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Leading Scottish figures to be honoured by the University of Aberdeen

Three leading figures from the worlds of politics, further education, and music will be honoured by the University of Aberdeen at its annual, winter graduation ceremonies at Marischal College later this month.

A prominent Scottish nationalist and former Member of Parliament, Winnie Ewing, Principal and Chief Executive of Aberdeen College, Rae Angus, and a retired technician and curator from the University Music, Derek Giles, will each receive honorary degrees next week.

Winnie Ewing and Rae Angus will both receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) at the two ceremonies on Friday, 26 November, at 11.00am and 3.00pm respectively.

Winnie Ewing is a prominent Scottish nationalist and was formerly a Member of Parliament, Member of the European Parliament, and Member of the Scottish Parliament.

She became active in campaigning for Scottish independence through her membership of the Glasgow University Scottish Nationalist Association, and came to prominence in 1967 when she won the Hamilton by-election as the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate. A practising solicitor at the time of her election, she proved to be a sound choice as her eloquence and ability bolstered a hard-fought SNP campaign and saw her through to victory. She famously said at the time of her election, 'stop the world, Scotland wants to get on', and her presence at Westminster proved to be a real focus for the SNP with a significant rise in membership being the result. Furthermore, many political commentators speculate that it was as a result of her victory that the then Labour Government established the Kilbrandon Commission to look into the establishment of a devolved Scottish Assembly.

Rae Angus is Principal and Chief Executive of Aberdeen College, Scotland's largest further education college.
On leaving school Mr Angus became an apprentice gas fitter and worked in the engineering and construction industries. He subsequently became a mature student at the University of Aberdeen, graduating with a First Class Honours degree in Economic History in 1975. He went on to gain the postgraduate degree of MLitt in Strategic Studies in 1978.

He began his academic career at the University of Aberdeen as a Research Fellow before entering the Further Education Sector as a Lecturer in Economics at Aberdeen College of Commerce. He progressed to become Senior Depute Principal of Aberdeen College of Commerce and was closely involved in the merger of three further education colleges in the Aberdeen area that formed Aberdeen College and was appointed Principal of Aberdeen College in 1993.

On Saturday, 27 November at 11.00am, Derek Giles will receive the Honorary Degree of Master of the University (MUniv).

Throughout his period of work at the University - an enviable 38 years - Derek Giles, technician and curator of the University's historic instruments became an invaluable asset to the musical life of the University. Generations of students and staff are indebted to Derek and his presence in Music at the University. His capacity to 'go the extra mile' in helping others is legendary and is one of the factors that has enabled University Music to establish and maintain excellent relations with other musicians in the City, the region and further afield. For his many services to the University, to the City and region, Derek was awarded an MBE earlier this year.

The winter graduation ceremonies will be held at Mitchell Hall, Marischal College on Friday, November 26 @ 11.00am and 3.00pm and Saturday, November 27 @ 11.00am.

You are invited to send a photographer / camera crew / reporter to cover any of the graduation ceremonies to be held at Mitchell Hall, Marischal College. Media accreditation must be obtained beforehand from the University’s Communications Office, tel: (01224) 272960 - on a first come, first served basis.


Notes to Editors

Issued by the Communications Team, Office of External Affairs, University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen. Tel: (01224) 272014.

Issued on: Friday 19th of November 2004

Ref: 1524winterhongrads
Contact: Angela Ferguson

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