Leading Scottish figure receives Honorary Degree



The Chair of a leading charity that aims to improve lives across Scotland was today recognised with an Honorary Degree.

Dr Shonaig Macpherson CBE FRSE is the chair of the Robertson Trust, which allocates over £20million per year to charities across Scotland.

Dr Macpherson was nominated for an Honorary Degree in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the business, educational and cultural life of Scotland and to Heriot-Watt University.

Dr Macpherson qualified as a solicitor in the UK and has undertaken several Non-Executive roles including Chair of the National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Council for Development and Industry and the Open University.

She has also served on the governing bodies of Heriot-Watt University and its Edinburgh Business School.

Other notable achievements include being a member of the UK Government and Scottish Parliament's Commission on Scottish Devolution – also known as the Calman Commission.

Dr Macpherson is currently Chair of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, the Lead Non-Executive Director of the Joint Management Board of the Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate General and serves on the Board of FutureLearn Limited. 

Dr Macpherson said: “I am delighted to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot Watt University. Over almost three decades, I have witnessed the development of the University to become a global leader in education and research with excellent staff providing a world class experience to its students. I wish the University continued success.”

Professor Richard A. Williams, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “Dr Macpherson rightly takes her place as an Honorary Graduate for her exceptional career towards improving outcomes for individuals and communities. 

“Her work has informed policy as well as influenced the charity sector across Scotland.

“With her experience in education, with specific emphasis on our own University and the Edinburgh Business School, Dr Macpherson will continue to inspire our next generation of students.

“Here at Heriot-Watt we are proud of our philanthropic roots, which were established by two social innovators who enabled the growth of our University and to become a leading educational establishment.”

Graduations took place at Heriot-Watt University between 15 and 22 June.