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Honorary Fellowships conferred at Abertay ceremony

7 December 2015

Honorary Fellowships were conferred last night (Monday 7 December) on four prominent individuals who have made significant contributions to Abertay University.

Stewart Murdoch, Irene Callaghan, Alastair Scott and Antony Blackshaw were honoured for their unique contributions to the University’s development and achievements.

The Fellowships were conferred by Abertay University’s Chancellor, the Rt Hon The Lord Cullen of Whitekirk, in a ceremony attended by friends, family members and university staff.

Professor Nigel Seaton, Principal of Abertay University, said:

“It’s a great pleasure to recognise the important contributions these remarkable individuals have made to the life of Abertay University, by conferring Honorary Fellowship upon them.

“They join a very prestigious group of people who have selflessly served the University and helped guide its development into the distinctive and highly regarded university it is today, with areas of excellence ranging from computer games technology to food science, sport and exercise, and business and management.

“We are all very grateful to Anthony Blackshaw, Irene Callaghan, Stewart Murdoch and Alastair Scott for their many years of hard work and their inspirational leadership in their respective roles. They have all contributed greatly to Abertay’s growth and helped sow the seeds of its bright future.”

Antony Blackshaw has spent the last 25 years working in students’ unions across the UK. During 2014/15 Antony worked with Abertay Students’ Association as Interim Chief Executive and Change Director to modernise the organisation, which has enhanced its working relationship with the University.

Antony studied mathematics at the University of Kent at Canterbury from 1982 to 1986, starting a life-long relationship with many different higher education institutions as well as his own journey of lifelong learning, which has included a postgraduate certificate in management, two certificates in life coaching and an MBA.

Irene Callaghan MBE has had a long career in nursing in Scotland and Northern Ireland, including a period in accident and emergency during the height of ‘The Troubles’. Upon returning to Scotland, Irene became a recognised nurse researcher in the field of infection control, her principal research subject being uniform contamination, which has been quoted extensively in subsequent work in the field examining the impact of infection control on patient care.

Irene received an MBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours in recognition of her research and her charitable work for cancer and for advancing education in Angus. She is a three-times graduate of Abertay, and is probably unique in achieving three different qualifications from two different guises of the institution: a diploma in clinical teaching and a BSc Nursing Studies from Dundee Institute of Technology in 1985 and 1990 respectively, and an MPhil postgraduate degree from Abertay University in 1994.

Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Communities at Dundee City Council, was educated at Madras College in St Andrews and Strathclyde University. His early career was spent in the voluntary sector in Glasgow, until he joined Tayside Regional Council in Dundee in 1990. Subsequently appointed as Director of Communities for Dundee City Council in 2004, he then became Director of Leisure and Communities in 2006. He is also managing director of Leisure and Culture Dundee.

Stewart has been a steadfast friend and supporter of Abertay in all his roles, most notably in leading the Dundee bid for UK City of Culture 2017, which lost out narrowly to Hull, and more recently in leading the successful bid to be the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design – a major international recognition of Dundee’s design heritage, current success and ambitions for the future.

Alastair Scott started his career as a management trainee in the family business of H & A Scott Ltd, working through the different supervisory positions until becoming managing director in 1980. After the business was sold to Amoco UK Ltd in 1984, Alastair set up his own manufacturing textile plant, A.G. Scott Textiles Ltd, which became Bonar Textiles when it was bought by Low and Bonar PLC in 1988. Alastair remained with the company as managing director and was appointed international sales director of the group in 1992, travelling all over the world to sell artificial grass, carpet and technical yarns. Alastair remained in this position until he retired in 2009.

Alastair has a comprehensive list of past and present professional memberships, including past Deacon Convenor of the Nine Trades of Dundee, Chairman of the Friends of Dundee Heritage Trust, Chairman of Dundee Alexandria Twinning Association and past President of the Rotary Club of Dundee.


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