Special guests join GSBS students at summer graduation

03 July 2018

Students from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU)’s Glasgow School for Business and Society today celebrated their graduations with special honorary guests.

Award-winning actor Martin Compston, human rights activists Bakira Hasecic and Mabel van Oranje, and US politician and lawyer Hon Richard Brodsky joined students graduating in two ceremonies at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

Line of Duty star Martin Compston received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from Chancellor Annie Lennox in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of television, his fundraising efforts with Ardgowan Hospice and his commitment to GCU students.

The Greenock-born actor, who shot to fame when he was cast in Ken Loach film Sweet Sixteen, said: “Believe it or not if acting or football hadn’t worked out I was on my way to university to become an accountant.

“As much as I’ve loved every crazy step of becoming an actor, I always regretted missing out on the university experience. The thrill of opening yourself up to a world of new ideas. The excitement of discovering your craft amongst a sea of new faces. Learning from mentors you’ll never forget, making friends for life.

“Just because you’re about to enter the working world doesn’t mean the fun has to stop. You only get one life so you better enjoy it. Days like today when you’re surrounded by your family and friends who are all immensely proud of you, cherish it, I know I will.”

Earlier in the day, Bakira Hasecic, founder of the Association of Women Victims of War, received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of her outstanding contribution to human rights and justice for women in Bosnia. In the morning ceremony, US lawyer and politician Richard Brodsky, received an Honorary Degree of in Doctor of Laws in recognition of his contribution to environmental and conservation policy in New York.

International human rights activist Mabel van Oranje, also received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws in recognition of her outstanding contribution to global human rights and commitment to non-profit organisations such as the Malala Fund, Crisis Action and the Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

She told students: “Embrace failures, be pragmatic and be patient, then we can create a better more equal world - and make sure you have fun.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate the work and achievements of our students, and our honorary graduates, who are outstanding examples of our university’s enduring commitment to work for the common good.”