THE grandson of Scotland’s oldest PHD student has been awarded with his Honours degree.
David Hughes, 22, of North Queensferry was awarded an Honours degree in Social Sciences from Edinburgh Napier University the same institution where his grandfather Dr David Dick completed his PHD at the age of 82.
Dr Dick was the first Vice Principal of Napier College, and returned to the institution once it was granted University status to complete his PHD.
Speaking of his grandfather’s legacy, David Hughes said: “My grandfather’s knowledge and scholarship, alongside his genuine interest in my studies, were an inspiration during my journey to becoming an undergraduate student and continued throughout my time at University.
“I was excited and encouraged by his anecdotes, as well as his academic achievements in his retired life.”
David Dick became a hydroelectric engineer then a lecturer and after his role as Vice Principal at Napier college in 1964, he was the principal at Stevenson College in Edinburgh from 1970-1988.
He spent his retirement years studying a BA (Hons) at the Open University then he studied a Masters of Literature at the University of Dundee followed by his doctorate in philosophy at Edinburgh Napier in 2013, making him Scotlands oldest PHD student.
Dr Dick was awarded an OBE in 1982 for his services to both education and the fire service.
David Hughes said: “My grandfather and I spoke on numerous occasions about the difficulties of my dissertation topic, titled ‘Analysis of Scottish Nationalism in 2021 and how it is perceived amongst generational cohorts in Scotland’, and he always asked how I was getting on as the research was coming together.
“His passing in January at the age of 91 was extremely difficult. However, the perseverance he showed in his work spurred me on to complete my own studies in the belief that my grandfather would have been proud of my work and achievements.
“I have dedicated my dissertation in his memory.”
David now aims to follow his lifelong dream of joining the Royal Air Force or Royal Navy.
Dr John Burnett, lecturer in Edinburgh Napier’s School of Applied Sciences, said: “David’s enthusiasm, diligence, intelligence and determination to succeed are qualities clearly evident in his grandfather’s incredibly rich and impressive life story.
“The first class mark he achieved for his dissertation is a testament to the hard work, resourcefulness and considerable academic skill in the planning, design and execution of what is a complex and challenging topic – even without the trials and tribulations of the ongoing pandemic.
“I’m sure David’s late grandfather would’ve been incredibly proud of his achievements – and rightly so!”