Alumni Services

1980s

Personal fulfilment, the following of dreams and giving something back unites our graduates from the 1980s.

John R Walker

John R. Walker
John R Walker completed two degrees at Edinburgh before going on to have a fascinating career at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He tell us more.

Dr Obioma Oparah

Dr Obiama Oparah
Obioma's PhD studies in Political Science at the University helped shape an illustrious career in the Nigerian Foreign Service.

Chris Impey

Chris Impey
Edinburgh-born Chris Impey has an infectious enthusiasm for his hometown, despite spending much of his life in the USA. And his enthusiasm for astronomy has proved equally infectious for his many audiences.

Dr Idris Ahmed Yagoub

Dr Idris Ahmed Yagoub was nominated by the British government to come to the University of Edinburgh from Sudan and shares how his time in Scotland has had a profound impact on his life.

Ronald Soutar

Ronald Soutar came over the water from Fife in the 1980s to study veterinary medicine, beginning a relationship with the University that lasts until this day.

Liritzis Ioannis

Liritzis Ioannis' time in the Athens of the North made him realise his desire for academia and gave him an education in Scottish dance.

Melanie Reid

Melanie Reid
Award-winning journalist Melanie Reid MBE is the writer of Spinal Column, a weekly column about life as a disabled person following a horse riding accident. She shares her memories of happy times spent in a beautiful and mysterious Edinburgh.

Ken Sutherland

Ken Sutherland came to Edinburgh because of strong family connections and after many years of travel and work tells us he wouldn’t live anywhere else.

Kim Chamberlain

Kim Chamberlain came to Edinburgh to study French but after taking Linguistics as an outside object enjoyed it enough to change her degree, years later she still uses the concepts learnt in her professional life.

Sue MacGillivray

Sue MacGillivray has had an interesting and varied career since graduating, including setting up her own private life coaching consultancy.

Jeanette Robertson

Jeanette Robertson
Jeanette Robertson was first introduced to the University of Edinburgh and it’s MSc in Nursing Education on a holiday to Scotland in 1979, 36 years later she considers her Edinburgh education key to her satisfying nursing career.

Mumtaz Khan

Mumtaz Khan
Mumtaz Khan talks to us about moving to Edinburgh from Pakistan, living in Pollock Halls and the long-lasting influence studying tropical veterinary medicine had on his professional life.

Kathy Blackwell

Kathy Blackwell
Music graduate Kathy Blackwell talks to us about how her career in teaching gave her the experience needed to co-author a number of educational music books for young string players.

Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman
Professor Fred Freeman piped for the Crown Princess of Japan during her visit to the University and has a soft spot for the graffiti that used to exist at the University library.

Peter Neil

Peter Neil
Although Peter Neil found his time at Edinburgh challenge, it was still certainly an enjoyable experience and was a stepping stone towards two equally interesting and complementary careers.

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson
Time spent directing opera and musical theatre as an undergraduate has led to a career in the arts for medical graduate Michael Richardson.

Aileen Reid

Aileen Reid
The modular structure of Aileen Reid's degree led her to courses in the architecture department, the first step in a journey that is now recording the complex evolution of London's built environment.

Malcolm Macleod

Malcolm Macleod
Malcolm Macleod has a long association with the University, from student to Rector and now as Chair in Neurology and Translational Neurosciences.

Peter Gibbons

Peter Gibbons
Peter Gibbons’ physics degree seems far removed from his current role in business, but the scientific, problem solving grounding he received in Edinburgh has served him well.

Adrian Searle

Adrian Searle
The opportunities to consume art, books and cinema alongside studying in Edinburgh have influenced Adrian Searle’s career in more ways than one.

Linda Urquhart

Linda Urquhart
A strong belief in flexible working has not held Linda Urquhart back in breaking several glass ceilings.

Ken Weighand

Ken Weighand
Ken Weighand stresses the importance of work/life balance whilst studying, and looks back on first encounters with computers in the 1980s

Jacquelyn MacLennan

Jacquelyn MacLennan
Jacquelyn MacLennan says that women are still under-represented in senior positions in her field.

Lesley McAra

Lesley McAra
From Hull to Head of the Law School, Lesley McAra tell us how a love affair with Edinburgh when she was a student meant she never left.

Oliver Ellis

Oliver Ellis
Oliver Ellis loves a good story and has a knack for what kids like to watch. He tells us how he has combined the two to carve out a fulfilling career.

Beth Thomas

Beth Thomas
Beth Thomas works as World Heritage Site Coordinator at Stonehenge. A love of her degree and an aptitude for operational management led her to the position.

Ingrid Sawers

Ingrid Sawers
Musician and performer Ingrid Sawers - one half of the McKenzie Sawyers duo - explains how she followed a career path linked to her involvement in clubs and societies, and not her degree.

Scott Wightman

Scott Wightman's degree has taken him to the British Embassy in Seoul, via au pairing in France and learning Chinese whilst working in Taiwan.

Richard Watt

Richard Watt
Richard Watt’s career has taken him around the world, mainly working within the IT industry. Here he explains how he has finally realised his dream of becoming an author.

Graham Gamble

Graham Gamble
Headmaster, Graham Gamble tells us about acting, writing and a love of haggis suppers.

Linsay Given Black

Linsay Given Black
Linsay Given Black has changed course a few times in her university and professional careers.

Kate Richards

Kate Richards
Kate Richards has gone from farm vet to government advisor. She reminisces about ladies’ rugby, the Meadows and feeling a bit like James Herriot.

David Nussbaum

David Nussbaum
David Nussbaum describes how a theology degree at Edinburgh has lead him to heading up the country’s most influential wildlife charity.

Anna Henly

Anna Henly
Photographer Anna Henly talks about the appeal of romantic, bonnie Scotland, her love of skiing and winning two BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.

Sandra Wilson

Sandra Wilson
Alumna Sandra Wilson chats about student life, a chance encounter with a sporty scientist and how research skills gained at Edinburgh have been vital to her career.

Richard M Marshall

Richard M Marshall
Edinburgh born alumnus Richard Marshall talks about why he picked Edinburgh Informatics and converting Bedlam into a theatre.

Andrew Wolffe

Andrew Wolffe
Edinburgh based alumnus Andrew Wolffe chats about his close relationship with ECA and explains why work placements are so important.

Ian Auckland

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Bachelor of Dental Surgery graduate Ian Auckland talks about his moment of fame on the London 2012 hockey pitch, and flying solo over Fife.