Abertay University has announced the installation of three new Honorary Fellows, in recognition of their contribution to the University, the city of Dundee and the wider community.
Food and Drink Federation Scotland CEO David Thomson, Professor Liz Wilson and Chief Inspector Michael Whitford of Police Scotland were conferred with the honour at a special ceremony attended by other Honorary Fellows, family, and staff and governors of the University.
Abertay University Principal Nigel Seaton said: “Throughout their careers, David, Liz and Michael have made outstanding contributions to Abertay, Dundee and Scotland.
“I am delighted that we are able to recognise their achievements by admitting them to the Honorary Fellowship of the University.”
David Thomson joined Scotland’s independent trade association for the food and drinks industry at the end of 2015 after almost two decades working in a range of directorates for the Scottish Government. He studied at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with an MA in Scottish Ethnology and Scottish Historical Studies in 1995. He initially worked with BT, Heriot Watt University and the National Library before being appointed to the civil service just as the new parliament was founded. The variety of roles that he took on required him to connect policy makers with public bodies, local authorities, the third sector and businesses as well as representing the Scottish Government on a diverse range of topics. His penultimate position at the Scottish Government was with the Environment and Enterprise Directorate where he was the Head of the Food, Drink & Rural Communities portfolio. David is an elected member of the CBI Scotland Policy Council and he is also a member of the Regional Enterprise Council for Edinburgh and the South East of Scotland’s City Deal
Professor Liz Wilson trained at Dundee Royal Infirmary and, after qualifying, moved to London to broaden her experience, working at numerous hospitals including the Royal Hospital Chelsea. She returned to Dundee in the 70s, where she went on to become a Clinical Director. Liz was appointed Assistant Director of Nursing, then Board Director of Nursing in early 2000. During this time that she was also appointed Visiting Professor of Nursing at Abertay. She joined the Court at Abertay in 2009 and became Vice-Chair of Court four years later and remained in this post until December 2018. Liz took early retirement from NHS Tayside in 2010 and was approached by the Scottish Government Health Department to be a Clinical Advisor on eHealth projects. She has also been an Expert Witness for the NHS Legal Department on high profile cases. Since leaving Court, she has become a Board member of Dundee Voluntary Action, thus continuing a life-long commitment to the community.
Chief Inspector Michael Whitford moved to Glasgow at a young age after his family was affected by the dreadful sectarian conflict in Belfast. He became an expert mountaineer, before life intervened and he experienced poverty and homelessness for a number of years. Michael has never forgotten the insights he gains into those people that society ignores or discards. He eventually went to university, then pursued a career in the police. As a uniformed officer he was quickly placed on the accelerated promotion scheme and into a strategic planning role. He has held a variety of roles in the CID, Intelligence, Firearms Command, Critical Incident Command, as Local Area Commander for Perth, and his current role in Operations. Long before sexual violence and harassment became the huge public issue that it is now, Michael recognised the problem and worked with Abertay to create a partnership and strategy to protect students, realising that there was a chronic underestimation of their vulnerability.