ProjectScotland Director James Jopling was today (November 1) recognised for his services to the charity sector as he joined more than 100 students at their University of Stirling graduation.
Mr Jopling received an honorary degree at the ceremony in Inverness, where Stirling delivers nursing courses in partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands.
On receiving the honour, Mr Jopling – a graduate of the University of Stirling – said: “I was surprised and delighted to learn that the University of Stirling wanted to recognise my work in the charity sector over the past 25 years through the award of an honorary doctorate.
“My first steps into working with, and for, charities came at the very end of my degree when I chose to become a volunteer with Oxfam in Scotland. From there, I have been fortunate to work across a range of causes that benefit thousands of people across Scotland, the UK and the wider world.
“My future life course was set by the learning, friends and experiences of Stirling and so to be acknowledged by the institution in such a way is remarkable. I am truly honoured.”
Mr Jopling has worked and volunteered for charities for almost 25 years – tirelessly striving for a fairer society and positive mental wellbeing for all. In his current role as Director of ProjectScotland, he leads the organisation as it empowers young people to play an active and positive role in their communities through volunteering.
Students from the University’s Faculties of Health Sciences and Sport, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences received their academic awards during a ceremony at Inverness Cathedral this afternoon.
The majority of those graduating received a BSc in Adult Nursing, which the University of Stirling delivers in partnership in Inverness with the University of the Highlands and Islands. This is the final year of the partnership, with the University of the Highlands and Islands fully taking on delivery of the Highland and Western Isles pre-registration nursing courses. The University of Stirling will continue to deliver a range of nursing courses from Stirling, at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Academic awards were conferred by University Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac, and University Chancellor, Lord Jack McConnell.
University of Stirling Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Gerry McCormac, said: “At Stirling we are extremely proud of the presence we have had in the Highlands, which stretches back more than 25 years, so this final graduation ceremony in this current chapter of our story in Inverness will be bittersweet.
“However, graduation is always a time of special celebration and we are pleased to be recognising the achievements of our students who will now take the next steps on their own journey.
“James Jopling epitomises Stirling’s aim to ‘be the difference’ so it is fitting to be honouring his tireless work to have a positive impact on society. He is an invaluable member of Stirling’s global family of more than 92,000 alumni and an exemplary role model for all.”