A portrait of Sir Nick Scheele, Chancellor of the University of Warwick from 2002-2008, was unveiled at a ceremony in the Helen Martin Studio on Tuesday 9 July 2013, attended by 50 guests. Sir Nick's portrait was the work of Coventry-trained artist, James Lloyd (pictured right).
In his speech at the event, Vice-Chancellor Nigel Thrift said:
Nick has been extremely successful in his career and we are honoured to have seen him serve as Chancellor of the University of Warwick. Nick is fondly remembered by many here at Warwick as an engaging and charismatic member of the University community. Whenever asked for advice or assistance, Nick was not only always willing to help, but often seemed to understand the mission better than everyone else did!
Nick has committed a significant amount of funding to the expansion of the Warwick Business School, where he was formerly Chair of the Advisory Board and has also kindly pledged a substantial legacy to the University. We are truly grateful for his generosity and it is with great pleasure that we celebrate today Nick’s achievements, vision and dedication and honour his great contributions to this institution - not only in his capacity as former Chancellor of the University, but also as one of Warwick’s most generous benefactors."
Sir Nick Scheele
The University of Warwick appointed Sir Nicholas Scheele, the then Chief Operating Officer and President of Automotive Operations - Ford Motor Company, as its new Chancellor in March 2002. He took over from the previous Chancellor, Sir Shridath Ramphal, and remained in the post until his retirement in 2008 when he was succeeded by Sir Richard Lambert.
Like the University’s first Chancellor-Designate, Lord Rootes, Sir Nick’s career was spent in the motor industry. His career at Ford began in 1966, working in purchasing, supply and procurement in Britain. In 1978 he moved to the US, and in 1988 became President of Ford, Mexico, where he directed manufacturing and marketing operations. In 1992, he returned to Britain as Vice-Chairman of Jaguar Cars Ltd, quickly rising to become Chairman and Chief Executive. He remained at Jaguar for seven years, during which time sales doubled and Jaguar regained its place as one of the world’s top marques.
In March 1999, Sir Nick was appointed Senior Vice-President for Marketing, Sales and Service in Ford’s European Operations and in July 1999 he became President of Ford Europe. He is credited with having directed the increasingly successful transformation of Ford’s European business. He moved back to the United States in 2001 to serve as Ford’s Vice-President, North America and last October was appointed Chief Operating Officer and President of Automotive Operations. He received his knighthood in 2001, being awarded the Order of St. Michael and St. George for services to British exports.
Sir Nick is actively involved in many charity, business and community support projects. He is particularly interested in the education of young people and has been involved in a number of key initiatives to raise the profile of training and education. He was voted a lifetime member of the NSPCC after successfully chairing an appeal to raise money for Boole House, a childcare centre in Coventry. Currently, Sir Nick serves as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Key Safety Systems who are worldwide manufacturers of airbags, seatbelts and steering wheels.
The artist, James Lloyd is no stranger to Coventry, having graduated from Coventry School of Art at Coventry University in 1992 with a first class degree. He went on to win the Carrol Foundation Young Artist of the Year Award and the BP Portrait Award in 1997 for which the prize was a commission from the National Portrait Gallery. He painted the now famous portrait of the designer Paul Smith.
Since then, James has been commissioned to create numerous other portraits of figures in roles in higher education including Lord Owen for Liverpool University and Lord Patten for Newcastle University. In addition to portraits of Oxbridge college Presidents and politicians in both Houses of Parliament, James has painted figures in the arts such as Hilary Spurling for the Royal Literary Fund, Mark Elder for the Halle Symphony Orchestra and Dame Maggie Smith for the National Portrait Gallery. His recent portrait of the Queen was made in the painting room of Buckingham Palace where she sits for all her portraits.
The portrait of Sir Nick Scheele is set in the artists studio in Southwark. His window looks north east towards Tower Bridge and the Shard. James’ studio appears in many of his paintings, asserting the reality of portrait making.