Honorary degree for Amanda Kopel

Amanda Kopel.
Amanda Kopel.

Amanda Kopel of Kirriemuir is to be honoured this afternoon at the University of Dundee’s graduation ceremony in the Caird Hall.

The campaigner for better rights for those with dementia is among the leading figures who will be honoured with an honorary degree by the University at its summer graduations today, tomorrow and Friday.

Mrs Kopel spearheaded the `Frank’s Law’ campaign to secure free personal care for people in Scotland who are under the age of 65 and living with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

The campaign has been inspired by the case of her husband, the late Dundee United legend Frank Kopel, who suffered from dementia. Her campaign has gained immense popular support

Mrs Kopel is also heavily involved in raising awareness of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – a form of younger-onset dementia associated with repeated sport-related head trauma, which her husband may have suffered from as a result of his football career.

She is joined by Maggie’s Centres co-founder Dr Charles Jencks whose work will also be recognised by the university.

Honorary degrees will also be awarded to: Sir William Castell, former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Wellcome Trust; Sir William Patey, a Dundee graduate who went on to become UK Ambassador in Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan; Professor Harindra Fernando, one of the world’s foremost experts in fluid dynamics and environmental science and Dr Hilal Al-Sayer, Chairman of the Dasman Diabetes Institute board in Kuwait.

Professor Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University said: “In choosing our honorary graduates we are looking at people who are the best possible role models for our students and staff, and who have displayed excellence and achievement in their chosen fields.

“Each of the people we will award an honorary degree to this summer fits that description. They have achieved great things in fields that are directly relevant to our own students here at Dundee.

“The range of achievements among our honorary graduates reflects the wide ranging nature of the impact the University itself has on society, from music and the arts through healthcare, governance and the environment.

“I look forward to welcoming all of them to Dundee this summer.”

Around 3500 students will receive their own degrees and diplomas over the course of the week, one of the highlights of the academic calendar.