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Greg’s Place officially opens at the University of York

Photo credit: Jack Harvey
Photo credit: Jack Harvey
Photo credit: Jack Harvey

Greg’s Place, a new campus social area named in honour of the University of York’s outgoing Chancellor Greg Dyke, has officially opened.

Greg’s Place is located at the centre of the university campus on Heslington West, on Vanbrugh Piazza. With grassy areas, seating and room for musical and open-air cinema performances, Greg’s Place provides students and visitors with a relaxing area to meet and study.

The renovation of Vanbrugh Piazza, jokingly known as “Vanbrugh Paradise” by students in spite of its renowned unattractiveness, ended in October 2015. This week, the new space was officially opened. Greg’s Place was designed carefully to create a site that was both visually appealing and environmentally-friendly.

Greg Dyke graduated with a BA in Politics as a mature student at University of York in 1974. During his studies he was involved with the campus newspaper Nouse.  For many years Mr. Dyke enjoyed a busy career in journalism, in print and on television. Following John Birt, Dyke was Director-General of the BBC from 2000 – 2004. Following Dame Janet Baker, Mr. Dyke became Chancellor of his old university in 2004.

“I was a student forty years ago,” said Mr. Dyke at Monday’s event, “and this area was crap then.” He is “so pleased” that the refurbished area is now a “nice part” of the campus. Mr. Dyke was asked to name the communal area but, failing to provide a name, he asked his colleagues to “just call it ‘Greg’s Place’.”

The student-run society York Student Cinema treated the crowd to a showing of a short film from Department of Theatre, Film and Television, Catharsis, followed by the 1978 film Grease. Mr. Dyke declined to watch the latter film as he had seen it “a bloody million times.”

Catharsis, directed by Paulina Lewicka, was funded through YuStart, an initiative to which Mr. Dyke has greatly contributed. The piece was filmed in Victoria Theatre, Halifax. Further information can be found at Catharsis‘s website.

Professor Koen Lamberts, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, described Mr. Dyke as a “loyal supporter and friend” and voiced his hope that “Greg’s Place will be used by the entire community.”

Greg Dyke will be succeeded by Professor Malcolm Grant, who was inaugurated in October 2015.