This week has truly been a time of celebration at Strathclyde, as we began our first on-campus teaching of the academic year. I know you will join me in giving our students a very warm welcome and help them to discover all that Strathclyde and the city of Glasgow has to offer.
This year, the Higher and Further Education Sector, together with Glasgow City Council, has united to welcome students with a new digital campaign, launched this week. It brings together students and staff from Glasgow’s eight institutions to help new and returning students to explore our city. I would like to offer my thanks to our Student President, Benn Rapson, who has a role in the film.
The campaign follows our very successful Freshers’ Week and I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Strath Union for delivering such a wide range of events for our new Strathclyders. It was tremendous to see our newest students on the campus for the first time.
This week, we also welcomed our alumnus Dr Charles Huang back to the University for a very special visit.
Dr Huang and his family joined us on Tuesday to make the incredibly generous gift of £50 million from the Charles Huang Foundation – thought to be one of the largest single gifts ever made to a UK university. This transformational donation will undoubtedly have an incredible impact on our students, our city, and the global communities we serve.
This is also a wonderful reminder of the powerful and life-long connections so many of us have with our University and our fellow Strathclyders – we should be rightly proud of the impact of our education, research, partnerships, values and culture.
For more than 200 years, Strathclyde students, staff and graduates have been making a positive contribution to the world around them, epitomising our founder’s vision of ‘useful learning’. During his visit, I was struck by Dr Huang’s own experiences of studying in Strathclyde Business School, the impact of the staff who had inspired him, and his desire to enable more people to benefit from the life-changing opportunities a place at university can bring.
It is a motivation that many of you will recognise, and indeed, act on each day, whether you are delivering a first-class experience for our students, driving leading-edge research, or pushing the boundaries of innovation for the benefit of society.
Following the announcement, it has been incredibly uplifting to receive the many messages of support from colleagues, students, alumni and partners, who have been excited to hear the news. They have been delighted that it will enable both our University and Glasgow City Innovation District to create jobs, drive innovation, and ultimately, support Scotland and the UK’s recovery from the pandemic. You can read more about how we will use the gift on our website.
I hope that, like me, you feel proud of our University community and the positive impact it is making – from our new students taking their first classes this week, to the thousands of colleagues who have worked so hard to plan for a safe return to campus, to our pioneering alumni who are taking ‘useful learning’ into the wider world and making a difference.
Finally, if you are on campus please remember to follow our new face covering guidance in order to keep everyone safe. The University is going above and beyond the Scottish Government's baseline guidance and everyone has a part to play in our collective safety.
I hope you have a good break as we head into the ‘September Weekend’ and please enjoy the holiday Monday.
Best wishes for a relaxing weekend,