A university cleaner will take centre stage at St Andrews University’s graduation ceremonies.
Being awarded the prestigious University Medal is Crail woman Catherine Robertson, who has been one of the university’s longest-serving cleaners.
She will take her place alongside one of the founders of Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, an award-winning theatre set designer, a renowned translator and professor of classics and the former principal of the Royal Conservatoire, who will all be awarded honorary degrees by the university.
In time-honoured tradition, the St Andrew’s Day graduation ceremony will be held in Younger Hall, when hundreds of students will receive their awards alongside honorary graduates. They include John Carnochan, who is the co-founder of Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit and a specialist consultant at the university.
St Andrews-born Bunny Christie is the first women to receive not only the Olivier award for theatre set design but also the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Award for best designer, poet, essayist and translator.
Joining her will be professor of classics Anne Carson and Professor John Wallace, emeritus professor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Meanwhile, collecting the University Medal is Mrs Robertson, who worked as a cleaner for 38 years until her retirement this year.
Professor Kristin De Troyer said: “In my opinion, Mrs Robertson symbolises the excellence of our university and of all its staff. By awarding Mrs Robertson the University Medal, the university is honouring not just Mrs Robertson but all the countless colleagues who silently contribute to the success of the university.”
Assistant director of estates, Helen Mackie, said she was delighted Cathie, as the Kingsbarns-born woman is known, will become the first member of the department to receive this award as one of a number of “unsung heroes” within the team.
“Through a great deal of change in structures and staffing over the period of her appointment, Cathie always maintained a positive work ethic and a friendly demeanour,” she said.
However, this is not her first golden moment this year as she and husband Bill celebrated their golden wedding anniversary as well.