Environmentalist to be recognised with honorary degree

An endurance swimmer who braved water temperatures of minus 1.7C to highlight melting polar ice caps is set to be recognised with an honorary degree.

Lewis Pugh, who swam across the North Pole in 2007 to highlight the environmental issues facing the area, will receive the honour from the University of Stirling during a special ceremony next week.

Mr Pugh has dedicated his life to raising awareness of environmental plights facing ecosystems across the planet.

Lewis Pugh will receive his honorary degree next week (Gareth Fuller/PA)

In 2018, he became the first person to swim the length of the English Channel from Land’s End to Dover in a call for the protection of UK waters.

He completed his first long-distance swim from Robben Island to Cape Town in South Africa when he was just 10.

He will join other “inspirational” figures being honoured by the university in ceremonies next Wednesday and Thursday.

Paralympic gold medallist David Smith will also be recognised with an honorary degree.

Smith was born with two club feet and has played shinty as well as practising karate and athletics.

He then switched to adaptive rowing, which saw him clinch gold at the London 2012 Paralympics.

Having moved to cycling, Smith had set his sights on the Rio 2016 Paralympic, but a back tumour thwarted his ambitions.

He has not let cancer stop him and has since gone on to conquer Mont Ventoux – part of the Tour de France – three times.

Meanwhile, Lynda Okroj from Scottish Women’s Aid is being recognised for her work in supporting women and children who have experienced domestic abuse.

University of Stirling students who missed out on graduation ceremonies during the pandemic are now being celebrated (PA)

Environmentalist Mike Robinson will also be recognised next week for his work in protecting the environment.

Professor Sir Gerry McCormac, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “Summer graduation is always a highlight in the university calendar – but this fortnight of events has been incredibly special as we’ve been able to celebrate three cohorts of students, including graduates from 2020 and 2021.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming our 2022 graduands to campus next week and are delighted that they will be joined by four outstanding individuals who are making a real difference to the world in their respective fields and are excellent, inspirational role models for our students and graduates.

“Congratulations to all of those graduating over this two-week period.”


Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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