Students and a Dame honoured at Jim Naughtie’s last graduations as Chancellor

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Principal Gerry McCormac, Dame Anne McGuire and Dr James Naughtie
Principal Gerry McCormac, The Right Honourable Dame Anne McGuire, Chancellor James Naughtie

More than 1,100 graduates – from the Faculties of Arts and Humanities, Health Sciences, and Stirling Management School – celebrated their achievements on the final day of the University of Stirling’s summer graduation ceremonies.

The graduates in the morning ceremony received their degrees alongside The Right Honourable Dame Anne McGuire, who became a Doctor of the University, in recognition of her public service to the people of Stirling and to people with disabilities.

As Minister for Disabled People, Dame Anne oversaw the implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and the Disability Equality Duty for the public sector in 2006 – both of which became benchmarks for equality and inclusion.

Addressing graduates from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Dame Anne said: "I feel very privileged to be awarded an honorary degree by the University of Stirling and to stand alongside so many other graduates whose hard work and commitment are being recognised at today's ceremony.  

“I wish them all well for the future and feel sure that their experiences at Stirling have provided them with a strong foundation for whatever career and life decisions they make in the years to come."

The degrees were conferred by another Doctor of the University, James Naughtie, presiding over his last graduation ceremonies as Chancellor after a decade in the post.

In that time, he has officiated at nearly 70 graduation ceremonies and helped raise the profile of the University, in addition to his role as a journalist and broadcaster covering global news stories for the BBC.

Professor Gerry McCormac, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Stirling, said: “It is with much sadness that we bid farewell to our Chancellor.

“Now more than ever, we need sage voices like Jim’s to help us navigate through these uncertain times. Even when he is no longer our Chancellor, I know that Jim will continue to be a great friend to Stirling, and our entire University community.

“I want to put on record our sincere thanks and gratitude for everything he has done for us.  He’ll always be part of the Stirling family and an exceptional role model for our students.”

Chancellor Jim Naughtie said: “It has been an honour to serve as Chancellor of the University of Stirling for a decade, and an exhilarating one. I have been able to be part of a university filled with clever and compassionate staff, devoted to the best principles of education, and students whose vigour and imagination is a constant inspiration.

“This university - its students, alumni and staff - is making a difference to our world, at home and abroad. I have been privileged to represent it, and to know that the vision embodied in its foundation shines as brightly today as when our beautiful campus was established over half a century ago.

“I have no doubt it will go from strength to strength, serving new generations of students with ideas and opportunity.”

The two days of graduation ceremonies acknowledged the achievements of more than 2,150 graduates from five faculties.

For the first time, the University also recognised the achievements of three alumni and three students.

The Graduate of the Year awards went to wildlife cinematographer Doug Allan, President of the Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation International Company (JSBCI), Yuanyuan Qiu and Managing Director of Lingotot, Angela Sterling.

The Student of the Year awards went to Duncan Scott, who became Scotland’s most decorated swimmer at a single Commonwealth Games, at the 2018 competition in Australia; and Kelsey Blemings, who as Sports Union Communications Officer has worked to grow its social media presence and increase the number of student volunteers.

The class of 2018 will join a budding alumni community of more than 85,000 located in 170 countries around the world.

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

Background information

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Notes to editors

University of Stirling

The University of Stirling is ranked fifth in Scotland and 40th in the UK for research intensity in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. Stirling is committed to providing education with a purpose and carrying out research which has a positive impact on communities across the globe – addressing real issues, providing solutions and helping to shape society.

Interdisciplinary in its approach, Stirling’s research informs its teaching curriculum and facilitates opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaboration between staff, students, industry partners and the wider community.

The University’s scenic central Scotland campus – complete with a loch, castle and golf course – is home to more than 14,000 students and 1500 staff representing around 120 nationalities. This includes an ever-expanding base for postgraduate study. @stiruni