Ex-Napier University student becomes chancellor

David Eustace, the new Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University,lwith his daughter Rachael. Picture: Toby Williams
David Eustace, the new Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University,lwith his daughter Rachael. Picture: Toby Williams
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A FORMER prison officer and award-winning photographer has been sworn in as the new Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University.

University leaders from across Scotland gathered at the Usher Hall yesterday for the inauguration of Dr David Eustace.

Dr Eustace, who has photographed stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, Dame Judi Dench and Sophia Loren, has taken over from Tim Waterstone.

During his speech he stressed that a less privileged background should not be a barrier to success and said that he hoped his appointment would inspire people to chase their dreams.

Dr Eustace, who grew up in Riddrie, in north-east Glasgow, and is a former Napier student, said: “I hope my appointment inspires others, especially those from less privileged social backgrounds who perhaps feel where they come from may hinder any dreams they have for their future.

“Edinburgh Napier University played a major role in my life when, many years ago, I returned to full-time education as a mature student. Now it’s my turn to give back.

“There are incredible people involved with this university and I wish to lend my support to them in any way I can. The Principal’s hopes and visions are very much the ones I share.

“This honour is incredibly humbling and exciting but the role brings many responsibilities, the greatest of which are the hopes of those who have given the university their trust and some of the most important and valuable years of their lives.

“I am a fleeting moment in this institution’s history, but for the short time I am privileged to be its titular head I will embrace the challenge in the only way I know how, with respect, complete commitment, hard work and enthusiasm.”

The Glasgow-born photographer served with the Royal Naval Reserve 10 MCM (Mine Counter Measure) Squadron before spending seven years as a prison officer at Barlinnie jail.

His career and life then changed course when he was encouraged to apply for the BA photography, film and television programme at Edinburgh Napier in the late 80s. He graduated with distinction in 1991.

Dr Eustace, who was also awarded an honorary degree by Edinburgh Napier in 2013, has worked for titles including Vogue, the Sunday Times and Elle during a colourful career which has taken him all over the world. His selected works were exhibited in the Scottish Gallery in February 2015.

Professor Andrea Nolan, principal and vice-chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “I firmly believe that David as our Chancellor fully embodies our values as a professional, ambitious, innovative and inclusive university.”