Students honoured alongside humanitarian and arts leaders at Stirling graduation

Summer Graduation 2017, ceremony one.

More than 750 graduates from the faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences celebrated their achievements on the final day of the University of Stirling’s 50th anniversary summer graduation ceremonies.

Humanitarian and internationally-acclaimed poet Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain became a Doctor of the University in recognition of his philanthropy, creative writing and poetry, and for his activism in driving an agenda for peace.

Dr Al-Babtain, of Kuwait, has written several collections of poetry and established the Foundation of Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain. The Foundation is committed to supporting numerous charitable initiatives and the promotion of projects of significant cultural interest.

Addressing graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Dr Al-Babtain said: “I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the University of Stirling for allowing me to take part in this ceremony. It’s so nice to see our humanitarian and cultural efforts being recognised internationally… but it brings with it a great responsibility, to continue our efforts.

“This honorary award from the prestigious University of Stirling is not just a certificate that will decorate my office, more than that, it is a noble and sublime message to engage our potential and encourages us to invest more in culture and education. On behalf of all the graduates honoured today I thank the University and I congratulate you – you are the future of our nations.”

Outstanding contribution

Also recognised during Thursday’s ceremonies was Stirling’s Emeritus Professor Angela Smith, who was honoured with graduands from the Faculty of Social Sciences, for her outstanding contribution to the University.

Professor Smith established the Stirling University Retired Staff Association and has chaired the active group since its foundation in 2007.

Professor Smith said: “I’m delighted that, in conferring an honorary doctorate on me, the University also honours SURSA, Stirling University’s Retired Staff Association. The University attracted imaginative staff and students from the beginning - they were drawn to its experimental structure and to the beauty of the campus and its buildings.

“This innovative impetus has been continued in SURSA – its members include people who were employed in technical, administrative, secretarial, and academic roles, and in campus services. We’ve become friends rather than just former colleagues, a tribute to the unique atmosphere of the University that has played such a special part in our lives.”

Thursday’s ceremony marks the final day of celebrations which recognises the achievements of more than 1600 graduates from five faculties.

As the University of Stirling celebrates 50 years, the class of 2017 join a budding alumni community of more than 82,000 located in 169 countries around the world.

Among those graduating were the first group of students from the integrated degree programmes, offered as a result of a partnership between the University and Forth Valley College.

Almost 97 per cent of Stirling graduates are in work or further study within six months of leaving University.

Photos and graduate stories from the summer graduation ceremonies are available on the Graduation website.

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