Professional golfer Catriona Matthew OBE and marine and polar scientist Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRS will receive honorary doctorates at next week’s University of Stirling graduation ceremonies.
The ceremonies on Friday, 1 April – which will see 719 students graduate – will be the University’s first in-person graduations since November 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “Our spring graduation ceremonies will be a special moment, particularly as we’ve been unable to host in-person graduations for more than two years, due to the pandemic. Everyone at the University is looking forward to celebrating with our graduands, and their families and friends, on campus.
“Alongside our graduands, I am delighted that we will recognise the outstanding achievements of Catriona Matthew OBE and Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRS, who will receive honorary doctorates.
“Catriona has close ties to the University having been the first woman to join our international sports scholarship programme, in 1987. She went on to become a household name in golf, winning a host of titles – including the British Open, WPGA Championships, Scottish Open and Australian Open – and competing at the Olympics, World Cups, and the European Championships. She represented Team Europe in the Solheim Cup on nine occasions as a player, before becoming the first Team Europe captain to win successive Solheim Cups, in 2019 and 2021.
“Catriona is a role model for young female golfers and continues to support the development of her sport. We will recognise Catriona for her outstanding contribution to women’s golf.”
Professor Sir Ian Boyd will be celebrated at next week's graduation.
The Principal continued: “Sir Ian is a highly respected marine and polar scientist who has held a host of senior positions throughout his distinguished career. A former Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, he is currently a professor at the University of St Andrews and Chair of the UK Research Integrity Office, and has served on the UK’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the pandemic.
“Sir Ian previously served as the first Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute and was Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. He spent 14 years leading a research programme in Antarctica studying the structure and dynamics of energy flow in the Southern Ocean and later specialised in the human impacts on marine ecosystems. Sir Ian will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to environmental science.”
Next week’s ceremonies are a new and permanent addition to the University calendar – complementing the summer and winter graduation events which are held every year.
Professor McCormac added: “I extend my congratulations to all of our graduands and honorary graduands on their hard-earned accomplishments.”
For more information, please visit the University’s graduation webpages.
Catriona Matthew OBE
Edinburgh-born golfer Catriona Matthew OBE joined the University of Stirling’s international sports scholarship programme in 1987 – becoming the first female to do so – and turned professional in 1995, having graduated in accountancy in 1992. She has gone on to enjoy a hugely successful career, with her honours including wins at the 1993 British Ladies Amateur Championship; the 1996 Australian Open; the 1998 WPGA Championship; the 2009 British Open; and the 2011 and 2013 Scottish Opens.
Supported by her husband Graeme who caddied for her for 20 years, Catriona has won 11 professional competitions, spanning both the US-based LGPA Tour and the European Tour, and was crowned Ladies European Tour Player of the Year in 2009. In 2013, she achieved her best position in the Women’s World Golf Rankings, finishing eighth.
Catriona made her debut in the Solheim Cup in 1998 – and went on to represent Team Europe on nine occasions over a 19-year period, amassing the third highest points total for a player in the event’s history. She became Team Europe captain in 2019 and became the first to win successive Solheim Cups, at Gleneagles in 2019 and the Inverness Club in Ohio in 2021 – an achievement that she describes as the highlight of her career. Catriona represented Great Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and at the European Championships, and Scotland at three World Cups.
As one of the biggest names in the Scottish game, Catriona continues to support the development of her sport, working closely with Scottish Golf in a mentorship role.
Last year, Catriona was bestowed the Confederation of Professional Golf’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of her outstanding career as a player and captain. She has twice been recognised in the New Year Honours, with an MBE in 2010 and an OBE in 2020 for services to golf.
Catriona will be recognised by the University for her outstanding contribution to women’s golf.
Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRS
Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRS is a marine and polar scientist who was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government on Food and the Environment. He is currently a professor at the University of St Andrews and the Chairman of the UK Research Integrity Office. He has served as an independent member of the UK’s Science Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He previously served as the first Director of the Scottish Oceans Institute, University of St Andrews, and as Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit. Sir Ian is currently leading the move to sustainability at the University of St Andrews.
He spent 14 years leading a research programme in Antarctica studying the structure and dynamics of energy flow in the Southern Ocean and later specialised in the human impacts on marine ecosystems including fisheries and the effects of anthropogenic noise. While a science adviser in government, he led the productions reports and strategies on waste and resources, bovine tuberculosis, pollinators, and the effects of tree disease. He has received the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the Bruce Medal for Polar Science, and the Polar Medal. He is President Elect of the Royal Society of Biology and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Sir Ian originally graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Zoology and has a PhD from Cambridge University. He has also been awarded several honorary degrees. He was knighted in 2019 for services to science and economics in government.
Sir Ian will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to environmental science, in balancing science and evidence to influence policy change that improves our natural environment, in particular, the marine environment.