Ryder Cup hero and leading sports psychologist among those to be honoured at Stirling graduation

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Leaders from the worlds of golf, sports psychology, the arts and education, will receive honorary degrees at the University of Stirling’s summer graduation ceremonies this month.

Professor Steve Peters, Bernard Gallacher OBE, Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain and Emeritus Professor Angela Smith will join more than 1600 Stirling graduands receiving awards at ceremonies on Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 June.

Sports psychologist and founder of the ‘Chimp Paradox’ mind management model, Professor Steve Peters will receive the award of Doctor of the University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to Psychology, Health Sciences and Sport. A Stirling alumnus, Professor Peters has worked with some of the world’s biggest sporting stars, including Sir Chris Hoy and Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Ryder Cup hero Bernard Gallacher will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to sport in respect of his achievements and accolades in professional golf. He was the youngest man to represent Great Britain in the Ryder Cup and famously won the competition as Team Europe’s non-playing Captain in 1995, having racked up 22 professional wins over his career.

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

Stirling Emeritus Professor Angela Smith will return to campus to be honoured 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.

Special celebration

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “I am pleased to honour four outstanding individuals at our summer graduation ceremonies. They are role models to our graduands and embody the University’s values of excellence, ambition and openness.

“With a reputation for excellence in sports performance and science, it is only right that we are able to celebrate the achievements of Bernard Gallacher – a legend in Scottish golf – and Professor Steve Peters, one of the world’s leading minds in sport psychology.

“We will celebrate Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain’s standing as an internationally-acclaimed poet and his record in promoting better intercultural relations and understanding around the world.

“Our own Emeritus Professor Angela Smith continues to work actively for the University to sustain an active and engaged community of retired staff. I am delighted we are able to recognise her efforts with an Honorary Degree.

"Graduation is a time of special celebration and I extend my congratulations to all of our graduands and honorary graduands on their hard-earned achievements."

The ceremonies will celebrate the achievements of graduating students from the Faculties of Natural Sciences, Health Sciences and Sport and the Stirling Management School on Wednesday, 28 June and the Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences on Thursday, 29 June.

Background information

Media enquiries to Corrie Campbell, Communications Officer, on 01786 466 169 or c.r.campbell@stir.ac.uk.