Commemoration Day 2023

Published: 14 June 2023

Six leaders in their field were today awarded an honorary degree by UofG

A group photo of honorary graduates who were conferred on Commemoration Day 2023

The University of Glasgow today awarded six honorary degrees to individuals in recognition of their achievements in the fields of politics, arts, science, sport and humanities.

Among the recipients were Booker Prize winning novellist Douglas Stuart, Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir;  businessperson Sandy Black; economist and director general of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Mamphela Ramphele, academic and anti-apartheid activist and Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Sir Chris Whitty.

The six were recognised at Commemoration Day - which marks the foundation of the University in 1451. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an economist and director-general of the World Trade Organisation, said as an economist it "means a lot" to receive an honorary degree in the home of Adam Smith.


Olympic athlete Laura Muir graduated as a vet from the university in 2018. She won silver in the 1500 metres at the Olympics in Tokyo, said becoming a Doctor of the University was "a huge, huge honour".

Author Douglas Stuart, who won the Booker Prize in 2020 for his  debut novel Shuggie Bain, said he felt "really proud" to be "recognised in my home town”.

Mamphela Ramphele, an academic and anti-apartheid activist, said it was "a privilege" and "treat" to be in Glasgow to receive her honorary degree.

UofG alumni and business leader Sandy Black, who is a law graduate, said "never ever give up in achieving your aims".

Other honorary degrees will be conferred during the Summer and Winter Graduations at UofG. 


First published: 14 June 2023

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