Commemoration Day 2016

Today is Commemoration Day, an annual celebration of the foundation of the University in 1451, thanks to the many benefactors whose gifts have supported the development of the University.

The events of the day include a service for the Commemoration of Benefactors in the University Chapel; the conferring of honorary degrees by the Chancellor; and the Commemoration Day lunch. The current form of celebrations has been followed for over a century but its roots go back to the annual May banquet held first in 1492 at which was born the toast “Resurgat in Gloria Alma Mater”.

Some early documents in the archive enable us to trace the tradition of giving thanks to the University’s benefactors, with the ‘Report of the Commissioners of Visitation’ in 1690, recommending:

““that at all yearlie laureations … there be honourable mention made of the founders and benefactors by publick recital” (GUA 26637, p53)

Copy report of the Commissioners of Visitation- 1690 (GUA 26637, p53)

Copy report of the Commissioners of Visitation- 1690 (GUA 26637, p53)

Among those who will be awarded Honorary degrees today include Judy Murray, honoured for her contribution to tennis at both grassroots and professional level; Lesley Thomson QC, former Solicitor General for Scotland – only the second woman to hold that position; Phil Smith, Chief Executive, UK and Ireland, of Cisco International Ltd for his contribution to the Information and Communications Technology industry and his role in inspiring young people from all backgrounds to take up technology careers.

Stephen Conway, chief executive of Erskine Hospital, will become a Doctor of the University to mark Erskine Hospital’s 100th anniversary.

More information about those being awarded honorary degrees today here.

Congratulations to all Honorary Graduates and Happy Commemoration Day everyone!



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