QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 83 - Page 5

Cancer charity pioneer and education leader awarded honorary degrees A CHARITY CHIEF who has led a cancer support revolution and a leading authority in Scottish educational management were awarded honorary degrees from QMU in July. Laura Lee is Chief Executive of Maggie’s, the charitable organisation that provides centres offering practical, emotional and social support for people living with cancer. Under Laura’s leadership, Maggie’s has transformed the way people with cancer are supported in the UK. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of her work in improving the lives of people with cancer by placing patients and their families at the centre of service delivery. Keir Bloomer has dedicated his life to educational management and public service. He was Chief Executive of Clackmannanshire Council and President of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland and, following his retirement, he served as Chair of Court at QMU. He was awarded an honorary degree for services to Scottish education and for his significant contribution to the strategic development of QMU. Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of QMU’s Division of Nursing, presented Laura’s oration at the graduation ceremony. He said: “Laura has developed a new approach to providing care - she has helped healthcare professionals to flourish and to truly respond appropriately to the clinical, mental, practical and social needs of patients and their families. In that sense, she epitomises the underpinning values of the nursing programmes provided at QMU, as well as reflecting the aims of our Centre for Person-centred Practice Research, by ensuring that patients and families are at the centre of service delivery.” Professor Petra Wend, Principal of QMU, said: “During his time as Chair of QMU’s Court, Keir oversaw many important developments within the University underpinning current and future successes, including the framing of our institutional strategy for 2015-2025 and re-defining our vision as that of a ‘university of ideas and influence’. Professor Wend concluded: “We are delighted to honour both these highly influential individuals – Laura Lee for her dedication to person centred care which has enabled Maggie’s to transform healthcare services for people with cancer, and Keir Bloomer for his lifelong commitment to education, and for supp orting QMU’s vision to become recognised as a university of ideas and influence. Both Laura and Keir’s achievements in their specialist areas reflect the relevance of the University’s work and its aim of serving communities and improving quality of life.” Both Laura Lee and Keir Bloomer were presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of the University. They were joined by 850 students and their families at an impressive ceremony in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall. ❒ QMYOU / Graduation 5