Stephen Robertson MBE was formally installed as Rector for the University of Aberdeen, today (Friday 17 October) at a ceremony at King's College Chapel.
Stephen Robertson takes over the three year tenure from the previous incumbent Robin Harper MSP.
The ceremony begun with a colourful academic procession representing civic, student and academic life in Aberdeen. University staff and students, along with representatives from the City and Aberdeenshire Councils, Incorporated Trades, MSPs, alumni, and guests of Stephen Robertson, attended the ceremony which was followed by a reception in the King's Conference Centre.
The reception culminated with the new Rector being carried by the student mascot, Angus the Bull, to the St Machar Bar in the High Street of Old Aberdeen, where tradition dictates that he buy a round of drinks for his student supporters.
Speaking ahead of his installation, Stephen Robertson said: "As a graduate of the University of Aberdeen I am absolutely delighted to have been selected by the students of today to serve as their Rector. Some people have greatness thrust upon them and I will certainly become one of them today! I'm looking forward to working with the student community and performing my rectorial duties with the commitment and dedication that the students and the University deserve."
Stephen Robertson is well known across Scotland and beyond as a member of the Scotland the What? trio who met as students at the University of Aberdeen.
During his time at the University Stephen was an active member of the student body, performing in the Student Show for five years and representing the University at squash. His dedication to student union activities culminated in his election as President of the Union Management Committee 1956/57.
Welcoming the new Rector, Professor C Duncan Rice, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University said: "I believe that it is especially fitting that we install as our new Rector today someone who not only played such a full part in student life during their own student days, but has continued an extremely close relationship with the University community throughout distinguished careers in the legal profession and the world of entertainment. On behalf of the academic community I am very pleased to welcome Stephen to this important role."
The Rector is an ancient post dating back to the foundation of the University in 1495, and has been since 1860 the students' representative on the University Court. The Rector of the University of Aberdeen serves for three years, with a main role to represent the students, particularly in welfare matters.
Students' Association President, Duncan McKay is looking forward to working with Stephen Robertson. He said: "I feel it a great privilege to install – on behalf of the student community - a new Rector of the calibre of Stephen Robertson. In his own student days Stephen was a champion in many ways, and then went on to champion this region and its culture all over the world. We know that he will do the same for today's student community and we look forward to working with him over the coming years."