Stirling students celebrate alongside Olympic curler at Inverness graduation

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Image of graduation ceremony in Inverness

Olympic curler Eve Muirhead joined students at the University of Stirling’s graduation ceremony in Inverness today.

Eve, who won an Olympic bronze medal in 2014 as skip for the British team and has been World, European and Scottish Champion, received the award of Doctor of the University in recognition of her outstanding contribution to British sport.

She joined more than 90 students from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport receiving their degrees at Inverness Cathedral.

Image of Eve Muirhead with graduation scroll

Eve Muirhead

“It’s a great honour to receive this prestigious award from the University of Stirling,” Eve said.

“I‘d also like to congratulate everyone graduating alongside me on their hard work and on reaching the end of a long and hopefully rewarding journey.

“As a sportsperson I know the importance of working hard to achieve your goals and I wish you the very best with the next chapter of your lives.”

Senior Deputy Principal Professor Malcolm MacLeod conferred degrees and qualifications upon a cohort of nurses, as well as those leaving the University with specialist postgraduate degrees and other qualifications.

Image of (L-R) Professor Malcolm MacLeod, Eve Muirhead and Professor Jayne Donaldson

Image of (L-R): Professor Malcolm MacLeod, Eve Muirhead and Professor Jayne Donaldson

Professor MacLeod said: "Congratulations to all our students graduating in Inverness today. Stirling is committed to providing education with a purpose, and ‘being the difference’ is at the heart of that approach.

“Many students who have studied in the Highlands and Islands will go on to make a positive difference in communities locally, nationally and internationally. The degree they have earned will give them a chance to make a tangible difference in the world.

“I wish our graduates the best of luck as they take the experience gained at University to forge their own path in life, both professionally and personally.”

Among today’s graduates was mature student Sara Wood-Kwasniewska who graduated with a BSc degree in Adult Nursing from the Western Isles campus.

Image of Sara Wood-Kwasniewska with graduation scroll

Sara Wood-Kwasniewska

Sara opted for a complete change of life, moving from Surrey to the Isle of Harris in 2015 to undertake her degree - after working for 15 years as an advanced ambulance technician.

“I wanted to be able to understand and provide the full circle of care for my patients,” she said. “We would roll up outside various Accident and Emergency departments, having delivered quality care to our patients en-route, but I was always interested in what happened next. Were we right? What more could we have done? What more could I learn?”

Also graduating today was Amie MacDiarmid, who graduated with a BSc degree in Nursing (Mental Health) from the Highland campus – despite a life-changing experience at the start of her second year when her mother suffered an unexpected heart attack at work, resulting in severe brain injury.

Image of Amie MacDiarmid with graduation scroll

Amie MacDiarmid

“Although this event has been challenging and continuous, on reflection it has allowed me to develop a greater understanding of those who experience life adversity, and an awareness of the need for empathy and compassion towards individuals,” said Amie.

“It has helped drive me towards becoming a mental health nurse, so that I too can provide care and support to individuals in need, alongside their loved ones.”

The class of 2018 will join a budding alumni community of more than 88,000 located in 170 countries around the world.

Go to our Inverness Graduation Photo Gallery to view more from the day.