Wimberley Award 2018 shared by Charlie and Matilda

A young Scot helped into higher education by a pioneering widening access scheme and an English student who applied on a last-minute whim have shared the most prestigious award given to University of Dundee students.

Charlie Kleboe-Rogers and Matilda Sherwood have been named as the joint winners of this year’s Wimberley Award, given to the student or students who have made the most distinguished contribution to university life.

Charlie (21) graduated in Product Design on Wednesday afternoon while Matilda (23) crossed the Caird Hall stage to collect her International Relations and Politics degree on Thursday. Both received their Wimberley medals at the same time as they graduated and both are effusive in their praise for the way Dundee changed their lives.

Originally from Catrine in Ayrshire, Charlie has served as student president for Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design for the past two years, helping to make the student experience richer, more inclusive and more enjoyable. In addition to his academic achievements, he has also helped forge new international placement opportunities for students, and made a major contribution to promoting the University’s enterprise and entrepreneurship agenda within Duncan of Jordanstone.

Charlie said, “I am absolutely flabbergasted to have won this award. When we were in our second week at University the school president came to talk to us and our tutor said ‘I could see you doing that one day’ to me. Later on I decided to go for it and was school president for the last two years. I really loved the representation side of things and working with students.

“Dundee has been good to me and I have loved my time here so it was good to give something back. I come from a widening access background and didn’t have the best grades so I only got into university through Dundee’s Summer School. I would have missed out otherwise so I have a lot to be grateful for.”

Charlie’s time at the University is set to continue when he takes up the role of Vice President (Academia) at Dundee University Students’ Association in September.

Matilda, who comes from Uckfield in East Sussex, undertook a wide array of extracurricular activities, including serving as Chair of the Student Representative Council. In this role, she worked to promote equality and diversity and also organised a seminar on globalisation and climate change for visiting students, represented the University at rugby and volunteered at a Ghanaian orphanage among other achievements over the past four years.

Matilda said, “I suppose I took on a lot and it was difficult balancing everything with my university work at times but somehow I made it all work - I didn’t sleep much during my time at Dundee!

“I had originally wanted to join the RAF after school but then found myself working in a job I hated two years later. I saw people two years below me at school celebrating their A-Level results on Facebook and that was the impetus I needed to re-boot my life. By coincidence there was an advert for clearing on the page and I just thought, ‘that’s it’.

“I wanted to go somewhere completely different and try something new so I applied to Dundee and three weeks later I was up here. It was the best decision of my life. Dundee has become my home over the past four years and I’ve loved every minute.”

Matilda will continue to work at DUSA over the summer until she moves to London to start a new job at the Home Office.

Charlie and Matilda are among the near-3000 students who graduated with degrees, postgraduate diplomas and diplomas over the course of this week. 

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