2008 - Philippa Gregory
Philippa Gregory is a best-selling novelist and founder of the charity, Gardens for Gambia.
She was honoured with the Alumnus of the Year award for her contribution to historical fiction and charity work.
Dr Gregory, who obtained a PhD in 18th century literature at Edinburgh in1985, has achieved literary success with her popular historical novels. Her first Tudor novel, The Other Boleyn Girl, has been published in 26 countries and sold over million copies in the US alone.
The novel was also adapted earlier this year into a Holywood film starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman.
Twenty years ago, Dr Gregory created the Gardens for Gambia charity - an organisation which has helped build more than 60 wells. Thousands of families have benefited from this investment which has helped communities learn about farming and food production.