Senior University trustee honoured at graduations



L-R: Dr Bob Buchan, Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University, Tony Strachan, Dame Frances Cairncross, Chair of Court, and Professor Richard A. Williams

Heriot-Watt University trustee, Tony Strachan, has been honoured for his contribution to finance, education, culture and communities.

Since 2011, Tony has served on every University Court committee, overseeing all of Heriot-Watt's financial and contractual issues, and academic undertakings. During this period, he sat as either a member or Chair, generously committing his time and valuable experience. He also oversaw key projects including a new campus in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the National Centre for Sport (Oriam Centre), the Lyell Centre for Earth and Marine Technology and Panmure House, the New Town home of Adam Smith.

Tony has long established routes in education across the UK. Between 1995 and 2003, whilst in Manchester, he was involved in Higher Education in the city before helping shape higher education governance in Scotland, establishing the Scottish Code of Higher Education Governance. He has also served in the Committee of Scottish University Chairs and Scottish Committee of the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association.

Tony was today (Thursday 20 June) awarded an Honorary Degree in recognition of his exceptional contributions to financial, educational, cultural and community life in the UK and, in particular, for exemplary service to the Heriot-Watt University Court.

After receiving his honour, Tony commented: “It has been a privilege to have been involved with Heriot Watt University over the past eight years in which it has consolidated its position as a values-led and truly international university. To receive this award from the University is a great honour for me."

Tony's career started at the Bank of England, which he joined soon after leaving school. At the bank, he worked on Exchange Controls, with which the government managed currency flows into and out of the UK. He then joined the Bank's International Division, and worked on the Canadian economy, before joining the Banking Supervision Division.

In 2003, he became the bank's representative in Scotland and moved his family to Glasgow, where he soon became involved in the community.

After retiring from the bank, he joined the Heriot-Watt Court, attracted by the University's values and global reach, and its mission to change lives for the better.

Ann-Marie Dalton-Pillay, Secretary of the University, said: “Since joining Heriot-Watt, Tony has contributed a huge amount to the quality of higher education in Scotland.

“But it is on our Court that his contribution has been greatest. He has either chaired or served on every Court Committee at some point, and he led the work to appoint a new Principal in 2014.

“The University has been extremely fortunate to have benefitted from his wealth of knowledge and experience and from such a dedicated and passionate servant.”