Floella Benjamin

Photo © John Lumgair / CC BY

Floella Benjamin, loved by generations of children for her work on Playschool, was installed as Chancellor of Exeter University in 2006 and stepped down in 2016.

The Role of Chancellor is a ceremonial one, that includes presenting certificates to graduates. One graduate said

“I loved my Masters graduation because of Floella, she has so much energy and is clearly passionate about wanting to make the world a better place, which is what appears to motivate the incredibly heartfelt greeting she has for every student. What she says to the whole audience resonates with many people, it doesn’t matter how often she says it. My Mum cried because it was so beautifully put!”

Floella Benjamin was born in Trinidad and came to England in 1960 at the age of 11. She has written movingly about that experience in her book Coming to England.

She wrote in support of our project in 2012

“Many congratulations on your excellent and important project. I grew up enjoying storytelling with my father telling us stories and conjuring exciting tales. I myself continued that tradition throughout my career working with children. So its great to know that you are upholding that cultural legacy too.

May I take this opportunity to wish you every success with this important and worthwhile initiative which I’m sure will serve everyone in the community well and encourage better cultural understanding amongst both young and old.

Keep smiling
Baroness Benjamin, OBE”