The links between Scotland and Canada have been celebrated through honorary degree awards.
McGill University, ranked as Canada’s leading university, has awarded honorary degrees to Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal of the University of Edinburgh, and Professor Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow.
The awards celebrate the long historical ties between McGill and Scotland. Many of the Canadian university’s founders, such as James McGill, studied at Scottish institutions, and Edinburgh and Glasgow are seen as having inspired the creation of McGill University.
The connections between the universities have been further strengthened over the years through a shared commitment to the internationalisation of education, expressed through a host of research collaborations and student exchanges.
James McGill was motivated to found this university by a sense of curiosity and a spirit of social responsibility instilled in him as a young man in Scotland. Today, this same spirit is to be found in the active student exchanges and research collaborations that build on the foundational ties between McGill and the esteemed sister universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Professor Heather Munroe-Blum
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University
Prior to the honorary degree ceremony, Principals O’Shea and Muscatelli unveiled three commemorative benches in the James Garden on the McGill campus.
The benches are made of Scottish granite that was quarried near Aberdeen. Each bench is made of three pieces of granite, representing the three universities, joined together in three different designs that are similar yet unique.
Replicas of the three Scottish stone benches, made of Quebec granite, will be placed on a ‘mirror’ site at Macdonald College, as a complement to the installation on the main campus.
Principals O’Shea and Muscatelli also attended a talk about Joseph Lister, the pioneer of antiseptic medicine who worked, in turn, at both the universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow.
It is a great privilege and honour to be recognized by the people of McGill in this way and I am truly delighted to accept my honorary degree.
Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea
Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh
The University has a long history of engaging with Canada.
Sir Charles Tupper, Canadian Prime Minister and one of the fathers of Canadian Confederation, received his MD from the University in 1843.
Today, the University ranks third in the UK as a host destination for Canadian students, and has active undergraduate exchange links with the University of British Columbia, Carleton University, McGill University, Queens University and the University of Toronto.
Our Centre of Canadian Studies is also internationally recognised as the leading centre for studying Canada in the UK.
This article was published on May 31, 2012