University bids farewell to Alec Scrimgeour
Published: 16 September 2019
Head of Principal's Office retires after more than 30 years' service
Alec Scrimgeour, Head of Principal’s Office, retired on Friday, 13 September, after more than 30 years’ service at the University of Glasgow – not including his time as a student.
Alec graduated with an M.A. Hons in English Literature and Philosophy followed by an M.Litt. He worked first in student accommodation to cover a maternity leave, then as Assistant Registrar followed by the role of Assistant Secretary of Court. In 1997 he joined the Planning Unit and then moved to Information Services working for the then Vice Principal, Arthur Allison. In 2004 he was asked to become his Executive Assistant by former Principal Sir Muir Russell; his duties ranged from speech-writing to writing articles, reports and briefings.
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli told a gathering of Alec’s friends and colleagues: “I inherited Alec. He has been absolutely fantastic in the role – and it is a role that has changed to Head of Principal’s Office.”
Alec had been “absolutely assiduous” and “incredibly diplomatic” in his role, said Sir Anton, who went on to pick out for particular comment his speechwriting skills and calmness in fraught situations.
Alec described himself, after 33.58 years of employment (according to CORE), as an “institutional limpet clinging to the Gilmorehill stone”.
“So for me, as an institutional limpet, it wasn’t just about survival – it was about drawing on the richness of all that this place has to offer.
“And, of course, core to this has been everything this place stands for. What could be more serious, more important, more essential than to be bound up with a place that seeks knowledge, strives for a deeper understanding of the world we inhabit, and works to share this enterprise and its outcomes with each new generation of student and the world outside. And I passionately believe that whatever role we perform here, we are integral to the success of this enterprise!” he said.
He concluded: “If I have a campaign slogan, it is this: Put the ‘us’, back into Campus! It’s not CampI, CampYou, CampHe, CampShe, CampIt. It is Campus, CampUs – all of us. And that’s what has made working around our University CampuUs so very special to me. It’s the fact I could be part of this mission – with its world saving, life-saving, life enhancing, potential, - while wrapping myself up, and living through, the deep-seated humanity of it all. For it has been a privilege and honour to be part of the mission of what Universities are here to do – and which Glasgow has embodied – and to be part of it with such great people over so many years.“
First published: 16 September 2019