The University of Liverpool has announced the name of its new £22.1m teaching and performance facility – The Yoko Ono Lennon Centre.
The announcement of the name marks a significant step towards realising the dream of providing a new cultural landmark for the Liverpool City Region.
The Centre is named in honour of Yoko Ono Lennon, honorary University of Liverpool graduate, campaign ambassador, cultural icon and long-standing philanthropic supporter to the University.
About the Centre
Set to open in late 2021, The Yoko Ono Lennon Centre will house the Tung Auditorium, a 400-seat state-of-the-art performance space and the Paul Brett Lecture Theatre, the largest purpose-built lecture space on campus.
The Centre will also be the home of the University’s popular Lunchtime Concert Series and will develop a programme of new public-facing cultural highlights including concerts, lectures as well as other events in the University calendar, including our annual Lit Fest and Open House series.
Yoko Ono Lennon
In 1991, Yoko Ono Lennon established the John Lennon Memorial Scholarships in memory of her late husband, making a further donation to the fund on the 10th anniversary in 2001. The scholarships provide the opportunity for disadvantaged students who may otherwise not have the chance, to realise their ambition to study at university.
Yoko Ono Lennon (Photo by Matthew Placek ©Yoko Ono Lennon)
Yoko Ono Lennon has remained a passionate supporter of student opportunities at the University, which she demonstrated again earlier this year when she joined a long list of distinguished individuals as one of campaign ambassadors for the new Centre, among them award-winning actor Dame Patricia Routledge, the first British female Professor of Surgery Averil Mansfield CBE, soprano Dr Joan Rodgers CBE, composer Professor Shirley Thompson OBE, the former Head of University Press Robin Bloxsidge and retired barrister and arts patron Nick Riddle.
In 2001 the University awarded Yoko Ono Lennon an honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD).
Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool, said: “The University is very honoured to add the iconic name of Yoko Ono Lennon to its new state-of-the art building in which the talented musicians and performers of the future will be nurtured.
“Yoko has been at the cutting-edge of the avant-garde in art and music for decades, and the naming of the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre will ensure that her name will be inscribed in the cultural history of Liverpool for generations to come.
“The Yoko Ono Lennon Centre will add richness to the deep and diverse cultural landscape of the city region.”
Professor Catherine Tackley, Head of the University of Liverpool’s Department of Music, said: “The Yoko Ono Lennon Centre will improve every aspect of our Department’s work.
“It is important that we continue to facilitate and resource opportunities for our students to perform – whether they are studying music or not – alongside their colleagues, and that means giving them somewhere perfectly suited to do that.
“The Centre will also draw us closer to the local community by acting as a creative hub for the region providing space and resources for a programme of diverse and culturally-rich public events.”
‘A wonderful honour’
Yoko Ono Lennon, said: “I am thrilled to be recognized with the naming of the new performance centre at the University of Liverpool. I hope it will be a home for creative expression and learning for many years to come. Thank you to the University and to the people of Liverpool for this wonderful honour.”
Clare McColgan MBE, Director of Culture Liverpool, said: “It is wonderful to see the University of Liverpool making this commitment. Yoko Ono Lennon has been an incredible supporter of the city over the years embracing its role in John’s life. From her visits to Dovedale School to major exhibitions at the Bluecoat and Museum of Liverpool she demonstrates a love and affection for this place that will be cemented by this gesture.”
This announcement comes at the end of an extensive process led by the University’s Department of Development and Alumni Relations.