Elected: 1978
Discipline: Clinical Sciences
Professor William Alexander Cramond AO OBE FRSE
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That Stirling University has an assured place among well- regarded British universities is in significant part due to the wise and constructive vice-chancellorship of the distinguished psychiatrist William Cramond. In 1975, when Cramond took over the reins, the future of Stirling University was in peril. Over dinner in 1974, so serious a scientist as David Phillips (later Lord Phillips of Ellesmere), then Professor of Molecular Biophysics at Oxford University, told me that his advice was to close four British universities – one of which he named as Stirling – and concentrate resources elsewhere. Moreover, Stirling was uniquely vulnerable. In 1972 there had been a royal visit. The students had been cooped up indoors in cafeterias with access to alcohol. One student, looking malign, but actually benevolently sozzled, approached the Queen bottle in hand, and the threatening picture went round the world. The name of Stirling was besmirched. Potential donors had second thoughts.