Website tells University story

Published: 22 August 2007

The University of Glasgow has launched a new project to present the history of the University on the web.

The University of Glasgow has launched a new project to present the history of the University on the web.

The University of Glasgow Story provides information about men and women who have made significant contributions to the development and progress of the University, and the different ways in which they have been remembered on campus.
There are biographies of more than 200 individuals, including employees, graduates, academics and benefactors such as James Watt, Donald Dewar, Adam Smith and Isabella Elder.

Their stories are linked to short descriptions of the buildings, professorships, scholarships and other places and features of University life which have been named in their honour. 

The site can be found at

Sir Muir Russell, the Principal of the University of Glasgow, said: “The University has flourished as a result of over 550 years of innovation. This has depended on men and women of quality and vision who have committed their talents to the University.

“It has also been due to the support of alumni, friends and other partners who have helped build the strength and reputation of the University. The University is building on six centuries of excellence. Those who have made a contribution to the University of Glasgow Story will be found within these pages.”

Some of the facts found on the site include - 

• the explorer David Livingstone studied Greek at the University.

• The moral philosopher and political economist Adam Smith lived with his mother in Professors' Court.

• The University football team defeated the Icelandic national team 3-1 in Reykjavik in 1929.

• The degree of Doctor of Laws was awarded in 1746 on Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland (1721-1765), the infamous "Butcher Cumberland" who commanded the British Army at the Battle of Culloden.

• The Principal had his own brewhouse in the basement of a house at the Old College.

• The name "isotopes" was coined at a dinner party in the building at 11 University Gardens. 

• John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, studied Electricity, Pure & Applied, at the University in 1914-1915.

Lesley Richmond, Director of the University Archive Service, said: “It’s amazing just what you can find on this site. There are saints, monarchs, poets, vets, marine engineers, politicians, physicists, lawyers, nobel prize winners, doctors, industrialists, philanthropists, arisocrats, surgeons, women suffragists, authors, public health reformers, diplomats and, of course, academics.

“And there is a service where you can find out what was happening On This Day in the University’s history.”

The University of Glasgow was founded in1451 and all aspects of its 556-year history can be found on the website.

University Story Project Director Moira Rankin said: “The Glasgow University Story is looking for help from the public in the next stage of the project.

“We now want to capture the University community’s memories of the Second World War. These will be published on the website alongside the Roll of Honour of the men and women who died in service.  We’d like to hear from anyone who was around the University at that time—students, local residents or anyone with something to share.”

First published: 22 August 2007

<< August