Professor Elan Closs Stephens awarded Honorary Fellowship
Chair of Council, Dr Emyr Roberts, with Professor Elan Closs Stephens
08 July 2022
The immense contribution of Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens DBE to civic and public life in Wales and the UK has been recognised with an Honorary Fellowship of Aberystwyth University.
Currently Electoral Commissioner for Wales and Non-Executive Director of the BBC Board and its member for Wales, and Pro Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, she is also Emeritus Professor of Communications and Creative Industries and former Head of the Department of the Theatre, Film and Television Studies.
Specialising in cultural and broadcasting regulatory policy, she chaired the Stephens Review into the Welsh Arts Council, served as Chair of the British Council in Wales, Governor of the British Film Institute and Chair of S4C.
Professor Closs Stephens was a Non-Executive Director of the Permanent Secretary of Wales’s senior Board and chaired the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee from 2008-18.
She served as High Sheriff of the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion 2012-13.
She was awarded a CBE in 2001 for services to broadcasting and the Welsh language, and a Damehood in 2019 for services to the Welsh Government and broadcasting.
Professor Closs Stephens was presented as Honorary Fellow by Professor Anwen Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on Friday 8 July 2022.
The full conferral presentation is available below, in the language in which it was delivered.
Presentation of Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens DBE by Professor Anwen Jones:
Cadeirydd y Cyngor, Is-Ganghellor, darpar raddedigion, gyfeillion. Pleser o’r mwyaf yw cyflwyno Elan Closs Stephens yn gymrawd Prifysgol Aberystwyth.
Chair of Council, Vice-Chancellor, prospective graduates and supporters. It is an honour and a privilege to present Elan Closs Stephens as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Rwyf wedi adnabod Elan ers blynyddoedd lawer ac mae bob blwyddyn wedi bod yn anrhydedd ac yn bleser. Ble mae cychwyn ar gyraeddiadau Elan, mae’n anodd gwybod ond mae’n hyfryd cofio ei chyfnod fel aelod o staff ac wedyn fel Pennaeth yn yr Adran Astudiaethau Theatr, Ffilm a Theledu yma yn Aberystwyth. Bryd hynny, yn 1 Maes Lowri roedd cartre’r adran ac fe fu Elan yn arweinydd craff, gwybodus ac ysbrydoledig ar ei chydweithwyr ac yn fodel gogyfer rhywun ifanc fel minnau oedd yn baglu dilyn yn ôl ei throed. Mae Elan yn fodel hynod o werthfawr i bobol ifainc Cymru gyfan ac mae ystod ei harbenigedd a’i pharodrwydd i rhoi’r arbenigedd hwnnw yng ngwasanaeth ei chenedl yn drawiadol.
Elan is, amongst other things, a Professor and a Dame and, I can assure you that, despite an illustrious academic career in the field of theatre, broadcasting, communications and media, she is no pantomime Dame! Elan has enormous experience in policy and regulation through her role as Chair of the Welsh language broadcaster S4C and as Non-Executive Director of the BBC Board and its member for Wales. It is impossible to list all Elan’s public service roles but it is a pleasure to consider just some of them. She has served as Non-Executive Director of the Permanent Secretary of Wales’s Senior Board and chaired the Board’s Audit and Risk Committee from 2008-18. She served as High Sheriff of the three counties of Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion 2012-13. Specialising in cultural and broadcasting regulatory policy, she chaired the Stephens Review into the Welsh Arts Council, served as Chair of the British Council in Wales and Governor of the British Film Institute. Without Elan, I doubt much gets done anywhere at all!
Yn 2019 a 2021, coronwyd cyrhaeddiadau a chyfraniad Elan, pan benodwyd hi yn Gadlywydd Urdd yr Ymerodraeth Brydeinig (CBE)am wasanaeth i ddarlledu a’r Iaith Gymraeg ac yn Fonhesig Gadlywydd Urdd yr Ymerodraeth Brydeinig (DBE) am wasanaeth i Lywodraeth Cymru ac i ddarlledu.
Mae Elan yn gawr i’w chenedl ond yr hyn sydd fwyaf gwerthfawr amdani, i’m golwg i, yw ei hagosatrwydd, a’i gofal am a dros y Brifysgol. Mae hi’n Ddirprwy Gangellor ar Brifysgol Aberystwyth ac mae ei charedigrwydd cwbl ddiymhongar wrth ymwneud gyda staff a myfyrwyr y gorffennol a’r presennol yn cyfoethogi ein profiad ni oll, ac rydym yn fythol ddiolchgar amdano. Os cewch y cyfle i siarad gydag Elan heddiw neu rhywdro eto, fe fyddwch yn synnu at fwynder ei hosgo a’i llais. Mae ei dylanwad yn fawr ond mae ei haddfwynder yn enbyd.
Cadeirydd y Cyngor, mae’n bleser gen i gyflwyno Elan Closs Stephens i chi yn Gymrawd.
Chair of Council, it is my absolute pleasure to present Elan Closs Stephens to you as a Fellow of Aberystwyth University.
Dr Emyr Roberts (Chair of Council), Professor Elizabeth Treasure (Vice-Chancellor), Professor Elan Closs Stephens, and Professor Anwen Jones (Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)
Aberystwyth University Honours 2022
During Graduation 2022, the University will present ten Honorary Fellowships to individuals who have or have had a connection with Aberystwyth or Wales, and who have made an outstanding contribution to their chosen field.
This year’s Fellows include leading figures from the arts, broadcasting, law, agriculture, and the science and technology sectors.
The 2022 Honorary Fellows are (in order of presentation):
- Professor Dame Elan Closs Stephens DBE, Electoral Commissioner for Wales and Non-Executive Director of the BBC Board and its member for Wales
- Myrddin ap Dafydd, author, publisher and Archdruid of Wales
- The Hon Justice Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera, Court of Appeal Judge, Malaysia
- Harry Venning, award winning cartoonist, illustrator and comedy writer
- Dr Zoe Laughlin, co-founder and director of the Institute of Making
- Rhuanedd Richards, BBC Wales' National Director
- Jonathan Whelan, IT consultant, author and Fellow of the British Computer Society
- Tom Jones OBE, agriculturalist and founding Chair of the Millennium Stadium Charitable Trust
- His Honour Judge Nicholas Cooke QC, former Senior Circuit Judge at the Central Criminal Court, “the Old Bailey”
- Gwerfyl Pierce Jones, former Director and Chief Executive of the Welsh Books Council