In August 2012, I received a letter from the
Principal of Heriot-Watt University informing me that the University was to
award me the degree of Honorary D.Litt and that my graduation would take place
on 18 June, 2013.
I was enjoined to make no pubic statements about
the award until my graduation, a condition I have adhered to until late on the
17th (though it is already the 18th east of Australia).
The award of an Honorary D.Litt is a singular
academic honour in British Universities. It was not sought nor expected by me and news of the
award was both surprising and extremely gratifying.
It caps a 44-year postgraduate academic career in
ways I never anticipated. The
esteem of one’s long-standing colleagues, both those I worked well with and
with those with whom I had occasional ‘differences’, is worth more than
anything I can explain, even to my family.
Readers will understand if today I do not post
much, if anything (though old habits may ‘kick-in’!).