Information Services

Marjorie Rackstraw OBE (1888–1981)

Marjorie Rackshaw was a warden and adviser to students at the University of Edinburgh, dedicating her life to serving her community. In recognition, the Marjorie Rackshaw Training Room in Argyle House was named after her.

Photograph of Marjorie Rackstraw OBE

Marjorie Rackstraw dedicated her life to serving others.  She started her career in Edinburgh as warden of the Students Hall of Residence at Moray House.  After a spell in the Soviet Union, serving as a relief worker during the Great Famine, she returned to Edinburgh as Warden of Masson Hall.

At Masson Hall, she worked as Adviser for Women Students, counselling on matters such as accommodation, education, and future careers. She left an indelible legacy, remaining in contact with many of her students and the Masson Hall Association. 

Marjorie’s passion for volunteering took her to London, where she supported projects for the elderly, war refugees, and the homeless. She relocated to Germany to join the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and engaged in a range of community feeding projects. 

After returning to Britain, Marjorie was elected as a Labour Councillor in Hampstead and established the Hampstead Old People’s Housing Trust. Thirty years after leaving Masson Hall, Marjorie financially contributed to the building of a new hall of residence for students at the University of Edinburgh.  

She was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 1961. The training room EW.13 at Argyle House was named after her, to honour her contributions to the University. 

To learn more, visit: Marjorie Rackstraw Wikipedia article