THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW
WHERE IS IT? In the heart of Glasgow's West End, with the oldest buildings located on University Avenue.
Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the second oldest university in Scotland behind St. Andrews, and fourth oldest in the English speaking world behind Oxford and Cambridge.
Originally located near Glasgow Cathedral, it remained in its initial location for 400 years, but rapid expansion coupled with the area becoming less affluent led to university moving to its current Gilmorehill campus. The main building, echoing the original, was designed in the Gothic revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott, who also designed St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh. Sir George died in 1878 before the main building could be completed. It fell to his son Oldrid finished the work, including the two quadrangles and Bute Hall. The current Gilmorehill campus now includes over 50 buildings and has additional campuses in nearby Garscube and Dumfries.
The university also features not one but two student unions, as a result of the male-only history of the Glasgow Union, which led to the opening of the Queen Margaret Union for women. Today males and females frequent both, although the GU is known as the haunt for its many sports programme enthusiasts, while the QM is more arts orientated, and is today one of Glasgow’s premier live music venues.
Over the last five centuries, the University has nurtured the talents of seven Nobel laureates (including John Boyd Orr, who has a building named after him), one Prime Minister, as well as Scotland’s inaugural First Minister, Donald Dewer, who is immortalised in statue form outside the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at the top of Buchannan Street. Scotland’s first female graduates earned their degrees here in 1894, and the world’s first ultrasound images of a foetus were published by Glasgow Professor Ian Donald in 1958. Edwin Morgan, Poet Laureate and National Poet for Scotland, studied here, as did writers Alastair MacLean, James Alfred White (better known as James Herriot), and the father of documentary filmmaking, John Grierson.
In one of the courtyards is a stone tribute to Jerry Hamer, an archaeologist who worked with the university's Archaeological Research Division.
For fans of the film Being John Malkovich, a creative faculty member has stuck a sign on a small cupboard door, now known as Room 256 in the Kelvin Building, indicating it leads to the office (and possibly mind) of one Dr. John Malkovich.