A GCU graduate was presented with an Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award at a special ceremony on campus last night.
Margaret Gibson OBE, who graduated with a Diploma in Communications Studies in 1982, was recognised for her outstanding contribution to business and entrepreneurship at The Secrets to My Success, an event where graduates returned to the University to pass on career advice to current students.
Margaret, who currently leads the Ernst and Young Foundation in Scotland, has supported youth entrepreneurship for almost 30 years through her role as Deputy Chief Executive of the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust and as a volunteer with Young Enterprise Scotland.
She is also a governor with the University of the West of Scotland and is a founding trustee of smartSTEMS, a charity that inspires young women into STEM careers.
In 2015, Margaret was the first women in Scotland to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and she was awarded an OBE in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.
She said: “I’m incredibly honoured and quite humbled to have received this award from GCU. I never thought when I came here in 1980 I’d be given something like this all these years later.
“I grew up in Sighthill, just a couple of miles away, and the reason I chose to study here was because my family couldn’t afford the bus fare for me to travel anywhere else – I could walk to GCU.
“It seems ridiculous now but I know there are still students who struggle financially so I’d like to think that accepting this award on behalf of people who think college or university of further education isn’t for them – it’s for everybody.”
Margaret was joined at The Secrets to My Success by three other GCU graduates, including comedian Phil Differ, the Head of Partnerships at TEDxGlasgow, Pauline Houston, and broadcaster Colin Stone, who also hosted the event and facilitated an audience Q+A.
Jillian Watt, Director of GCU Foundation, Alumni Engagement and Events, said: “The Secrets to My Success series is a great opportunity for us to welcome back alumni and friends to campus to network and hear the journeys of some of our most successful graduates.
“We are thrilled to be able to use this platform as an opportunity to present alumnae Margaret Gibson OBE, with an Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her significant and continued contribution to business and entrepreneurship throughout her career.”