News and events archive 2004 - 2013


Frank May / Helen Scott

Dr Frank May MBE and Dr Helen Scott OBE.

University of Leicester Pays Tribute to Prominent People From Business and Professional Backgrounds

The University of Leicester is to recognise the unstinting efforts of two Leicestershire people, from business and the professions, who have dedicated time and effort in the service of the University.

For the first time, the University is to award titles of Honorary Distinguished Fellowships on Dr Helen Scott OBE and Dr Frank May MBE.

Dr Helen Scott was, from 1983 until 1999, a Member of Council at the University of Leicester and has served on a number of University committees. She is now a Life Member of the University Court, and in 1985 was awarded the Honorary Degree of LLD by the University of Leicester.

At the age of eight she announced to her surprised family that she wanted to be a barrister, and eventually did so, in spite of odds stacked against a woman achieving such a goal at that time.

A graduate of Newnham College Cambridge, she was called to the Bar and joined the Inner Temple and the Midland Circuit, where she began to practise, at a time when there were no other women at the Bar.

She continued to practise from chambers in Leicester in 1940, where she sat on the Ministry of Labour Appeals Tribunal during the War.

Dr Scott’s career took a new direction in 1958 when she was appointed Director of the Leicester-based British Steam Specialties Ltd, and subsequently ten more companies within the group.

Offices she has held include: President of the Leicester Soroptimists, Councillor for Blaby Rural District Council, Justice of the Peace for the Leicester County Bench (later amalgamated with the Leicester City Bench) and a Member of the Severn Trent Water Authority. From 1968-1985 she was Chairman of the BSS Group PLC.

She was appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry firstly as a Member of the Appeals Committee for the Consumer Credit Act 1972 and later to the Estate Agents’ Appeal Committee. The first woman in 112 years to be appointed President of the Leicester and County Chamber of Commerce, she led trade missions around the world, receiving an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours List for Services to Exports.

Dr Scott has been director of a number of public companies and, in 1973, was appointed a Member of the CBI Regional Council and the East Midlands Planning Council.

She commented:

“I feel greatly honoured and immensely proud to be awarded this new, prestigious award of Honorary Distinguished Fellow of the University of Leicester.

“I have been associated with the University since 1983 and over the years have watched with great interest and pleasure the growth in numbers and the broadening of the academic base, so that it is now placed among the top twenty universities.

“The University of Leicester, amongst many other attributes, is recognised internationally for space research, acknowledged by the University of Cambridge to be among the top twenty research intensive universities in the UK, and has twice won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education.”

Dr Frank May is a retired Leicester businessman who has devoted 60 years to public service.

Educated at Gateway School, he left in 1944 to go into the Army, returning to Leicester in 1948, where, in 1950, he took over his father’s electrical business.

During the post-war years he was asked by the Home Office to use his signals expertise in the Civil Defence. When this was disbanded in 1968, he began to establish a record of public service that has included the Leicestershire Crime Prevention Panel, the Leicester Chamber of Commerce, the Chartered Institute of Marketing and as a Member of the Rotary Club.

Dr May’s association with the University of Leicester dates back to 1982, when he was recommended to the University by the late Dr Mac Goldsmith. Appointed to the University Council in the 1980s, he supports the Centre for Holocaust Studies and is a patron of arts and music both at the University and throughout the City of Leicester.

To encourage and reward medical research within the Leicester Medical School, Dr May has established an annual prize-giving lecture, as well as a biennial lecture given by a national or international speaker to an invited audience.

Over more than 20 years he has been Trustee, Chairman, and is currently Honorary President of the Medical Research Foundation (Medisearch), set up in the late 1970s to support research within the Leicestershire teaching hospitals and the Medical School.

He has held a number of Home Office appointments. Dr May was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of Leicester in 1992, an MBE in 1994 and the Freedom of the City of Leicester in 2001.

The University has recently named a lecture theatre in its new £20M Henry Wellcome Biomedical Sciences Building in honour of Dr Frank and Mrs Katherine May.

He said:

"To receive the prestigious award of Honorary Distinguished Fellow from my home university is the climax to a long and interesting career. I am proud to have been able to make a contribution to this expanding and vibrant university and its medical school, and I wish everyone continued success for the future."
[University Home]. [eBulletin]. [University Index A-Z]. [University Search]. [University Help]
Managed by Press Office
[Copyright] and [Disclaimer]