The first honorary doctorates were awarded by the university in 2018, to Eileen Mackay and Dee Bradbury.
Eileen Alison Mackay, first Honorary Doctorate of the University of the Highlands and Islands
Eileen Mackay was awarded the first honorary doctorate conferred by the University of the Highlands and Islands from the university chancellor, HRH The Princess Royal, at the Highland Theological College UHI graduation ceremony on the 5 July 2018.
Eileen grew up in Dingwall, Ross-shire, before embarking on a distinguished career in the civil service. She held posts in HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office before becoming Principal Finance Officer at the Scottish Office. After retiring, Eileen dedicated her time to a wide range of non-executive roles. She has been a longstanding supporter of the University of the Highlands and Islands and became an independent member of its court in 2009.
Eileen held this position until 2017, serving on the finance and audit committees as well as chairing the remuneration committee. Eileen has demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the development of the university, while her colleagues have greatly valued her commitment, expertise and the professional insight she has offered to her varied roles.
Eileen Mackay (R) with Highlands and Islands Students Association president (2017-18) Holly Scrimgeour
Dee Bradbury, Honorary Doctorate of the University of the Highlands and Islands
Dee Bradbury was awarded an honorary doctorate of the University of the Highlands and Islands at the Argyll College UHI graduation ceremony, on the 28 September 2018, in recognition of her leadership work in sport at a local, national and international level. The award was presented by Professor Crichton Lang, deputy principal of the university, in Dee’s hometown of Oban, Argyll.
In August 2018, Dee became the first female president of the Scottish Rugby Union, and is the first female leader of a Tier 1 rugby playing nation. She has been Scottish Rugby’s representative to Rugby Europe and is on the Women’s Committee for Rugby Europe. An accomplished athlete, Dee has represented Scotland and GB in athletics as junior and masters level, and has previously managed Scotland Women U18. Dee has spent her working life, since 1984, based in Oban where she has championed and encouraged women and girls to play sport, as well as leading and administering sporting activities for all.
Dee was formerly a police officer with Strathclyde Police, latterly Police Scotland, and is now retired. She was a founding member of the women’s section at Oban Lorne R.F.C. and went on to occupy several Committee roles within the club before becoming honorary president of Oban Lorne R.F.C. Dee previously held the positions of chair within Oban Netball Club, Oban Athletics Club and The Lorne Highland Games.