Outlander's Sam Heughan to receive honorary doctorate from Scots university

Actor Sam Heughan, best known for his role as Jamie Fraser in the TV drama series Outlander, is to receive an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University in recognition of his artistic success and his charitable work.

Actor Sam Heughan, who plays Highland clansman Jamie Fraser in the time travelling drama Outlander (above), will receive an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University this summer in light of his contribution to the arts as well as his charity work.

He will receive the honour at the university's Dumfries Campus, which is close to where the actor grew up, in July.

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Heughan has enjoyed great success in the smash show Outlander and has raised more than £2m for cancer charities through his My Peak Challenge fitness fundraiser, which has drawn huge support from the Outlander fandom.

Outlander's Sam Heughan (above) will receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of his artistic success and charitable work.

He has attributed much of his early success on stage and screen to his time in youth theatre with his role in David Greig’s play, Outlying Islands, first staged at the Traverse in 2002, arguably the turning point of his career.

Heughan has since become an ambassador for youth theatre and was named a patron for Youth Theatre Arts Scotland in 2014.

Born in 1980 in the Dumfries and Galloway village Balmaclellan, he later moved to nearby New Galloway before arriving in Edinburgh at the age of 12.

In 2003, he graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

A decade later he was in the United States and cast as Jamie Fraser in the hugely successful time-travelling fantasy Outlander with his work earning him nominations for two Saturn awards - and millions of fans around the world.

Now filming seasons five and six, Heughan is now a producer on the show.

His charity work sees him raise money both at home and abroad. His My Peak Challenge charitable foundation is partnered with Leukemia Lymphoma Research, Bear Strength Clothing and Fight Camp Glasgow to raise funds for cancer research.

In 2019, Heughan teamed up with Omaze, raffling off a date to the foundations 2019 gala, which raised £2.2m for Bloodwise UK.

Last year, he ran both the Stirling and EMF Edinburgh Marathons to raise money for Cahonas Scotland’s Testicular Cancer Education and Awareness Programme.

This year's graduation marks the 20th anniversary of Glasgow University's Dumfries Campus.

To mark the occasion, honorary doctorates will also be conferred to Dr Fiona Armstrong, Lady MacGregor, TV journalist and Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries; Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of The Sutton Trust and David Mayer de Rothschild – a British adventurer, ecologist, environmentalist and head of the charity Sculpt the Future Foundation.

Alice Thompson, co-founder of Social Bite, which started in 2012 as a sandwich shop in Rose Street in Edinburgh which gave away all profits to good causes, will also receive the honour along with Andrew Walls FRCS, Convener of The Crichton Foundation.

Professor Carol Hill, Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University’s Dumfries campus, said: “This campus has grown in influence and impact since it was opened 20 years ago in September 1999 to serve the higher education needs of Dumfries and Galloway. In this, our 20th anniversary year of celebrations, we at Dumfries are delighted to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our honorary graduates, representing a range of talents, careers and charitable interests.”