I had the honour this week of delivering the laureation address at the Edinburgh Napier University graduation ceremony on Tuesday 5th July. The laureate was Professor Lesley Yellowlees. Lesley is Vice Principal and Head of the College of Science and Engineering, and Professor of Inorganic ElectroChemistry, at the University of Edinburgh. She has been awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her major contribution to Chemistry, and her pioneering work to promote the careers of women in science.
The University Chancellor Dr David Eustace conferred Lesley’s award at the Usher Hall at the start of the graduation ceremony for students from the School of Life, Sport and Social Science, and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care on Tuesday afternoon.
In the evening we celebrated Lesley’s achievement further at the Honorary Graduates’ Dinner held in the Siegfried Room at the University’s Craiglockhart campus. Amongst the guests at the dinner were the Principal and Vice Chancellor Professor Andrea Nolan, the Chancellor Dr David Eustace, and the Chair of Court the Very Reverend Graham Forbes. Two of the other honorary graduates who received their awards this week were celebrated alongside Lesley at the dinner: Nina Barough (founder of Walk the walk), and David Lanc (founder of Payfont). My colleagues Dr Sandra Cairncross and Professor Bill Buchanan, who were the laureators for Nina and David, also joined us.
I very much enjoyed the whole experience of serving as laureator for Lesley Yellowlees: researching and writing the address, getting to know Lesley (and her family) better, playing an active role in the graduation ceremony, delivering the laureation address, and celebrating the success of everyone who received an award this week – and just like all the other graduates, I had to make sure that Lesley starred in a graduation selfie immediately after the awards ceremony, as can be seen below!