New year honours for alumni
A criminology expert, an eminent theologian, an advocate for Scottish arts and culture, and a history graduate who made his mark in the prison service, are among the alumni recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.
Professor Lesley McAra, the University's Chair of Penology and Assistant Principal Community Relations, has been appointed CBE for services to criminology. Professor McAra graduated from the University in 1981 with an MA in Social Sciences.
Professor McAra went on to become Dean of the School of Law, the first woman to be appointed to that post, and is currently a member of the Centre for Law and Society and the Global Justice Academy, and is an Associate Director of the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research.
Her research interests lie in the general areas of the sociology of punishment and the sociology of law and deviance. Particular interests include: youth crime and juvenile justice; gender justice and community well-being; the politics of crime control; and comparative criminal justice.
Arts and culture
Professor McAra is joined by Benjamin Thomson, who has been appointed CBE for services to the arts and culture in Scotland. Mr Thomson is a 1985 graduate of Physics, and received an honorary degree from the University in 2016.
His main career for the last 33 years has been in the financial services sector including 13 years as chief executive and subsequently chairman of Noble Group, the Scottish investment bank. He has played an active role in public life and recently retired after eight years as Chairman of the Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland.
He also advised Scottish Government in the Banking Crisis and wrote the Thomson Review for Scottish Government on Access to Supreme Courts of Scotland. He was Chairman and founder of the think tank Reform Scotland and on the boards of the Edinburgh International Science Festival and the Financial Industry Sector Advisory Board.
It is lovely to be recognised for the contribution you make to public life and I am chuffed to bits about the honour. The award was for my work at the National Galleries of Scotland and I am proud in my eight years as Chair that the organisation has flourished. In particular, opening up access to contemporary art through the touring program of Artist Rooms, which has reached over 40million round the UK since it launched six years ago, as well as the success of Project Generation to display Scottish contemporary art across Scotland, were two notable achievements for the galleries while I was there. The added bonus was to be rewarded in this way for a job that I so enjoyed doing, particularly working with such interesting colleagues who helped expand my knowledge about art.
Education and theology
Professor Iain Torrance, a 1971 graduate of Mental Philosophy who also received an honorary degree in 2012, is appointed Knight Bachelor for services to higher education and theology. Currently Pro-Chancellor at the University of Aberdeen, Professor Torrance is a former Moderator of the General Assembly and President of Princeton Theological Seminary. He co-editied the Scottish Journal of Theology for 33 years, and is noted for his work with the British Army on military ethics, as well as his efforts in inter-faith dialogue, and challenging homophobia in all its forms.
I feel quite overwhelmed and deeply grateful that the causes for which I have advocated for so long have been recognised in such a very generous way.
1981 History graduate Alan Scott receives the CBE for services to HM Prison and Probation Service and to the community in the north-west. Mr Scott also completed a postgraduate course in Business Administration in 1983 and is currently Acting Director of public sector prisons at the National Offender Management Service.
I feel really proud to receive this honour. I have spent over 30 years working in the Criminal Justice System and working with partner agencies and other key stakeholders. Whilst it has always been challenging it has also been highly rewarding and satisfying work, and I have worked with some truly excellent people at all levels. It was not the career I imagined I would have when I was studying History at Edinburgh in 1977, and later postgraduate Business Administration, but as the song says, “je ne regrette rien”.
Complete list of honoured alumni
Very Rev Prof Iain Richard TORRANCE Kt
MA Mental Philosophy 1971, Honoray Doctor of Divinity 2012
For services to Higher Education and Theology.
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Ms Diana June Nelson CMG OBE
MA French 1981
For services to the welfare of staff and families working for the British Government overseas.
Dr William George Stirling CMG
BSc Physics 1969, PhD Science and Engineering 1972
For services to British science and international science collaboration
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Professor Sir (David) Keith Peters GBE
Honorary MD 2007
For services to the Advancement of Medical Science.
Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Lady Susan Ilene Rice DBE
Honorary degree 2003
For services to Business, the Arts and charity in Scotland.
Professor Catherine Lilian Warwick DBE
BSc Social Science 1973
For services to Midwifery.
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
Professor Maureen Lesley McAra CBE
MA Social Sciences 1981
For services to Criminology.
Rev Canon Dr Joseph John Morrow CBE QC (Lord Lyon)
BD Divinity General 1979
For public service to Mental Health.
Mr Andrew Ogilvie Robertson CBE
LLB Law 1964
For services to Veterans, Healthcare and Affordable Housing in Glasgow and the West of Scotland.
Mr Alan Scott CBE
MA History 1981, Postgraduate diploma in Business Administration 1983
For services to HM Prison and Probation Service and to the communty in the North West.
Mr Benjamin John Paget Thomson CBE FRSE
For services to Arts and Culture in Scotland.
BSc Physics 1985, Dr hc 2016
Professor Jeremy Bagg OBE
Head of Dental School, University of Glasgow. For services to Dental Education.
Officers of the Order of the British Empire
Professor Derek Bell OBE
BSc Pathology (S&E) 1977, MBChB Medicine 1980
For services to Unscheduled Care and Quality Improvement.
Professor Charanjit Bountra OBE
PhD Veterinary Medicine 1986
For services to Translational Medical Research.
Ms Francesca Elizabeth Hegyi OBE
For services to Culture in Hull.
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Mrs Patricia Edith Boyd MBE
MEd Education 1975
For services to Religious and Moral Education in Scotland.
Professor David Hugh Gray Cheape MBE
MA Scottish Historical Studies 1974, PhD Humanities and Social Science 2008
For services to Scottish Cultural Education and Traditional Music.
Dr Ian Morris Davies MBE
PhD Science and Engineering 1977
For services to Marine Science and voluntary service in the UK and Abroad.
Mrs Susan Stephen Kennedy MBE
BSc Social Science General 1976
For services to General Practice Nurse Education.
Mrs Patricia Ann Reid MBE
BSc Science 1967
For services to Tennis and Lacrosse in Scotland.
Professor William Stephens MBE
BSc Resource Management 1977
For services to Higher Education.
Medallist of the Order of the British Empire
Mr Gregory Matthew Drozdz BEM
MA History 1982
For services to the community in Hinckley, Leicestershire.
Mrs Margaret Mary Harvie BEM
MA German and French 1959
For services to Music in Dumfries and Galloway.
The Queen's Ambulance Service Medal
Mrs Kath Charters QAM
BSc Science 1984