A doctor has left £1m in her will to a Scots university where she studied medicine.
Dr Mary Duncan, who died in February aged 86, has gifted the donation to Aberdeen University.
The former medical research scientist had been a long-time supporter of the institution and successfully set up the Jim Duncan Scholarship programme in 1999, named after her father.
She wanted the scholarship to be open to all students who had chosen to go to university after a break in their education, or who were going back to studying after an interruption and required financial assistance
In her will she stated that 65% of the cash should be used to further the scholarship programme and the remaining money should be used for medical research projects.
Jan Klepacki, a current medical student, said: “Although my encounters with Dr Duncan were brief she was always keen to hear about my time at medical school, my wife and my children.
“In turn I had the chance to listen to her very insightful anecdotes from her professional life as a doctor. The inspiring and positive imprint she left on me will stay forever.”
Originally from South Uist, Dr Duncan came to Aberdeen and graduated from the university with a medical degree in 1953.
She undertook the degree course as an arts student with no scientific background but excelled in medicine and after graduating, worked for Glaxo as a pathologist before moving to Italy with her husband to work as a research scientist.
From Italy she moved to London, and then to Edinburgh, where she lived for a number of years.
Gyorgy Kantor, who is also studying for a medical degree, said: “The Jim Duncan Scholarship has been of enormous financial assistance to me. It gave me the opportunity to spend more time getting to know my new circumstances, overcoming the most difficult parts of orientation in my first year while taking on an extra subject and pursuing my own intellectual development in my second year.”
The university is planning to honour Dr Duncan by naming a room in the Suttie Centre for Teaching and Learning in memory of her and her father.
A University of Aberdeen spokesperson said: “Dr Duncan was held in very high regard by her scholars over the years whom she often befriended and mentored and she will be greatly missed. Her lasting legacy however will continue to enable students to undertake higher education, removing barriers to those who may otherwise have missed their opportunity to undertake a degree.”
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