The University of Glasgow awards honorary doctorates to Laura Muir and Chris Witty

The honoris causae are awarded to recipients in recognition of their achievements in politics, the arts, science, sports, and the humanities.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday 14 June at a special ceremony marking the university’s founding in 1451.

Recipients include Booker Prize-winning novelist Douglas Stuart, Ms Muir and Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Chris Whitty.

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Ms Muir, a 30-year-old from Inverness, is a five-time European indoor champion in the 1,500m and 3,000m and won silver in the 1,500m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Sir Whitty was appointed CMO for England in 2019 and has played a high-profile role during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Stuart is known as the author of Shuggie Bain, and grew up on the Sighthill estate in Glasgow.

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While aspiring to study English literature as an undergraduate, he told the New York Times he was dissuaded from taking the subject by a teacher who mentioned it “wouldn’t suit someone with his background.”

Shuggie Bain was awarded the Booker Prize in 2020. This makes Mr Stuart only the second Scot, after James Kelman in 1994, to win the prestigious award.

Other people honored on the memorial day include businesswoman Sandy Black; Economist and Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Mamphela Ramphele, academic and anti-apartheid activist.

The university’s graduation ceremonies each summer and winter also award honorary degrees to a number of honorees – including attorney David Lammy; clothing and textile historian Barbara Burman; musician Paul Buchanan; and actor Bill Paterson.

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dr Gita Gopinath, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, also receives an honorable mention before delivering a Hunter Foundation lecture as part of the university’s centenary celebrations of esteemed alumni Adam Smith.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow said: “I am really delighted to welcome such distinguished people from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines to our university community. The awarding of honorary degrees is a way for the university to recognize world-changing achievements and celebrate the achievements of these individuals.

“As a civic institution, we want to do more to have a positive impact on the communities we serve and build on the legacy of the innovators, thinkers and creative minds the university has nurtured over the past 572 years. Each of our honorary graduates has made an important difference in their respective fields, bringing benefits to society and the lives of people around the world.”

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The full list of honorary degrees in 2023 is:

Doctor of Literature (DLitt)

Douglas Stuart, author

Barbara Burman, historian of clothing and textiles

dr Elizabeth Kendall, Mistress of Girton College, Cambridge University

Professor Jane Roberts, Professor of English Studies

Doctor of Science (DSc)

Professor Sir Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England

Professor Halina Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Professor of Physics, University of Queensland

Professor Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Center at the University of Sydney

dr Ellen Voorhees, National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA

Doctor of University (DUniv)

Sandy Black, entrepreneur

Laura Muir, athlete

dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Economist

Mamphela Ramphele, academic and activist

Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite

Gilbert Houngbo, Director General of the International Labor Organisation

Bill Paterson, actor

professor dr Friederike Welter, President and Managing Director, Institute for SME Research (IfM), Germany

Doctor of Laws (LLD)

David Lammy, Attorney

Doctor of Music (DMus)

Paul Buchanan, musician

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (DVMS)

Professor Peter Holmes, Professor Emeritus of Veterinary Physiology

Doctor of Literature (DLitt)

dr Gita Gopinath, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund

Professor Cecilia Rouse, Chair of the US Council of Economic Advisers

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