Actor Gavin Mitchell and UNICEF ambassador Muzoon Almellehan honoured by GCU

Thu, 04 Jul 2019 16:53:00 BST

Hundreds of students celebrated their graduation with one of Scotland’s best-loved actors and a children’s rights campaigner on the last day of GCU’s summer ceremonies.

Gavin Mitchell, best-known for his role as Boabby the Barman in the BBC sitcom Still Game, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Muzoon Almellehan both received honorary degrees at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.

A star of stage, screen and the arts for more than 30 years, Gavin was presented with an honorary Doctor of Letters for his outstanding contribution to the television and media industry and his support of new talent through GCU's MA TV Fiction Writing course.

The award was also conferred in recognition of his commitment to charitable causes and his support for raising awareness of mental health.

In his acceptance speech, which he opened with Boabby the Barman’s catchphrase ‘..look who it isnae’, he thanked his late father for introducing him to self-education, Glasgow Libraries, and the city’s Citizens Theatre, where he started his acting career.

He told students: “I am shocked, honoured, amazed, delighted, stunned, overwhelmed and indeed humbled to receive this award.

“It is a lovely surprise. This truly does mean a lot to me.”

Dr Ben McConville, head of Media and Journalism at GCU, said: "Gavin is part of the GCU family and we are proud of his association with us.

"His commitment to the University is total and infectious. The help he has provided to our students has been utterly invaluable.

"Gavin's support for mental health charities is particularly close to his heart. He is passionate about helping others, considering it his moral obligation to do so."

Named as one of the BBC’s 100 Influential and Inspirational Women, Muzoon Almellehan began campaigning for children’s rights while living in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp.

In Za’atari, she began working with Unicef, campaigning for the rights of children, particularly girls, to an education, becoming the organisation’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador.

Receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws, she said: “This honorary degree for a young activist like me shows the unwavering efforts that the University is doing in order to give a platform for young people.

“I am receiving this on behalf of millions of children and those are voiceless people who cannot represent themselves.

“This award means so much to me and It is a strong motivation as well as a unique encouragement to continue and advocate for children's rights worldwide.”