Honorary graduate and founding donor to the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, Sir Alex Ferguson CBE returned to campus on the 29th of March to meet with a group of students who have benefitted from his generous £500,000 donation.
Recipients of scholarships, travel awards and Magnusson Awards had the opportunity to speak to Sir Alex about their life-changing experiences which were made possible thanks to his support.
The beneficiary group included those who had volunteered on international development projects, such as building a wind turbine and two classrooms in Malawi, a physiotherapy placement in Nepal, and a study visit to the African Leadership College (ALC), in which the University is a founding academic partner.
Social sciences student Jayde O’Connor, 22, was one of the ambitious students who visited the African Leadership College. She said: “To be a leader you need to inspire people and Sir Alex has certainly done that. He has made me want to continue my charity work and this has given me confidence; if he can make it, why can’t we all.”
Lily Hosie, fourth year physiotherapy student, thanked Sir Alex for the international experience she gained. She said: “It’s given me a different perspective on life. I have a whole other idea of how other people live and the difficulties they face. I am more appreciative of the things that I have here and I can transfer that into family, work or university. It is something that will always stay with me.”
Sir Alex said: “Returning to the University and listening to students speaking passionately about their experiences, I see great potential and leadership in many of our young people. It is an honour to support the work of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation and learn more about the students while playing my part in helping them to reach their potential.”
Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “As the University for the Common Good, our goal is to transform lives through education. The support from Sir Alex Ferguson enables our students to gain unique experiences and skills and this is an opportunity for us to thank Sir Alex for his continued support and be inspired by one of the most successful and respected managers in the history of football.”