Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) students were given the opportunity to thank Sir Alex Ferguson CBE personally for his support enabling them to volunteer on life changing projects in Africa and Asia.
The first Sir Alex Ferguson Award recipients met the GCU honorary graduate as he spent two days on campus hearing more about how students will benefit from his £500,000 commitment to the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation.
“I don’t think it has sunk in yet that it’s really happening and I am very grateful to experience this opportunity of a lifetime,” said Angela McIntyre, who is studying for a Post Experience Certificate in Supporting Learning and Student Engagement.
Angela will volunteer with Global Vision International in India on projects giving women and young girls equal access to education, health care and income. “Equal opportunities for all are something that I am very passionate about and I can’t wait to go to India and get involved in the project.”
Three students are taking their construction expertise to Malawi this summer to help protect schools against flooding. Quantity Surveying student Tim McQuade; Electrical Engineering student Warren Capaldi and Environmental Civil Engineering student James Halliday will work with Students For Malawi to develop a climate-resistant classroom block, which is a method of building structural walls with gabion baskets enabling the walls to cope with water escape.
Tim McQuade said: “Flooding in Malawi has caused terrible destruction to buildings and crops across the country. We are all construction students of one type or another so hopefully can use our knowledge and experience to teach this building technique to people in Malawi so they can then use it in the future. It is an honour to receive the support from Sir Alex Ferguson through the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation.”
Sir Alex said: “I am delighted to support GCU, which shares in my belief that if you give young people opportunity, they will flourish. Meeting the students on campus and hearing them speak passionately about their projects gives me great confidence they will make the most of their education and I look forward to hearing more about their achievements.”
During his visit, the former Manchester United manager also addressed students and staff and was guest of honour at the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation Dinner 2016, which raised more than £80,000 for student scholarships and awards.
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, GCU Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Sir Alex Ferguson and his support for GCU are an inspiration to our current and future students. As the University for the Common Good, GCU is transforming lives through education and is a sector leader in widening access to education, providing opportunities to talented individuals regardless of their background.”
Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “Through the backing of our founding donor Sir Alex Ferguson and other generous supporters, we have raised more than £5 million to date to provide life-changing opportunities to Glasgow Caledonian University students.”
The Sir Alex Ferguson Award is a new addition to the University’s Magnusson Awards, established in honour of the late broadcaster and former chancellor Magnus Magnusson KBE.