Graduation 2016/1916: Women in Chemistry

At 11am today, MA and BSc students will be graduating from the University of Glasgow and moving on to the next exciting stage in their lives. This morning’s graduation will feature students from various different subjects across the University, and in today’s blog post we’ll be focusing on Chemistry graduates.

Our General Council Registers provide us with a list of degrees, home address and perhaps most interestingly, jobs held by Glasgow graduates. Through looking through the registers we have been able to identify three female graduates from 100 years ago who went on to have careers within the field of Chemistry:

Dorothy McMichael began her studies at the University of Glasgow aged 18. She was born in Glasgow, daughter of a house factor named James McMichael. She listed her home address as 1 Clifton Street, Glasgow.

During her first year Dorothy studied Chemistry, Chemical Laboratory and Mathematics. In her second year she moved onto studying Natural Philosophy and Botany. In her final years she also studied Physiology, but Chemistry remained her principle subject. After graduating from the University in 1916, Dorothy stayed in Glasgow became a Technical Chemist. She later married and moved to Edinburgh.



Catherine Reid Beveridge first matriculated at the University in 1912 aged 19 to study for a Science degree. She was the daughter of James Beveridge, a banker. Reid was from Glasgow, but listed her home address as ‘Shelterha’, Strathmore Road, Hamilton.

Catherine studied subjects such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Botany and Natural Philosophy during her time here. Her principle subject was Geology. She had a highly successful academic career and won various prizes for her work in Systematic Chemistry, Botany and Geology. According to the General Council Register 1920, she went onto become an Analytic Chemist and still resided in Hamilton. Through looking at the later General Council Register of 1943, we can see that she still worked as an Analytic Chemist and had moved to Manchester.


Barbara Scott first enrolled at the University aged 19 to study for a Science degree. She was born in Larkhall, Lanarkshire, and was the daughter of a baker named John. Barbara studied Mathematics and Chemistry in her first year, and moved on to study Natural Philosophy and Geology in her second year. In her final years of study at the University she took classes in Botany and Inorganic Chemistry, with Geology being her principle subject. After graduating in 1916 Barbara became an Analytical Chemist and stayed in Larkhall. She later moved to Glasgow and became a teacher.



Congratulations to all today’s graduates, we wish you every success for the future! Don’t forget to check out the 1916 graduates on the University Story website, and if you would like to find out about any graduates from 1916 please e-mail us at


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