Princess Marconi graces new building launch

Published: 18 November 2010 at 16:09

Daughter of radio pioneer opens new faculty building

The daughter of Nobel Prize winning-scientist and radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi has visited Anglia Ruskin University’s multi-million pound Rivermead campus to perform the official opening of its most recently constructed building.

Princess Elettra Giovanelli Marconi made the trip from her home in Italy to open the

building in honour of her illustrious father who was so passionate about innovation that he named her after the Yacht Elettra (electric waves) he bought in 1919.  She was accompanied for the visit by her son Prince Guglielmo Giovanelli Marconi who is curator of his famous grandfather's archives.

Bringing with her the stunning heritage of the Marconi family, Princess Marconi performed  a plaque unveiling at the new ‘Marconi Building’ which stands proudly among Anglia Ruskin’s most-recently topped out teaching and learning facilities at Bishop Hall Lane.  The purpose-built Marconi Building is the result of a £15m investment and houses the Faculty of Science & Technology and the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences.  Facilities include laboratories, classrooms, specialist teaching spaces, a Mock Law Court and a 150-seat lecture theatre.

Anglia Ruskin University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne welcomed her to the event with Deputy Chair of Anglia Ruskin Dr Chris Nicholls.  Princess Marconi unveiled the plaque in the presence of academics and invited guests and was taken on a guided tour of the building which was designed by R H Architects and constructed by Witham-based contractor Kier Eastern.

Delighted with the presence of Princess Marconi at the official launch, Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne said:

"This is just the most-perfect day for everyone at Anglia Ruskin University who has been involved in the construction, development and use of this fabulous building  which is dedicated to science, technology and law."

"We are all proud of the stunning heritage of the Marconi family in Chelmsford and feel incredibly honoured to have Princess Marconi here to witness the official naming and opening of the Marconi Building."

"Princess Marconi’s father was a man who devoted his life to trying to improve the lives of those around him.  He was just 8 years old, when he knew he wanted to make a difference – and what a difference he made."

"We hope that the new Marconi Building will help to deliver increasing numbers of forward-thinking, work ready graduates who will one day have the potential to emulate his success."

The Marconi Building was constructed by Witham-based contractor Kier Eastern.  It was designed by R H Architects.

Guglielmo Marconi pioneered one of the great industrial success stories of the last century. In 1899 he established wireless communication between France and England across the English Channel. In 1901, he used his system to transmit the first wireless signals across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of 2,100 miles.