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David Medlock: oration

Read Professor Gary Hawley's oration on David Medlock for the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering in June 2016.


David Medlock
David Medlock

Vice-Chancellor it is my pleasure to introduce David Medlock, businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose community and charitable interests now span some 35 years.

In his early days while still at school he was a volunteer helping to deliver meals to the elderly. Today he is the Managing Trustee of the Medlock Charitable Trust which was set up in 1985 by his father Leonard who was also awarded an Honorary Degree in 1991, Doctor of Laws. The Trust has contributed over £30 million to various causes throughout the country, especially charities connected to children, the elderly, people with disabilities and the homeless.

David grew up in Bath and his early education was at King Edwards School before moving to Salford University to study Environmental Health. After graduation he commenced work at Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council of Greater Manchester, eventually rising to become an Environmental Health Officer. In 1979 he joined the family firm, the Hebron and Medlock Group, an engineering design company started by his father Leonard in 1951 which now trades as Sitec Ltd employing over 1000 people. David started off as a management trainee before rising through the company holding positions of Finance Director, Managing Director and now Chairman.

In the voluntary sector David has led, championed and supported a vast array of community and charitable activities. While based in Manchester he was involved with Shelter, a charity that campaigns to end homelessness, as well as adult literacy. His charitable work continued when he returned to Bath mainly through the Medlock Charitable Trust. The trust makes donations to other registered charities, educational institutions and local community charities in any part of the country. Recently the trust donated £100,000 to the Royal United Hospital in Bath to support an innovative programme ‘The Volunteer Dementia Project’. With the trust’s support the hospital will be able to enhance its medical care and make a huge impact on the lives of patients with dementia. A further gift of £1m has also been made to the hospital’s Oncology Centre.

The Medlock Charitable Trust has been a long-standing philanthropic supporter of the University. Early gifts supported the creation of Chairs in Mechanical Engineering and Information Technology. The University’s first endowed chair – the Medlock Chair in Engineering - was created in 2008 with a gift of £1 million. More recently the Trust gave £250,000 to DisAbility Sport and Health (DASH) research at the University to investigate exercise and rehabilitation in military amputees. David’s support for the University has been unwavering. He served as a Pro-Chancellor and Council member from 2003 to 2014 when he was active and influential in supporting the mission of the University.

His service to the community extends much wider than the City of Bath. In 2007 David served as the High Sheriff of Somerset. The Office of High Sheriff is a Royal appointment for a single year with the origins dating back to Saxon times. He has been Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset since 2008 and in 2012 took on a new role as Vice Lord Lieutenant. These positions come with responsibilities including all regional aspects of visits by members of the Royal Family; representing Royal Visitors at a variety of events and participation in civic and voluntary activities.

The University and the City of Bath are proud to have David Medlock as a benefactor, supporter and a pillar of our society. Vice-Chancellor, I present to you Mr David Medlock who is eminently worthy to receive the Degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.

Professor Gary Hawley

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