Awards in memory of broadcasting legend Magnus

Sally Magnusson with award recipients Irene Fosuhemaa Bossman and Dr Bright Anyimah Oduro
Sally Magnusson with award recipients Irene Fosuhemaa Bossman and Dr Bright Anyimah Oduro

Students at Glasgow Caledonian University are set to carry out life changing projects in the name of Magnus Magnusson.

The university’s late Chancellor used to live on the outskirts of Milngavie and was a familiar face in the town.

Seven Magnus Magnusson Awards were presented to students on Tuesday, May 16.

Helping patients with eye diseases in Ghana and travelling to Nepal to raise awareness of climate change are just two examples of the work praised at the ceremony.

The awards will support them to volunteer with projects across the globe, bringing their expertise and knowledge to parts of the world where it will make a real and lasting difference.

Awards of up to £5,000 are available, supported by donors including Sir Alex Ferguson and Santander.

This year’s special event in the University’s Saltire Centre marked the 10th year of the Magnus Magnusson Awards.

The awards have supported more than 80 students to undertake their own dream projects worldwide.

Dr Sally Magnusson, daughter of Magnus, discussed her favourite memories of the awards and the story of how it all began.

Sally also interviewed three former student winners, sharing the remarkable impact their award had on their life and the lives of others several years on.

Joel Somerville drove 6,000 miles across West Africa to work on board a mercy ship as a volunteer optometrist carrying out vital eye surgeries.

John McAlinden recorded his first album, which led to his band Colonel Mustard and the Dijon Five touring the world.

While Gillian Murray delivered lifesaving care for new born babies in Tanzania.

As a well as celebrating past achievements, awards were presented to this year’s student winners.

Sally Magnusson, who lives in Torrance, said: “I feel thrilled and humbled. My father cared very much for seeing young people flourish.

“He understood their aspirations and was curious about what they wanted to do with their lives.

“To think his name and what the University has done in his name has enabled people to bloom and blossom in the way that all our students who won awards have done would have thrilled him.”

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies said: “Ten years ago, the Magnus Magnusson Awards were created to support and cultivate the ambitions and dreams of the talented young people of Glasgow Caledonian University who wish to share their talents in some way with others.

“Through the creation of these awards, we are ensuring that Magnus’ contribution to Scottish education in general, and to Glasgow Caledonian University in particular, will never be forgotten.

“We are so proud of the achievements that have been made possible over the years through this incredible initiative.

“I would like to thank all of our donors whose incredible generosity makes so many of these awards possible.

“Support from individuals and companies who share our pledge to support the awards has enabled us to make over 60 totalling more than £225,000 since 2008.”

Jillian Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “Since the awards began, in honour of Magnus and his passion for learning, our students have been able to realise their dreams and ambitions as a result of donations from friends and alumni.

“This year marks a very special achievement.”