Staff news

Lecture theatre renamed in honour of campaigner

Motor neurone disease (MND) campaigner Gordon Aikman has been honoured by his former university one year after his death.

The University’s George Square Lecture Theatre – the largest on campus – is to be renamed in memory of the Business School graduate who raised more than £500,000 for research funding.

Mr Aikman, who successfully lobbied the First Minister to publicly fund and double the number of specialist MND nurses across Scotland, died from the debilitating disease in February 2017.

Inspiring campaigner

In 2015, the former student received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours.

Both accolades recognised his work to raise awareness of MND and achieve better care and treatment for those diagnosed.

We are all very touched by the University’s very generous decision. It seems fitting that Gordon’s work as a campaigner has been recognised after a campaign by the student body he was once an active member of. And how wonderful that the lecture hall Gordon sat in aged 18 as a first year Business student, will now bear his name.

Joe PikeGordon Aikman’s husband

Fitting tribute

The move to honour the inspiring campaigner by renaming the lecture theatre after him was proposed by the University of Edinburgh’s Student Union.

A formal naming ceremony and plaque unveiling with Mr Aikman’s family and friends is to take place later this year.

Gordon Aikman was a tenacious campaigner. By striving to change the quality and funding of care and research, he helped to improve the lives of people living with MND and was an inspiration to many. We are delighted to honour his remarkable achievements in this way.

Professor Charlie JefferyUniversity of Edinburgh Senior Vice-Principal

Related links

Watch Gordon Aikman's speech after receiving an honourary degree