with a desire to support the aspiration of students from around the world.”

Inspirational words

Addressing the audience at her installation ceremony, Dame Anne said:

“I believe with every fibre in me that education is the transformer. The Chancellor has the opportunity to say; ‘I represent one of the best universities in the world and I’m bringing you its values: hard work, devotion to education and an awful lot of humility but an inner determination to turn what you have given me outward to the public good. You can do it too.'”

Watch Dame Anne’s installation ceremony, 26 November 2015