Alumni Services

Event celebrates Pathway to Enlightenment

Around 600 guests recently visited McEwan Hall to see their name on the Pathway to Enlightenment and explore the renovated Hall.

Many people helped to make this project a reality and we are delighted to be able to say thank you by adding their name on the Pathway to Enlightenment in the Victorian Concourse. On Saturday 30th September we held an event for supporters to see their name on the Pathway to Enlightenment and tour the renovated McEwan Hall.

Intellectual accomplishment

McEwan Hall was originally funded by the generosity of William McEwan, who was born during the age of the Scottish Enlightenment, a transformational period of intellectual accomplishment, when Edinburgh was one of the four Scottish Universities at the forefront of this movement.

The University expanded rapidly and a new hall was needed for graduations. Once the land had been secured, McEwan was happy to fund its splendid scale and beautiful interior, originally costing £115,000.


The redevelopment of McEwan Hall has seen the restoration of the main hall including the stunning artwork high on the ceiling, which our very own conservation students helped to restore.  Damaged stonework inside and outwith the hall has been repaired and access to the hall and within the hall itself has been improved.

Thank you to all who helped us redevelop McEwan Hall. Your donations have helped to restore the splendour of this iconic building at the heart of the University of Edinburgh.

Since its opening in 1897, thousands of students have graduated here. For many it is an abiding memory of their time in the University.

Pathway to Enlightenment

Thanks to this redevelopment, supported generously by so many people, thousands of students to come will be able to savour the unique experience of graduating in the inspiring main hall, and attend many events there across the academic year.

We know that the name on the Pathway to Enlightenment holds great meaning for many of our supporters. We therefore plan to hold events in the future for supporters to come back and visit and will be in touch in 2018 with details. We will also be arranging another Pathway to Enlightenment event in early 2018 for all those who couldn’t make it on Saturday 30th September and will be in touch in the next few months. 

Related links

The McEwan Hall project