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Official naming ceremony recognises Chancellor’s late wife


The University of Wolverhampton’s Chancellor, Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone, has officially unveiled a new name for the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the £100m Springfield Campus in memory of his late wife. 

The Lady Aruna Swraj Paul Building was unveiled in the presence of the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ebrahim Adia, alongside Faculty academics and dignitaries from the High Commission of Sri Lanka, including His Excellency Rohitha Bogollagama and members of Lord Paul’s family. 

A picture of the Vice Chancellor with the Chancellor Lord Paul cutting the ribbon at the naming ceremony in memory of Lady Aruna

The late Lady Aruna Swraj Paul was born in Calcutta in 1936 and was educated at a prestigious Catholic school and later studied to be a teacher at an associated college. The couple were married within a week of meeting and had three children, moving to England to seek treatment when their two-year-old daughter, Ambika, was diagnosed with leukaemia. Ambika tragically passed away at age four. 

Despite this and other difficult circumstances, the family thrived in the UK. Among many successes, Lord Paul established a steel business, the Caparo Group, with operations in Europe, Asia and North America, and he was given a peerage in 1996, giving Aruna the title Lady Aruna. 

Lady Aruna passed away suddenly in 2022. 

A picture of a brochure at the naming ceremony of the Lady Aruna Building

Professor Adia said: “I know that today’s naming of the Lady Aruna Swraj Paul Building at our Springfield Campus is particularly poignant for Lord Paul and his family, providing a lasting tribute to his beloved wife and partner for over 65 years. 

“Remarkably, this is the 26th year we have had the honour of Lord Paul as our Chancellor and he has offered us tremendous support for over a quarter of a century. In particular, hundreds of our students and graduates have benefited from his generosity over the years. He is an exceptional ambassador for the University, both here in the UK and internationally. 

“The University of Wolverhampton is now exceptionally proud to help keep Lady Aruna’s memory alive through the naming of one of our most prestigious buildings.” 

Lord Swraj Paul said: “Aruna was a partner of great warmth, strength and generosity of spirit, who passed away at the age of 86. She was everything one could wish for, wise and witty, and a joy to have at my side wherever we went in the world. I often remarked that when I met her, she was the most beautiful girl in Calcutta, and that remained true throughout our years together. From Calcutta (now Kolkata) to London to Boston, she sustained me in every possible way.  

“As part of the celebration of Aruna’s life and achievements, I am extremely honoured to be at this ceremony amongst distinguished guests to unveil the new name of this wonderful building in memory of my wife who I miss greatly.  This will be a lasting legacy for our family as the University of Wolverhampton continues to honour our dearly departed children, Ambika Paul and Angad Paul, who also have buildings named after them at City and Telford Campuses.” 

A picture of Lord Paul unveiling a portrait of him and his wife Lady Aruna at Springfield

The School of Architecture and Built Environment offers specialist teaching and social learning spaces, design studios, specialist labs, multi-disciplinary workshops, a lecture theatre, cafe, offices, meeting rooms, and advanced VR facilities in the construction holodeck with the top floor dedicated to architectural courses.    

The Architectural Studios are equipped with high-end workstations that allow for all students to be located together allowing for peer-to-peer learning and naturally occurring vertical learning, which is important to prepare for practice. The proximity of the ADT studios is especially important as it also allows for the natural cross-over of teaching and learning between these closely aligned courses.   

Each student has a dedicated individual workspace where they can hone their critical thinking skills both as individuals and as a larger community, providing a solid foundation in the creative process. The dedicated architecture studios are supplemented by a material workshop, smart modelling and assembly workshop for physical model making and the Construction Holodeck to support state of the art digital workflows.   

The School offers a variety of courses that support skills in architecture, construction, civil engineering, building control, building services, facilities management, quantity surveying, planning, construction management, housing and commercial.      

Home to the Thomas Telford University Technical College (UTC), the University’s School of Architecture and Built Environment, and the Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills, the regeneration of the former Springfield Brewery is central to the University’s vision of enhancing the student experience and supporting business growth. It is also home to the University’s new National Brownfield Research Institute for which the University secured £14.9 million funding from the BCLEP through the government’s Get Building Fund.     

A plaque on the wall at Springfield honouring Lady Aruna

Anyone interested in courses being offered at Springfield Campus should check out the website or register for one of our Open Days 






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