Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for George Pippas for the award of Honorary Fellowship.
George Pippas is an engineer, entrepreneur, active local philanthropist, celebrated Anglia Ruskin alumnus, and for the 12 months to May this year, Mayor of Cambridge.
George was born in the village of Paliometocho in Cyprus. As a child, he attended the local primary school in Nicosia, where his academic abilities were soon recognised – receiving an award for academic excellence, presented by President Makarios.
After finishing secondary school, George served for three years as an officer in the Cypriot National Guard. Then, upon his discharge, he came to the UK to study Electronic Engineering at CCAT, the Cambridgeshire College of Arts and Technology – one of the institutions that later became part of Anglia Ruskin University.
After graduating from CCAT in 1982, George went into industry, furthering his experience at a number of blue-chip companies. In 1989 he took up a new role with Polaroid, where he would remain for the next 13 years, making steady progress and rising to the position of European Service Manager, with responsibility for managing exports to over 100 countries.
In 2002, George left Polaroid, seeking to apply his global business expertise to his own venture in the hospitality industry. And his strong work ethic and well-honed commercial acumen have helped him achieve considerable success.
As his business prospered, George became involved in local politics. In March 2011 he was nominated as a candidate for the Liberal Democrat Party in Cambridge, and in May that year he was elected as a City Councillor.
In May 2013 George was elected Deputy Mayor, and in May 2017 he was elected Mayor of Cambridge by a unanimous vote of councillors. And in so doing, he became the 811th Mayor of Cambridge, and the first non-UK European-born citizen to hold the position.
It is customary for Mayors of Cambridge to champion two charities during their time in office, and George chose to support Centre 33, which provides confidential support to young people in Cambridgeshire, and The Sick Children’s Trust, based at Addenbrooke’s – for whom George has raised over £15,000 – a new Mayoral record. George has undertaken considerable charitable work over many years, and his political activities demonstrate a clear ambition to serve the public good.
As an engineer and business manager, George’s expertise was recognised around the world. As a Cambridge-based entrepreneur, his businesses help to fuel the growth of our region’s economy. And as a local politician, his passion and integrity have driven a variety of initiatives designed to help local people and local business to thrive.
As Mayor, George promoted Cambridge as a global destination, both for business and tourism. And he has strongly supported the growth and development of our city’s innovation infrastructure.
George has been a valued advocate and ambassador for Anglia Ruskin University, and has spoken to our Business School students about careers in technology and global management.
By recognising the achievements of a successful local entrepreneur, and an illustrious alumnus, we support and celebrate Anglia Ruskin’s global outlook.
We are delighted to welcome George Pippas to our Anglia Ruskin community.
Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present George Pippas for the award of Honorary Fellow.