Principal honoured with Edinburgh Award

University Principal Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea has received the city of Edinburgh's highest annual accolade.

Sir Timothy has been given the Edinburgh Award, which recognises those who have made an outstanding positive contribution to the city.

The honour - bestowed by the City Council - also celebrates citizens who have gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh.

Past recipients include writers JK Rowling and Ian Rankin, and Olympic medallist Sir Chris Hoy - all Edinburgh alumni - as well as University physicist Professor Peter Higgs.

Award ceremony

Cast of the Principal's hands
The Principal's hands were cast to mark his award.

At an event, Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Frank Ross presented Sir Timothy with an engraved Loving Cup - a traditional two-handled drinking vessel that represents friendship.

As with the 10 previous winners of the Award, a cast of Sir Timothy's handprints will be set in a flagstone outside the City Chambers.

A poem by Edinburgh Makar Alan Spence was composed to commemorate the honour.

Outstanding contribution

Sir Timothy will retire in January, having presided over a period of significant growth at the University, which has seen Edinburgh consistently ranked among the leading universities in the world.

In addition to his services to the University, Sir Timothy is also the Chair of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and on the board of directors of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society.  

As someone who loves the city and enjoys living and working here so much, I am delighted to receive this award. Having been Principal of the University for 15 years, and Chair of the Fringe for the past five, I have seen at close quarters how the Council has helped both to flourish. The University and the Fringe have greatly benefited from the vision and energy demonstrated by councillors and officials. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with them in promoting Edinburgh.

Professor Sir Timothy O'SheaPrincipal and Vice-Chancellor

Placing Scotland’s Capital on the world stage as a beacon of knowledge, research and further education, the University of Edinburgh promotes the city as an international leader for academic excellence. Sir Timothy has done much to promote Edinburgh to the world and to support close to 10,000 jobs, the education of more than 39,000 students and invaluable academic research. I hope this award goes some way towards recognising all that he has achieved for, and on behalf of, the city.

Frank RossLord Provost of the City of Edinburgh

Home page image: ©Lloyd Smith