In November 2001 the University of Sunderland named its largest campus library in honour of Bob in recognition of his “loyal and continuing support for the University over many years, including his backing for its pioneering work in extending educational opportunities to all those who can benefit from them, regardless of background”.
The flagship City Centre Campus library was named The Murray Library during a ceremony attended by the University Chancellor, Lord Putnam. Bob was previously honoured by the University in 1997, when he received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Administration for his contribution to football and Sunderland’s business life.
Commenting at the naming ceremony Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Fidler said: “Bob has a strong personal commitment to social inclusion, which is reflected in Sunderland AFC’s outstanding programme to promote sport, education and good citizenship in the community – the best of its type in the Premiership. It is particularly appropriate that his name will be associated with an innovative University service that is at the forefront of widening public access to information and learning.”
Bob said: “The University of Sunderland makes an enormous contribution to education, the city and the region. It is open, accessible and inclusive and these are characteristics of significant social and civic value.
“As Chairman of SAFC I was always very proud of the partnership between the club and University, which I know is still as strong today. Given my own passion for the power of education to inspire, motivate and change lives I felt very honoured that the University chose to name the library after me.”