Our son graduated from the University of Glasgow last week as Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering with Aeronautics.  We spent a happy day celebrating, and the sun shone on a city notorious for its damp climate.

The university's main building is a lovely setting for the traditional standing-about-happily-on lawns that is the best bit of graduation day.  Although the university is 550 years old, the main building is relatively recent - around 1870.

Below, the Bute Hall, where the ceremony took place.  Our seats were in the gallery, and were reached by a winding stone staircase in a turret.  A bit of a challenge for those of us in heels.

Below, in bow tie, our young man lines up to be capped.  As well as being capped, the graduands have their hoods put on at this point, which is why there is some nervous rearranging of this complicated bit of cloth and silk in the shot below.  They were briefed before the ceremony on exactly how to hold the hood and present it to the bedellus.  It was all done very swiftly, in a sort of academic ballet - if you want to see it in motion, have a look at any of the videos at this link.

The new graduate with very proud parents.

And with some classmates.

Kilts were much in evidence: both because of Engineering still being a male-dominated subject, and because students are proud to wear the kilt for graduation.  Our son's friend in the shot below, and again later, wasn't wearing a gown because he wasn't graduating that day.  However since he came along to see his friends graduate he put his kilt on for the occasion.

Some motherly rearrangement.

Our son chatting to the PhD student (in shorts) who had assisted with his final year project, and a new PhD graduate.

A good view of the gown and hood.  The gowns are made from heavy cloth, to the extent that our son's shoulders were aching by the end of the afternoon. Virtually all the gowns and hoods will have been hired from an academic robe maker and are returned after the ceremony.

Below, a good view of the kilt outfit, taken at the end of the afternoon when the gown had been returned.  Just below the hem of the kilt on our son's right leg you might be able to glimpse the deerhorn handle of the sgian dubh, the traditional single-bladed knife worn with the kilt.

And to finish, a gaze into the future.


  1. Congratulations to the graduate and the proud parents!

    Love the kilt, and your whole series of pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    Best wishes for the young man's future, and yours, too,

  2. Such a handsome young man, and clever to boot. You must be very proud.

  3. A fabulous post, Linda. You must be so proud! He's a handsome man! Love the kilts.

  4. Many, many congrats to you son! What an honor! Also, I must admit, that I do like a gentleman in a kilt.

  5. Congratulations to your son upon his university graduation, Linda!

  6. Congratulations on your son's achievement! And to his proud mother! Such a wonderful day, you captured perfectly. I loved your photos and story. It was very interesting to see how college graduations are done in your country. Yes, more formal than here in the US. But one thing is still the same - the happy smile of a new graduate. Good luck to your son.

  7. What a wonderful glimpse into a special part of your life. Thank you for sharing it.

  8. congratulations ! :) What a ceremony ! thanks for the video link .

  9. Congratulations on your son's graduation! Thank you for sharing this special day with us :)

  10. Congratulations on your son`s graduation. A handsom young man. You must be proud. I love the kilts.
    Thank you for sharing this nice photos.

  11. Congratulations, and isn't he the fine, handsome fellow. My husband got married to me in full Scottish regalia, as well - I do love a man in a kilt!

  12. Congratulations to your son on his graduation. Engineering is not for the fainthearted. Nice to see a loving family share such a special moment. What a grand ceremony. Ours are very bland in comparison.

  13. Congratulations to you all! Your photos bring back happy memories of my time there (22 years ago--oh my!), and of my cousin's graduation with the same degree as your son's just a few years ago. We were back in Glasgow over Easter and my daughters squealed with delighted recognition when they saw your photo of The Cloisters: "we've been there!!!"

  14. Congratulations!! What a handsome young man, you must be very proud! So nice pictures- thank you for sharing! :-)

  15. Thank you all for the good wishes. We are still in a happy glow! You're right, Susan, Engineering is quite tough. All those equations that go on for pages.
    Tracy, glad that you had a good time at Glasgow as well. It's a very friendly university, and today's students certainly enjoy everything that the city has to offer.

  16. Belated congratulations to you all! That looks like a lovely day. Glasgow University has such beautiful buildings. I look forward to living nearby soon!

    My husband (an academic) always enjoys going to graduation to see the latest crop of his students graduate. It's a really happy occasion. Although my husband's academic robes are extremely silly indeed, and include a floppy red velvet hat. Your son looks much smarter. I love seeing all the kilts, and worn by friends as well as graduands. You're looking nae bad yersel'!

  17. Hi Christine, it's always nice when the academic procession includes lots of people like your husband, who have invested in their students. Love the floppy hats - a fantastic combination of academic seriousness and whimsy.
    As for your generous compliment - thunks, as we say in the North East.

  18. Congratulations to your son, that's a great achievement!

  19. what a great reportage ! very informative insight into an important aspect of life in schotland
    I can imagine how happy your son must be and how proud the parents are
    warm congrats to the three of you
    wishing you son a bright future!


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