Mr John Booth (1976), a Wyliot Fellow of Merton College, has been appointed as a Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex by the county's Lord-Lieutenant, Mrs Susan Pyper.
Mr Booth, who matriculated in 1976 and read Modern Languages, is chair of the Pallant House Gallery Board of Trustees, and of the Chichester Diocesan Board of Finance. His career has been spent in finance and equity investment, and he currently acts as non-executive chairman of a number of public and private companies including the London Theatre Company and Maintel. He is a trustee of several arts, educational and religious charities, vice-chairman of the Governing Body of St Stephen's House, Oxford, and a member of the Chancellor's Court of Benefactors of Oxford University. He is also an Enterprise Fellow of The Prince’s Trust, which helps and mentors young people as they establish their own businesses.
Deputy Lieutenants are appointed by a county's Lord-Lieutenant, subject only to the approval of HM The Queen. Appointments are made in recognition of distinguished service, predominantly in a voluntary capacity, to the community, the county, or the country. Although military in origin, the post no longer has any military significance, but every Deputy Lieutenant undertakes to assist the Lord-Lieutenant in the performance of their duties. This can include representing the Lord-Lieutenant at formal functions, award and citizenship ceremonies, or attending Remembrance Day services.
Wyliot Fellowships are held by major benefactors of the college. They are named after John Wyliot, a former Fellow and Sub-warden, who endowed a number of scholarships, known as Postmasterships, in the early 1380s.