Steve Rotheram, the Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, is poised to become an Alumni Ambassador Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University.
One of the first to receive the award, the metro mayor has been recognised as someone who has held up the values of the university such as being student-focussed, engaging with the community and being inclusive.
Metro Mayor Rotheram, who was elected to the position in 2017, said: “Going to university wasn’t a realistic option for a lot of young, working-class people like me, especially growing up in Kirkby in the 1960s.
“Instead, the opportunity to study later in life allowed me to make the improbable journey from bricklayer, to Parliament, and now Mayor of the region I love.
‘this university has played a significant role in our area’s history and success’
“In many ways, my time at LJMU was catalytic in taking my career in a new direction – one that I never thought would be possible.”
The mayor has kept a close relationship with LJMU since graduating, and will attend the launch of the university’s Centre for Educational Leadership.
Speaking about LJMU, he said: “For far too long, too many in our area have been held back from fulfilling their potential – not by a lack of talent, but by a lack of opportunity.
“Thankfully, institutions like LJMU are building a legacy that our region can be proud of, by helping to break down the barriers that had previously stood in the way of people realising their ambitions.
“For nearly 200 years, this university has played a significant role in our area’s history and success – attracting people from all walks of life to come and study in the Liverpool City Region. Their students and researchers enrich our culture, enhance our economy and improve all our lives – making us one of the most vibrant, diverse places to live, study or work.”
The 61-year-old was a ward councillor for Fazakerley in 2002, Lord Mayor in 2008 when the city became the European Capital of Culture and became MP for Walton in 2010.
During his time as an MP, he called for justice for the victims of the Hillsborough disaster, supported black-listed workers and campaigned for compensation from those suffering from mesothelioma and asbestosis.
Prof Mark Power, Vice-Chancellor of LJMU, said: “I’m delighted that we will be bestowing the role of LJMU Alumni Ambassador Fellow upon Steve Rotheram.
“Steve’s commitment to public service and to supporting communities across the Liverpool City Region is immense and perfectly reflects the values of our university and our aim of making a positive difference to people’s lives.
“His dedication and tireless campaigning on issues that really matter to people in the city region and beyond is an inspiration to all LJMU students and graduates.
“Steve has always been a great champion and supporter of LJMU and it is fitting that we should honour him in this way during our historic bicentenary year.”
Featured image (c) LJMU