June 14th marks Commemoration Day, which is the annual celebration of the foundation of the University in 1451. The event comprise of 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 University was founded with the help of numerous generous benefactors, such as Mary, Queen of Scots; King James VI; King Charles I; Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector; King Charles II; King William III; Queen Anne; King George I; King George III; King William IV; and Queen Victoria. An extensive list of benefactors can be viewed here on our University Story page.
The custom of giving thanks to the University’s benefactors can be traced back to 1690 with the ‘Report of the Commissioners of Visitation’ which recommended:
‘that at all yearlie laureations … there be honourable mention made of the founders and benefactors by publick recital” (GUA 26637, p53)’
And the tradition continues in 2017, with the current form of celebrations having been followed for over a century. However, the roots can be traced back to the May banquet held first in 1492 at which was born the toast “Resurgat in Gloria Alma Mate” – which still spoken during the ceremony today.
Among those who will be awarded honorary degrees during Commemoration Day include the comic book artistic Vincent Deighan, known more commonly by his pen-name Frank Quietly. The geneticist and cell biologist Paul Nurse will also be honoured, as well as Glasgow Airport’s managing director Amanda McMillan. A full list of the graduands is available here.
Congratulations to all Honorary Graduates and Happy Commemoration Day to everyone!