British Prime Minister David Cameron has unveiled a portrait of the late Baroness Thatcher at Saïd Business School in Oxford to mark the naming of the School’s new building, the Thatcher Business Education Centre.
The Prime Minister was welcomed by Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford, and by Professor Peter Tufano, Dean of Saïd Business School. Mr Cameron also met Mr Wafic and Mrs Rosemary Saïd as well as the Chairman of the Saïd Business School Foundation Lord Powell of Bayswater, fellow trustee Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover and faculty and students of the School. The event was attended by friends and supporters of the School.
The Dean spoke of the importance of business education for the global economy, commenting that the name of the new building would remind us of the need for government and business to work together to serve society and contribute to our prosperity. ‘Healthy societies and healthy economies require a strong business sector which provides consumers with useful products and services and provides all of us with meaningful work,’ he said. ‘Business schools like ours play a role in ensuring the functioning of these economies through our teaching, which seeks to educate effective and principled leaders, and through our research, which seeks to advance ideas that will improve the practice of business.’ The Dean also commented on how the naming and the ceremony itself celebrated two distinguished recent Prime Ministers from among Oxford alumni – Baroness Thatcher and Mr Cameron.
Mr Saïd explained that he wanted to name the building after Baroness Thatcher in acknowledgement of the new and dynamic enterprise culture she created, in which business could flourish.
After unveiling a portrait of Baroness Thatcher painted by Nelson Shanks, Mr Cameron commented on the business legacy of Lady Thatcher and said ‘I think she would be very proud to see her name on this building. It’s a place to nurture free-thinking, to inspire enterprise, to light the fires of new business. And what better tribute to Margaret Thatcher could there be?’