Scotland’s national poet and a high-profile campaigner on disability and inequality are to receive honorary degrees from the University of Stirling.
Professor Kathleen Jamie, who was appointed as Scotland’s Makar in 2021 and is a former professor of creative writing at Stirling, will be recognised for her outstanding contribution to literature.
The award-winning poet, essayist and author of non-fiction, who grew up in Currie near Edinburgh, was elected as fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009, was honoured by the Royal Geographical Society in 2017, and was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018.
She has won numerous awards for her work, which is written in English and Scots, including the 2016 Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award for her 51-poem collection The Bonniest Companie, which explores Scotland and her place within it.
Meanwhile Dr Sally Witcher, who was made an OBE in 2006 for her services to people with disabilities, will receive an honorary doctorate for her outstanding contribution to improvements in the lives of disabled people.
She has been chair of the Scottish Commission on Social Security, chief executive at Inclusion Scotland, deputy director in the Department for Work and Pensions’ office for disability issues, chair of the UK Government’s Disability Employment Advisory Committee, and director of the UK Child Poverty Action Group.
She has lived experienced as a disabled person as a wheelchair user, and has recently become a strong advocate for a Covid-safe, inclusive “new normal”.
The degrees will be presented at the university’s spring graduation ceremony on March 24, which will see 555 students from 37 countries graduate.
Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Graduation is a special occasion and we are looking forward to welcoming our graduands to campus next week to celebrate their academic achievements, alongside their proud families and friends and our university staff.
“We will also be joined by Professor Kathleen Jamie and Dr Sally Witcher, who will receive honorary doctorates in recognition of their outstanding contributions in their respective fields.
“Professor Jamie and Dr Witcher are making a real difference in Scotland and beyond, and are excellent, inspirational role models for our students and graduates.”
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