Her Majesty The Queen
Dr Ben Calvert, Vice-Chancellor
Like many others, it was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Her Majesty The Queen last week. As the only monarch most of us have ever known she has been a constant throughout our lives and her strength, endurance, and lifetime of service is an example to us all. I have written to King Charles III to extend our sincere condolences on behalf of our whole USW community. I know many of you will have your own memories of Queen Elizabeth II, as the United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch. An online Book of Condolence is available for those who wish to share memories, or to simply extend their condolences. It is wonderful to see so many of you have already chosen to do so.
We know that many staff and students from the UK, the Commonwealth, and indeed from across the world, will want to come together as a community to pay their respects. We will be holding a short formal act of remembrance to honour the life of the Queen for colleagues and students at 12.30pm on Thursday 15 September at the Meeting House in Treforest. The event will also be broadcast for the University community on the Chaplaincy Facebook page. The Chaplaincy team are also available to support individuals and groups, should anyone wish to contact them or drop into the Meeting House.
Our flags have been lowered to half-mast for 10 days as a mark of respect and will remain at half-mast until the day after the funeral. They temporarily went back to full-mast over the weekend to mark the proclamation of His Majesty the King, in line with government protocol.
We have reviewed and considered the events that we will be running in the lead up to, and on the day of the funeral. All of our planned university activities will continue this week. It’s a busy time of year for all universities, and with thousands of students set to join us, it is important that we continue to welcome and support new students into the University and assist them to settle into life at USW as they become knitted into our community. This includes our international welcome week programme and enrolment activities.
We now know that the funeral for Her Majesty The Queen will be held on Monday 19 September. This has been allocated as a national bank holiday. As such, our core learning and teaching, research, and support activities, including enrolment and induction, will pause for the day. Certain services will continue, to ensure that students have access to our campuses and are supported, however, please note that there will be scaled back services on this day. A full list of available services will be provided by the end of this week. Please note, the Freshers Fair will now be held on Tuesday 20 September.
For many, this will be a poignant time, and a time for reflection. Please remember that we have support services available, such as the University’s wellbeing services that can be accessed via Advice Zone Online.