Alumni Services

Shelagh McGuire

Shelagh McGuire tells us how she immersed herself in Economics, became a member of numerous societies, met her future husband and began a dynasty of Edinburgh graduates.

Name Shelagh McGuire (nee Kerr)
Degree Course MA Economic Science
Year of Graduation 1955
Shelagh McGuire

Your time at the University

Having lived in Edinburgh during the war, I was determined to return. I thoroughly enjoyed university life and participated fully.

I was the only female student with nine men in the Honours Economics class and was fortunate to have some excellent teachers, particularly Alexander Gray (Economics) and John MacMurray (Moral Philosophy). It was never my intention to pursue Economics as a career. I intended becoming a social worker with children and the economics degree included the right subjects for entry into training as a social worker. After four years in Edinburgh I attended the London School of Economics and obtained a Certificate In Child Care.

During my time in Edinburgh I was involved in many organisations - the Students’ Representative Council (I was Business Manager of the Student Hardbook), the Debates Committee, the Women’s Union and the Women’s Athletic Club (in which I was President). Sport featured a good deal, particularly cricket and lacrosse, of which I was captain of the Scottish Universities team.

Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University

My subsequent career included work as a Child Care Officer, as a tutor and later a lecturer in Social Work and as Director of a Voluntary Adoption Society. I have also been a Children’s Panel member and a Marriage Guidance Counsellor. Since retirement 20 years ago I have been involved with several voluntary organisations.

I was the only female student with nine men in the Honours Economics class and was fortunate to have some excellent teachers.

Shelagh McGuire

I met my husband, Bill, at the Women’s Union in George Square. He is also a graduate of the University of Edinburgh (PhD in Biochemistry). We have three offspring. Both our sons are graduates in medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

One is a professor of psychology and neuroscience and the other is a consultant anaesthetist. Our daughter is a community psychiatric nurse and is studying for a degree in nursing.

We have nine grandchildren, two of whom are at university in Aberdeen.

Alumni wisdom

Seize the opportunities, participate fully - work, social life, clubs and sport.