Glasgow University unveils plaque for famous graduate

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Glasgow’s visitors and residents have a new sight to see - a memorial to legendary Scot and pioneering economist Adam Smith, located at the original site of the University of Glasgow.

The University of Glasgow commissioned the engraving of five paving stones on High Street, where it was based from 1451 to 1870, as part of its efforts to commemorate the 300th anniversary of its famous former student.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost, Jacqueline McLaren, unveiled the engraved stones at a ceremony on Monday, December 4. She was joined by the University of Glasgow’s Rector, the Honourable Lady Rae; Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli; and the students who have helped to make Adam Smith’s tercentenary year a global success.

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The ceremony was followed by a civic reception at the City Chambers, hosted by the Lord Provost. The five paving stones feature quotes from Smith’s seminal works, The Wealth of Nations and The Theory of Moral Sentiments, key dates, and the University of Glasgow’s specially commissioned tercentenary logo. They were engraved by local stonemason business, Forever Memorials.

University of Glasgow

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow said: “I want to praise the remarkable efforts made worldwide this year to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Adam Smith. The University of Glasgow is Smith’s intellectual home, and we are proud to lead the way in evaluating his legacy, through conversations and learning for a 21st century audience.

"It has been fantastic to see so many people from all walks of life engaging with our tercentenary programme throughout the past year.

“Much of Smith’s work and thinking was developed through his interactions with Glasgow and its citizens. This memorial on the site of Smith’s old stamping ground is therefore a fitting tribute, and one which will be visible to future generations - we are grateful to the city of Glasgow for their support in making this happen.”

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The Lord Provost for Glasgow, Jacqueline McLaren, said: “On behalf of the city of Glasgow, I’m delighted to witness the unveiling of this new memorial in honour of the Father of Economics. Adam Smith. An eminent Scottish philosopher and economist who was a leading figure of the Enlightenment.

"It’s my privilege to join you on the site of the Old College where this famous alumnus and - latterly Professor of the University of Glasgow - began his studies at the age of 14 years. This dedicated paving stone in memory of the man, his legacy and the unique contribution he made to Glasgow and the modern world.”

The University of Glasgow’s Rector, Lady Rae, said: “I am here today as Rector of the University of Glasgow - a privilege I feel honoured to share with Adam Smith, who was appointed as Rector in 1787. I think if he was standing where I am today, he’d be so proud to see his work as a scholar, educator and citizen being recognised - particularly by the University’s students, who have made impressive achievements in helping to share his relevancy with a modern audience.

“I’m delighted to be here on behalf of our brilliant students to commemorate this piece of the city’s history.”

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