A celebrated novelist and the first director of the Macrobert Arts Centre will receive honorary degrees at the University of Stirling’s winter graduation ceremonies this week.
Dr James Robertson and Anthony Phillips will join more than 800 graduands receiving awards at two ceremonies on Friday, 24 November.
Born in Kent but raised in the shadow of the University, in Bridge of Allan, Dr Robertson will be recognised for his outstanding contribution to writing in Scotland; for his work to extend the use of the Scots language; and for his role in highlighting the importance of political activism and participation.
A novelist, poet, editor and publisher, Dr Robertson has published six novels to date, including ‘The Testament of Gideon Mack’, which was long-listed for the 2006 Man Booker Prize and ‘And the Land Lay Still’, the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year in 2010.
Mr Phillips will also receive the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of his role in the creation of the Macrobert Arts Centre, as its first director.
Mr Phillips was appointed to the position in 1970 – before the centre was built – and was pivotal in making the arts central to the lives of staff, students and the community. He will also be recognised for his major contribution to classical music, arts administration and literary translation.
Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “I am delighted to honour two outstanding individuals at our winter graduation ceremonies. They are role models to our graduands and embody the University’s values of excellence, ambition and openness.
“As an award-winning novelist, editor, poet and publisher, Dr James Robertson has made an outstanding contribution to writing in Scotland. In addition, he is a passionate exponent of the Scots language and has also enthusiastically encouraged political activism and participation.
“We also celebrate Anthony Phillips, who was appointed the first director of the Macrobert Arts Centre in 1970, before it officially opened to the public one year later. Since then, the centre – located at the heart of the University campus – has gone from strength-to-strength and today is a cultural hub offering everything from comedy, dance and music, to opera, art and film. The Macrobert’s success is due in no small part to the vision, ambition and hard work of Mr Phillips, who is also honoured for his major contribution to classical music, arts administration and literary translation.”
“I extend my congratulations to all of our graduands and honorary graduands on their hard-earned achievements."
The morning ceremony will celebrate the achievements of students graduating from the Faculties of Arts and Humanities and Health Sciences and Sport, while the afternoon ceremony will recognise those graduating from the Faculties of Natural Sciences, Social Sciences and Stirling Management School.