Alan Cumming, Alison Elliot, Karen McCluskey and Heather Reid

Actor Alan Cumming becomes a ‘doctor of the universe’

“I’m about to become a doctor of the universe” proclaimed actor Alan Cumming just before being awarded an honorary doctorate by The Open University for exceptional contributions to education and culture.

Actor, author and activist Alan Cumming OBE was honoured by the OU with the award of Doctor of the University, alongside 460 graduating students at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall and fellow honorary graduates Dr Heather Reid OBE, Dr Alison Elliot OBE, and Karyn McCluskey.

Mr Cumming and physicist and meteorologist Dr Reid were both recognised for their exceptional contributions to education and culture, while to Dr Elliot, Associate Director at the Centre of Theory and Public Issues and the first female Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland; and Ms McCluskey, Director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, were recognised for their outstanding public service.

Mr Cumming said: “I remember growing up and The Open University programming coming on at the end of the day's TV broadcasts. Now they use online learning and the latest technologies to support their students, but for me The Open University has always represented a thirst for knowledge, a hunger to be educated. People who enrol with the OU so often do so in conjunction with working or raising kids, and so it's always seemed to me that anyone with an Open University degree has doubly triumphed: they have fought so hard and sacrificed so much to learn and better themselves. That’s why I’m so honoured to receive this degree.”