Aberdeenshire businessman Maitland Mackie officially began his three year term as Rector of the University of Aberdeen following a ceremony last Friday (March 23).
The ancient post dates back to the foundation of the University in 1495. The Rector sits on the University Court and traditionally is the students’ representative, especially in terms of welfare matters.
The ceremony featured music chosen by Dr Mackie, which included Professor Paul Mealor’s ‘Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal’, sung by fourth year music student, soprano Jillian Christie.
In accordance with tradition, the new Rector was carried by the student mascot, Angus the Bull, to the St Machar Bar in the High Street of Old Aberdeen, where he bought a round of drinks for his student supporters.
Dr Mackie, Chairman of Mackie’s of Scotland, Rothienorman, said: “It is an honour to be representing students of the University of Aberdeen.
“This brings back memories of my own student days at the University 55 years ago – a wonderful experience which has never left me.
“I’m looking forward to supporting the Students Association, its president, Tessa Birley, and her sabbatical students in their objective of delivering continuous improvement in that experience.”
Professor Ian Diamond, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “I believe that it is especially fitting that we install, as our new Rector today, someone who not only played such a full part in student life during their own student days, but has continued an extremely close relationship with the University community throughout.
“On behalf of the academic community I am very pleased to welcome Dr Maitland Mackie to this important role.”
Tessa Birley, President of Aberdeen University Students’ Association, said: “I am really delighted that Maitland has been installed as our new Rector, not least because of his commitment to environmental issues in addition to his knowledge of our University.”