Outlander star Sam Heughan receives honorary degree

The award-winning actor was recognised for his outstanding contribution to acting and charity.

Sam Heughan: The actor receives honorary degree from Stirling University.
Sam Heughan: The actor receives honorary degree from Stirling University.

Outlander actor Sam Heughan has spoken of his delight after receiving an honorary degree from the University of Stirling.

The 39-year-old star, recognised for his outstanding contribution to acting and charitable endeavours, said he was “thrilled” by the accolade, as he celebrated alongside hundreds of graduating students in Stirling on Thursday.

Heughan plays Jamie Fraser in Outlander – part of which was filmed on the Stirling campus, with locations including the Pathfoot Building, the link bridge and Hermitage Woods.

He has won a number of best actor awards for his performances in the series, and received nominations for both a BAFTA and a Critic’s Choice Television Award.


Heughan is an ardent supporter of the blood cancer charity, Bloodwise, and has established his own charitable foundation, My Peak Challenge.

On receiving his award, he said: “I am thrilled to be honoured by the University of Stirling, an excellent university in a truly unique setting.

“I have always had a strong bond with the city and surrounding area, recently spending a great deal of time shooting our television show there. It has a breathtaking landscape and is an inspiring city.

“The current graduates have worked so hard and I have enjoyed celebrating the big day with them.”


Heughan was recognised during the Faculty of Social Sciences ceremony on Thursday afternoon.

This summer’s graduation marks an important milestone for the University, with The Rt Hon Lord Jack McConnell installed as its sixth Chancellor, succeeding BBC journalist Dr James Naughtie.

The three-day event has seen Lord McConnell, the former First Minister of Scotland, confer degrees upon 2113 graduating students and six honorary graduates.

Double-BAFTA award winning director Hamish Hamilton was celebrated on Tuesday, while French football star Lilian Thuram, Alison Brittain CBE, CEO of Whitbread and Pete Cheema OBE, CEO of Scottish Grocers Federation, received their honorary doctorates on Wednesday.

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