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2010 Honorary fellowships

Two honorary fellowships were awarded in 2010, to Neal Ascherson and Sandy Cumming CBE.


Neal Ascherson

Edinburgh-born Neal Ascherson has been a journalist since 1956 when he joined the Manchester Guardian. Since then he has been foreign correspondent for The Observer; Scottish politics correspondent for The Scotsman and The Independent on Sunday.

His books include The King Incorporated, a study of Leopold II and the Congo Free State; The Struggles for Poland; Black sea, which won a Saltire Award for Literature, and most recently Stone Voices: the Search for Scotland.

He wrote several of the commentaries for a Channel 4 documentary series on Poland, and was a scriptwriter for the acclaimed Thames TV World at War series.

A prizewinning journalist, Mr Ascherson was awarded the Golden Insignia of the Polish Order of Merit by President Lech Walesa.

He is a lifelong fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He joined UCL (University College London) in 1998 as a part-time lecturer in the Institute of Archaeology, and became the first editor of the journal Public Archaeology. UCL has made him both an honorary professor and an honorary fellow.


Sandy Cumming CBE

A lifelong champion of the Highlands and Islands, Mr Cumming was born in Dingwall and raised in Strathconon, Ross-shire. He joined the Highlands and Islands Development Board in 1973, shortly after graduating from the University of Edinburgh.

Over 37 years, Mr Cumming held a number of key posts with the board and its successor, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  After initially specialising in agricultural economics, he quickly broadened his scope and occupied roles as diverse as chief executive of local enterprise company Ross and Cromarty Enterprise, and HIE director of growing businesses.

As chief executive of HIE from 2000 until March this year, he was responsible for launching many important initiatives. The decade saw HIE take a leading role in land reform, helping the inhabitants of Gigha, North Harris, South Uist and hundreds of other communities to take control of their own land. Other highlights included setting up the Highlands and Islands Community Energy Company (now Community Energy Scotland), creating the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, supporting UHI and investing in thousands of local businesses and inward investors.

Mr Cumming was awarded the CBE in 2004, for services to economic development.