Ex-presidents unite to recall Heriot Watt memories

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IT was back to university for a host of former student presidents at Heriot Watt’s Scottish Borders campus.

Eight of the student union chiefs from the past 10 years shared their memories in a reunion of former staff and students in Galashiels last month.

It was in 2002 that the idea for a new Halls of Residence at Netherdale was proposed and each of the presidents since then have been involved at different stages of the project, which is due for completion later this year.

And Heriot Watt’s accommodation facilities manager Christine Kellett allowed the former students to stay the weekend in the rooms they occupied during the first year of their studies, before they are demolished in a couple of months’ time.

Among those in attendance was Terry Hawkins, president for the 2004/05 term, who led the successful campaign against the School of Textiles being moved to Heriot Watt’s Edinburgh site.

Mr Hawkins said: “It’s fantastic to see the upgraded campus and the new extension to the students’ union.”

Craig Smith (2007/08 president) added: “Although still in construction, the new halls are starting to take shape and will no doubt improve the students’ living experience for years to come.”

And Cath Fenton, lecturer at Scottish Borders Campus, said: “It was great to see the students and learn of what they have been up to since graduating and hear how well their careers are progressing.”

The group also celebrated the election of Laura Gregson as vice-president of Heriot Watt’s Riccarton campus for 2012/13 – the first time a Scottish Borders-based student has won the sabbatical place.

Katie Barr will continue as student president at the Scottish Borders Campus next year after her recent re-election along with student union administrator Georgiana Dunne.