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Honours for alumni

An Olympic heroine, an eminent medical researcher, a socially minded entrepreneur and a leading figure in veterinary medicine are among alumni honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

K Grainger
Dame Katherine Jane Grainger DBE

Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most successful female rower and multiple medal winner at the World Championships and Olympics Games, including gold at London 2012, becomes a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to sport and charity. 

Gold standard

Dame Katherine, who graduated from the Law School in 1997, has won several Golds at World Cup Regattas and in four World Championships – in 2003 in the pairs, and in 2005, 2006 and 2007 in the quadruple sculls. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, she won silver in the quadruple sculls and four years later in Athens she claimed silver in the pairs event. She took silver again at Beijing in 2008 before being crowned Olympic champion at London 2012. Her fourth Olympic silver medal came at Rio in 2016 in the double sculls. 

Medical marvel

Dame Katherine is joined on the list by Professor Chris Haslett, who is appointed CBE for services to medical research. Professor Haslett currently holds the Sir John Crofton professorship of Respiratory Medicine and is director of the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at Little France. His current interests include the cell biology of lung inflammation and scarring, molecular imaging, and clinical translational research. Professor Haslett graduated from Edinburgh in 1977 with the MBChB.

 

I firmly believe that effective medical research depends on responsiveness to funding agencies, flexibility and, above all, cross-disciplinarity. The award of this honour entirely reflects the quality of the scientists and clinician scientists in the Queen’s Medical Research Institute and our physical science partners (notably Chemistry) in the College of Science and Engineering. I am delighted to accept it on their behalf.

Professor Chris Haslett
John Social Bite
Mr Josh Littlejohn MBE

Social business

Josh Littlejohn is no stranger to recognition. A 2009 graduate of Economics and Politics, his Social Bite sandwich shops across Scotland have been lauded as a leading example of a ‘social business’, existing not for the purpose of making money but for solving social challenges. All of the shops’ profits are given to good causes and one in four of their staff are formerly homeless. Social Bite also feeds the local homeless community through its ‘Suspended Coffee and Food’ initiative.

Susan Rhind
Professor Susan Margaret Rhind OBE

Josh is honoured with the MBE for services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.

Supporting education

Professor Susan Rhind obtained her PhD from Edinburgh in 1996, specialising in veterinary pathology. She subsequently became a Member and then Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. Since then she has developed a major interest in all aspects of veterinary education. Her current areas of research include assessment and feedback, e-learning, the use of models to support veterinary education and student well-being and support.

For her services to veterinary education, Professor Rhind is honoured with the OBE.

 

I am honoured and humbled to receive this award. Being involved in veterinary education means I have the pleasure of working with incredibly dedicated students and colleagues. I am indebted to my colleagues whose commitment and hard work has underpinned the developments in our vet school.  This honour serves to highlight the importance of veterinary education more broadly as we continually evolve to meet the changing needs of our profession and society.

Professor Susan Rhind
Susan Deacon
Professor Susan Catherine Deacon CBE

Championing reforms

Professor Susan Deacon becomes CBE for services to business, education and public service. Graduating with an MA in Social Policy and Politics in 1989, and later with an MBA in 1992, she is currently the Chair of the Institute of Directors in Scotland, and Assistant Principal, External Relations, at the University.

In a varied career that has spanned the sectors of education, business and not-for-profit, Professor Deacon was MSP for Edinburgh East and Musselburgh from 1999-2007, becoming Scotland’s first Cabinet Minister for Health and Community Care. In that role she championed vital reforms in child health, mental health and older people’s care.

I am very touched to receive this award. It is my deeply held belief that we achieve lasting change by building strong relationships across sectors and boundaries. Over the years, it has been my privilege to work with a wide array of remarkable people and organisations who are doing great things to make a real and positive difference to people’s lives. I pay tribute to their contribution and leadership and thank them for the inspiration and support they have given me.

Professor Susan Deacon

Complete list of honoured alumni

Order of the Companions of Honour

Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour

 

Dame Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie CH DBE

2004 Hon DMus, The University of Edinburgh

For services to music.

 

Order of the British Empire

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

 

Dame Katherine Jane Grainger DBE

1997 LLB (Law); 2011 Dr hc  The University of Edinburgh

For services to sport and charity.

 

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire

 

Professor Susan Catherine Deacon CBE

1987 MA (Social Policy and Politics); 1992 MBA (Business Administration), The University of Edinburgh

For services to business, education and public service.

 

Ms Anne Richardson Sharp CBE

1977 MA (French), The University of Edinburgh

For services to workplace relations.

 

Professor Christopher Haslett CBE FRSE

1974 BSc (Pathology); 1977 MBChB, The University of Edinburgh

For services to medical research.

 

Rt Hon Francis Mulholland CBE QC

1997 MBA (Business Administration), The University of Edinburgh

For services to Law in Scotland.

 

Officers of the Order of the British Empire

 

Mr Timothy Michael Haigh OBE

1966 BSc (Science), The University of Edinburgh

For voluntary service to homeless people in the UK and particularly abroad.

 

Dr Elspeth Clare Paterson OBE

1991 BSc (Bacteriology); 1993 MBChB , The University of Edinburgh

For services to healthcare for women in North West Pakistan.

 

Professor Jill Pell CBE FRSE

1987 MBChB; 1994 MSc (Community Health); 1999 MD, The University of Edinburgh

For services to Public Health research.

 

Professor Susan Margaret Rhind OBE

1996 PhD (Veterinary Pathology), the University of Edinburgh

For services to Veterinary Education.

 

Dr Lorna McLeod Williamson OBE

1972 BSc; 1978 MBChB, The University of Edinburgh

For services to the advancement of blood, tissue and stem cell donations.

 

Members of the Order of the British Empire

 

Mrs Kathleen Hood MBE

1975 BA (Arts), The University of Edinburgh

For services to Widening Participation in Higher Education.

 

Professor Elizabeth Jane Kay MBE

1982 BDS (Dentistry), The University of Edinburgh

For services to dental education.

 

Mr Andrew Mark Kerr MBE

1964 LLB (Law), The University of Edinburgh

For services to the arts and conservation in Edinburgh.

 

Mr Josh Littlejohn MBE

2009 MA (Economics and Politics), The University of Edinburgh

For services to social enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland.

 

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

 

Mrs Jean Singleton BEM

1957 BSc (Physics), the University of Edinburgh

For services to charitable fundraising and the community in Leek Wootton, Warwickshire.