I was given the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on 30 November 2005
by the University of Edinburgh. As you were probably not there, here are
some photos. The other recipient at that particular graduation ceremony
was John Hennessy, computer scientist
and president of Stanford University. That medieval flat hat with which you
get bonked lightly to get the degree is made out of the pants of either
John Knox, or some guy a couple of decades later (the story varies).
Among the people at the parties some of you may recognize the famous
quantitative geneticist Bill Hill, who I knew since my postdoctoral
year in Edinburgh in 1967-1968. Bill
is the former Vice-Provost of that University. Also Grahame Bulfield, who
I knew from that time and who subsequently headed the Roslin Institute when Dolly the sheep was cloned there. He is now
Bill's successor as Vice-Provost.
In the hallway for a formal pose
(The sprig of heather is because
it's Saint Andrews' Day)
Another formal pose.
Another formal pose.
Out on the building steps for a group portrait.
Front left is the left-wing Labor ex-MP
Tam Dalyell who was then the University's
Rector. Then Stanford University President
Another group portrait. In the center is the
University's Vice-Chancellor (head) Timothy
O'Shea. Behind me and a bit to the center
is Vice-Provost Grahame Bulfield.
Another one. In the upper-left is the official
called the Bedellus (the beadle) who actually
gets to carry a mace and wear a
three-cornered hat! Just like in Oliver Swift.
Back in the lounge, talking with Bill Hill
while waiting for the proceedings.
More talking with Bill.
Bill, Grahame, me.
Me, Grahame (from back), and Bill.
The lounge with everyone talking.
I am barely visible rear center.
Tam Dalyell is in rear under the portrait.
Out in the hallway again
for portrait with Grahame.
... and another.
Now we are getting our marching orders
from the impressively authoritative
Ms. Rio Watt who is off camera.
Signing the official ledger
as slowly as possible to allow pictures.
... and still signing ...
... and signing.
The two honorary degree
chat with the Vice-Provost
and the Vice-Chancellor.
On stage in the auditorium of
McEwan Hall. Standing while Grahame
Bulfield gives an address saying
why I deserve the degree ...
... and trying not to interrupt ...
... while he credits me
with a couple of things ...
... which I didn't do.
The Bedellus in the background but
not wearing his three-cornered hat.
Facing the Vice-Chancellor ...
... who bonks me with the ancient hat.
... more of that.
Giving my brief address
(no, I am not snarling).
I mean, how often does one get to wear the same sort of robe that
Bill Gates wore?
Or better yet, that Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling wore?
An anecdote: after I was bonked on the head with the hat I was handed a red
cardboard tube with the degree in it. Then I proceeded to the podium and gave
a brief address
of thanks about 2 minutes long. When I sat back down I forgot to bring the
tube with me. After some further ceremony and granting of degrees to students
it was the turn of the other honoree, John
Hennessy, who in addition to being president of Stanford University
was important in the invention of reduced instruction-set
RISC processors in for computers. After he got his bonking, his own tube, and
gave his address at the podium, he came back to his seat on the stage which
was next to mine. He had the presence of mind to bring my tube with him and
pass it to me. I leaned over and muttered to him that I was the only person to
be presented with the same degree on the same day by both the Vice-Chancellor
of the University of Edinburgh and the President of Stanford University!