The event was a special opportunity to celebrate our sector-defining new Campus and represented an important milestone in our University’s rich history.
As part of the official opening ceremony, the First Minister was given a student-led tour of the Campus where she visited a range of cutting-edge facilities including the environmental chamber, sports labs and simulated nursing and midwifery skills labs.
The First Minister also spent time with students during a Q&A, before addressing colleagues, students and invited guests and unveiling a plaque to declare the new Campus officially open.
As part of the day, a fully interactive showcase highlighted for guests the incredible work of our students and colleagues from across the University giving a flavour of just some of the exciting projects and research taking place at UWS.
Our creative arts students also presented live musical performances as part of the programme including Paulo Nutini Scholar, Rachel Jack. In line with our commitment to sustainability, an electric car and bicycle demonstration experience was held for staff, students and guests to get a feel for ‘going green’ when it comes to vehicle choice and a ceremonial tree was also planted to mark the occasion.
Our new coat of arms was unveiled in 2017 to mark our anniversary year and celebrate our heritage. It references the former institutions that comprise UWS - university of paisley, Bell College and Craigie College of education. It also contains elements that represent the university’s presence in Dumfries and its wider context in the UK as well as internationally.
The garland of laurel and holly features on Alexander Stoddart’s statue of Coila - muse of Robert Burns in his poem ‘The Vision’ – that stands in the grounds of the University’s Ayr Campus and in honour of this Holly, Professor Mahoney our Principal & Vice-Chancellor and UWS Chancellor Rt Hon Dame Elish Angiolini planted a Holly Bush.
It was an honour to welcome the First Minister to UWS today and inspirational to see so much of the work of our students and staff on display for our guests to enjoy just a flavour of the amazing work underway right across our University.