Isabella Elder honoured

Image of Isabella ElderIsabella Elder, the philanthropist and education pioneer, has been honoured during a short ceremony in which a University building was named in her memory.

The ceremony included an official plaque unveiling at the building adjacent to the Bower building at Botany Gate which was formerly occupied by Estates and Buildings. 

The opening was attended by senior University of Glasgow staff and members of the Ure Elder Trust.  The Isabella Elder Building will now accommodates Safety and Environmental Protection Services and sections of the Development & Alumni Office.  The Conference & Visitor Services Office is also shortly to be re-located there.

The Ure Elder Trust says it is delighted that the University of Glasgow has renamed the building in honour of Isabella Elder. 

The Trust focusses its support on charitable initiatives that support those with limited means connected to Glasgow and also initiatives relating to the prevention of poverty, the advancement of health and the advancement of education.

Isabella Elder was a philanthropist and education pioneer.  A University spokesperson said: "The University is indebted to her support in the late 19th century and we felt it was important to recognise her legacy on our campus in a tangible way. 

"In recognition of her late husband's enthusiasm for promoting the application of scientific principles in industry, she gave endowments to support both Engineering and Naval Architecture.  She was also a major force in medical education for women, donating North Park House in the city's West End to Queen Margaret College and subsequently financing the first courses of study at the College's new School of Medicine.

"Following the merger of Queen Margaret College into the University of Glasgow, the first women medical graduates in Scotland graduated in 1894, thanks in part to Isabella's vision and generosity," the spokesperson said.

Isabella Elder was also one of the first women to be awarded the honorary degree of LLD in 1901.

You can find out more about her life and times on the University's Archive Services pages.

First published: 8 December 2015