Glasgow Uni Alumni


Do you know which famous Glasgow student was overlooked by the Nobel Committee in favour of her male supervisor? Or which singer studied medicine at Glasgow, before her vibrant vocal cords enabled her to reach catatonic success? Okay, so this is not a quiz, but it is interesting to note how many famous people were once students like us, trudging their way up Gibson Street on their academic journey. Here are just a few examples:

Susan Calman is a stand-up from Glasgow who is currently strutting her stuff on Strictly, Calman read law at our 566 year old institution, but became dissatisfied with her career, so she decided to tread the boards with her award-winning comedy routines. Her father is also the chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Kenneth Calman.

Emeli Sandé was always passionate about music, but chose to study medicine at Glasgow as a fallback should her career not take off. Her impressive debut album ‘Our Version of Events’ skyrocketed her to fame in 2012, and so far she has won four BRIT awards. Sandé’s persistence serves as inspiration in how far our dreams can take us, and teaches us that our career choices are not limited to what we study.

Mhairi Black was elected as the youngest politician since the seventeenth century, Mhairi Black was elected as SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South while still studying Politics and Public Policy. Her unashamedly Glaswegian approach, seen for instance when she was  caught on camera saying ‘You talk shite, hen’ under her breath during PMQs, combined with her socialist policies have made her a strong and charismatic personality in Westminster, an institution she continues to criticise. Whilst some students talk about making a difference to the world, Mhairi Black went and did it.

Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s First Minister, and studied Law at Glasgow. Hailed as the most influential woman by Woman’s Hour and ‘The Most dangerous Woman in Britain’ by everybody’s favourite slimeball Piers Morgan, Sturgeon’s approach to politics has been divisive but influential in giving a voice to Scotland.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a Northern Irish astrophysicist, a physics student at a school that refused to teach science to female students, until Bell Burnell’s parents protested. She studied physics at Glasgow in the 1960s as an undergraduate, and was doing her Phd at Cambridge when she discovered an anomaly in her data that later proved the discovery of pulsars. Her work was groundbreaking and brought her lots of recognition in scientific circles, although she was controversially overlooked by the Nobel Prize in favour of her supervisor, Anthony Hewish, who initially rejected the significance of her discovery. Of course, qmunicate feels angry about this, and feel she should get more recognition as an alumnus of this great university.

[Liam Caldwell]

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