University to welcome new honorary graduates at summer graduations

University to welcome new honorary graduates at summer graduations

An award-winning writer, an entrepreneur and business leader, a renowned organist and an energy executive will be honoured by the University of Aberdeen at this year's summer graduations.

Kathryn McPhail is an energy executive with extensive public policy experience. She graduated with a Master of Arts in Political Studies from the University of Aberdeen, before going on to achieve a Master of Laws at the University of Edinburgh. Between 2010 and 2019, she served as a Governor of the University of Aberdeen, where she was a member of the Research, Remunerations and Governance Committees. Kathryn is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EnergyCC, a shared investor / industry platform for collaboration aimed at achieving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

Kathryn will be awarded a Doctor of the University (DUniv) on Monday 26 June. 

Dr Grahame Davies, who will be awarded with a Doctor of Letters (DLitt) on Tuesday 27 June, is a poet, author, literary critic, journalist and courtier with several awards to his name, including the Wales Book of the Year Award. He has also been involved in numerous collaborations with visual and musical artists, including as a lyricist for the composers Karl Jenkins and Professor Paul Mealor.  

Tuesday will also see Professor Andrew Morrisson receive a Doctor of Music (DMus) from the University. Professor Morrisson is an Organist who served as Master of the Choristers at Aberdeen’s St Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral for over thirty-five years. Andrew graduated from Imperial College, London, before obtaining a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Aberdeen in 1980. He was appointed Assistant Organist at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Aberdeen, and then Organist and Master of the Choristers in 1983. He went on to became one of the longest serving organists of any cathedral in the UK and has directed the Cathedral Choir in over 30 major churches across the British Isles, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral and York Minster and has led tours to the United States and Europe.  

On Thursday 29 June, Jeanette Forbes OBE will receive a Master of the University (MUniv). A qualified systems engineer, serial entrepreneur and businesswomen, Jeanette founded Aberdeen-based PCL Group in 2000, a global company with a comprehensive and varied portfolio of IT services. As a high-profile female leader in the traditionally male dominated technology and energy sectors, Jeanette is a strong advocate for encouraging more young people, particularly girls, into careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). She was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for Services to Business, Technology and Charity in the 2020 Queen’s New Year Honours List. 

Professor George Boyne, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, commented: “Graduations are always a highlight of the year as we take the time to celebrate the tremendous achievements of our students and our honorary degree recipients, who have all achieved so much in their respective fields. 

“Graduation is a proud moment for our students and their families as they take the time to reflect upon and celebrate what they have achieved. I am sure everyone will leave the ceremonies with a sense of pride and ready for whatever challenges are ahead. I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all our graduating students the very best of luck for the future and to thank them for making the University of Aberdeen part of their story.” 

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