Clan Currie Commander Receives Honorary Doctorate

Robert Currie, Commander of Clan Currie

Robert Currie, Commander of Clan Currie

Robert Currie, Commander of Clan Currie, received an honorary doctorate from Edinburgh Napier University on Thursday. The doctorate of arts was awarded for his tireless efforts in promoting and preserving Scottish heritage worldwide.

Currie, who is also President of the Clan Currie Society of New York, is an international figurehead in promoting Scottish culture, education and events including the 2013 MacMhuirich Symposium held in Nova Scotia, and the annual Pipes of Christmas concert held in New York City.

Also awarded an honorary doctorate was Sir Jackie Stewart OBE – known as ‘The Flying Scotsman’. Sir Jackie won the F1 Grand Prix 27 times, was Formula 1 world champion three times and is a leading advocate for motor racing safety.

Professor Andrea Nolan, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “We’re really proud to see our students graduating alongside these accomplished individuals. Their drive, passion and integrity is admirable and a true inspiration to our students.”

The MacMhuirichs, a name later anglicized to ‘Currie’ and in some parts of Scotland as ‘Macpherson’, ‘Murray’ and even ‘MacMillan’, served for over 700 years as professional poets to the Lords of the Isles, and later to the MacDonalds of Clanranald. The Red Book of Clanranald, one of Gaelic Scotland’s literary treasures, was penned by successive generations of the MacMhuirich bards on South Uist.

The Clan Currie Society was originally formed in Glasgow 1959 to further the knowledge and appreciation of the MacMhuirich bardic dynasty. Today, the society plays an active role in preserving and promoting their highland heritage at Scottish Games, ethnic festivals, as well as community groups and classrooms. The Society has also sponsored a number of highly successful concerts featuring Scottish music and Gaelic poetry and has been a leading sponsor and coordinator of National Tartan Day events in the United States.

Commissioned to mark the 10th Anniversary of Tartan Day on Ellis Island in New York in 2011, the Society launched the Ellis Island Tartan as a tribute to those who passed through Ellis Island on their way to a new life in the United States of America. The society also runs an impressive scholarship programme, with scholarships available for those studying piping, Clasarch and Gaelic.


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