Press release

Graduation celebrations and installation of new Chancellor

Published on 13 November 2023

The University of Dundee will celebrate the achievements of more than 1800 graduates next week at its Winter Graduation ceremonies

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The ceremonies will also see the formal installation of the University’s new Chancellor, the Rt Hon. Lord (George) Robertson of Port Ellen KT, and the award of honorary degrees to two outstanding individuals, breast cancer fundraiser Fiona Edwards and global health scholar and practitioner Dr Jonas Nguh. 

Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said, “We have a week of great celebrations ahead of us, marking the tremendous achievements of our Class of 2023 who will be joined by friends and family from around the world. 

“We are also delighted to be welcoming back Lord Robertson, a 1968 graduate of the University, now to be our Chancellor. George is an outstanding example of someone whose life was truly transformed by his time at the University of Dundee, and then going on to transform so many others. 

“Our honorary graduates reflect our core mission to transform lives locally and globally. Fiona Edwards has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to supporting University research, through the sale of her homemade tablet and raising over £100,000. 

“Jonas Nguh is one of our alumni who has made an impact on people’s lives around the world, including pioneering a model for maternity homes in Africa and Asia which has assisted millions of women.” 

The Graduation ceremonies take place in the Caird Hall in Dundee on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 November. 

Lord Robertson will be formally installed as Chancellor at the ceremony on Thursday morning and will then proceed to confer degrees on all of the new graduates crossing the stage. 

The role of Chancellor is the most senior in the University and involves acting as its ceremonial head, presiding over Academic Ceremonies and acting as President of the Graduates’ Association. 

Dr Nguh will be awarded his honorary degree at the morning ceremony on Friday 17 November, with Fiona Edwards being honoured in the afternoon ceremony on the same day. 


Notes to editors

There will be photo opportunities before each ceremony in the Robing Room of the City Chambers on City Square. 

For morning ceremonies, photo opportunities from 9.15am with the ceremony to start at 10am. 

For afternoon ceremonies, photo opportunities from 1.45pm with the ceremony to start at 2.30pm. 

Chancellor and Honorary graduate bios: 

The Rt Hon. the Lord (George) Robertson of Port Ellen KT is an alumnus of the University, graduating in 1968 with an MA(Hons) Economics degree. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (honFRSE).  

He was Member of Parliament for Hamilton and then Hamilton South from 1978 -99 and joined the House of Lords in 1999. He became a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council in 1997. 

He was the 10th Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council from 1999-2003 and UK Secretary of State for Defence from 1997-1999. He was Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland in the Shadow Cabinet from 1992-1997 and Principal Opposition Spokesman on Europe from 1983-92. He was named Joint Parliamentarian of the Year in 1992.  

Lord (George) Robertson is Vice Chair of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Chairs the FIA Foundation and Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd, is a Senior Counsellor with The Cohen Group (Washington DC) and has held many other positions with institutions around the world. He is also co-chair of the Responsible Energy Forum. 

He is one of the sixteen Knights of the Thistle (KT), a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG), and among several high international honours received, he was awarded the highest American civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2003. 

Dr Jonas Nguh graduated from the University of Dundee in 2010, with a postgraduate degree in Nursing 2010. He is Professor of Graduate Nursing at Walden University, USA.  

As a global health scholar and practitioner he has a strong focus on strengthening health systems for maternal and infant health, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. He pioneered a model for maternity homes in Africa and Asia, where women can receive antenatal care from trained nursing staff as they wait to give birth. The model has been used in communities in India, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia and is thought to have assisted two million people so far. As well as establishing maternity homes in Africa and Asia, Dr Nguh has worked in more than 20 countries, teaching primarily in public health and nursing. 

Fiona Edwards has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to supporting University research. Fiona first started selling her homemade tablet back in 2003, two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She has raised more than £100,000 to fund research into the disease. The tablet she has made in that time would stretch to the top of Ben Nevis and back. 

The money she has raised has funded critical drug trials and helped researchers at the University’s School of Medicine develop their research database as well as helping to meet the costs of new imaging technology.  


Roddy Isles

Head of Corporate Communication

+44 (0)1382 384910
Story category Graduation