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