Science, charity and sporting greats celebrate student success at winter graduations

26 November 2013

Science, charity and sporting greats celebrate student success at winter graduations

Professor John Marshall MBE

More than 1000 Glasgow Caledonian University students from across the University have graduated in the first set of winter graduation ceremonies to be held in the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC) and Clyde Auditorium.

Students from the University’s three academic schools – Engineering and Built Environment, the Glasgow School for Business and Society and Health and Life Sciences – were presented with their degrees and ‘capped’ in the traditional ceremonies.

Monday’s graduates joined Sir Craig Reedie, CBE, Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee, who was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science.

Tuesday’s honorary graduates included Professor John Marshall MBE, the world renowned scientist whose pioneering work on lasers has led to innovative eye treatments, who was also awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science.

Founder of international relief agency Mary’s Meals, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow OBE and Ian Michael Grabiner, Group Chief Executive of the Arcadia Group, were each awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University.

During Tuesday’s morning ceremony, Professor Marshall told students that many people had initially told him that his now celebrated work on lasers was impossible. He challenged GCU’s latest graduates to “see what everybody has seen but think what nobody has thought.”

Fashion business leader Ian reflected on a career that has taken him from cleaning shop floors aged 18 to working with some of the best known brands in fashion today, such as Topshop, Topman and Miss Selfridges. He asked the graduates to “work hard, play hard and to give something back.”

While Magnus reminded graduates that, based on his experiences fundraising for Mary’s Meals, that education was not something that everyone in the world enjoys and that graduates should "use the gift of education to do good in the world and make this world better." 

Students spoke about their sense of achievement before and after the ceremonies.

Lyle Ferguson, from Gourock, who graduated in Human Biology with Psychology and Sociology, summed up the feelings of many. He said: "After four years, I feel proud and excited. I'm looking at perhaps going into teaching but for now I will enjoy the day."

Daniel Miller, from Uddingston, who graduated with a BA in Business and Management, said: "I really enjoyed my four-year course and liked the economics and marketing aspect of it especially. I'm working at British Gas now and I'm going to see how far I can take it there.”

• Tickets for the November graduation ball are on sale now. The ball takes place on 30 November, from 7pm until 1am, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Argyle Street, Glasgow. Find out more.