Honorary graduates tennis coach Judy Murray, author Professor Louise Welsh, and campaigner Doctor Corinne Hutton today (Friday 27 September) joined around 530 Open University (OU) graduates in Glasgow to receive their awards.
Hailing from all over Scotland and beyond, the graduates – many of whom have juggled jobs, family and other commitments alongside their study – crossed the stage in front of around 1,500 guests at two ceremonies in the city’s Royal Concert Hall.
Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:
“There’s no such thing as a typical OU student but what they all have in common is that they have hugely busy lives. They fit their study in along with family, work and all sorts of other responsibilities, which makes today’s celebrations particularly special.
“These wonderful graduates join the 200,000 Scots who’ve studied with the OU in the 50 years since our founding and it’s a pleasure to be able to welcome them, and our inspiring honorary graduates, to the OU family.”
Judy Murray OBE, tennis coach and Doctor of the University, said:
“I have worked for most of my coaching career to make tennis more inclusive and more accessible to anyone who has an interest in playing. I’m delighted to receive this award from The Open University because for fifty years it has done something similar with higher education, opening up university study to everyone, regardless of who or where they are.
“My experience in tennis also means I know the value of dedicated effort in pursuit of your goals. It’s something I can see in students and graduates of the OU, and that’s why it’s a pleasure to have the chance to celebrate with them on their special day.”
Professor Louise Welsh, author and Doctor of the University, said:
“Two words, 'Open' and 'University', sitting side by side sends a hugely powerful message. The OU makes education available to everyone while also maintaining high and rigorous standards.
“Access to education is a right, and to take full advantage of that right requires hard work, commitment, creativity and talent. Students of The Open University have these qualities in abundance. I am in awe of them and of the service The Open University gives to our society and to education. It is a great honour for me to receive this award and to become part of this very special community.”
Doctor Corinne Hutton, campaigner and Doctor of the University, said:
“I’m flattered and humbled to be recognised by The Open University. I don't like to take the credit as there is a whole team behind me at Finding Your Feet working tirelessly to improve the lives of amputees, and I wouldn't be doing this without them. The amputees, or Troopers as we like to call them, are amazing people who have been through a lot. Seeing them thrive in situations big or small pushes me to keep doing the same.
“For me, The Open University signifies people taking on extra work in addition to their existing daily duties, to improve themselves and perhaps go on to improve things for others. That to me is so commendable and inspiring, and I'm truly grateful to now have that connection.”
Judy Murray has been honoured for public services; Professor Louise Welsh for exceptional contribution to education and culture; and Doctor Corinne Hutton for public services.
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