GCU celebrates ten years of Magnus Magnusson awards

17 May 2017

Helping patients with eye diseases in Ghana and travelling to Nepal to raise awareness of climate change are just two of the life-changing projects being carried out by students at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in the name of the University’s late Chancellor, journalist and broadcaster Magnus Magnusson KBE. 

Seven Magnus Magnusson Awards were presented to students during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 16. The awards will support them to volunteer with projects across the globe, bringing their expertise and knowledge to parts of the world where it will make a real and lasting difference.

This year’s special event in the University’s Saltire Centre marked the 10th year of the Magnus Magnusson Awards.

The awards have supported more than 80 students to undertake their own dream projects worldwide. Speaking in conversation, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE and Dr Sally Magnusson, daughter of Magnus, discussed their favourite memories of the awards and the story of how it all began.

Sally also interviewed three former student winners, sharing the remarkable impact their award had on their life and the lives of others several years on:

Joel Somerville drove 6,000 miles across West Africa to work on board a mercy ship as a volunteer optometrist carrying out vital eye surgeries; John McAlinden recorded his first album, which lead to his band Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five touring the world; and Gillian Murray delivered lifesaving care for new born babies in Tanzania.

As well as celebrating past achievements, awards were presented to this year's student winners.

Professor Gillies said: “Ten years ago, the Magnus Magnusson Awards were created to support and cultivate the ambitions and dreams of the talented young people of Glasgow Caledonian University who wish to share their talents in some way with others. We, as the University for the Common Good, are so proud of the achievements that have been made possible over the years through this incredible initiative.”

Sally said: “I feel thrilled and humbled. My father cared very much for seeing young people flourish. He understood their aspirations and was curious about what they wanted to do with their lives. To think his name and what the University has done in his name has enabled people to bloom and blossom in the way that all our students who won awards have done would have thrilled him.”

Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “Since the awards began, in honour of Magnus and his passion for learning, our students have been able to realise their dreams and ambitions as a result of donations from friends and alumni. This year marks a very special achievement. ”

This year’s awards were presented to:

Fiona Jarvis
Sir Alex Ferguson Award
MSc Climate Justice

Christine Hazleton

Merchants House Magnusson Award
Research Fellow at the Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Research Unit

Jessica Hancock
Merchants House Magnusson Award
PGCert Higher Education, GCU London

Joanna McAleer
Sir Alex Ferguson Award
BA Hons International Business and Tourism Management

Aloys Muhashyi
Ede & Ravenscroft Magnusson Award
BSc (Hons) Computing

Noah Walakir
Santander Magnusson Award
BA (Hons) Social Sciences

Irene Fosuhemaa Bossman and Bright Anyimah Oduro
Bishops Conference Magnusson Award
MSc Diabetes Care and Management, and MSc Clinical Opthalmology and Vision Research