Alastair MacLeod and Alex Beetson - 2017 Academic Awards

Alastair MacLeod and Alex Beetson at the 2017 Academic Awards Dinner

Celebrating student success

17 March, 2017

Emmanuel College students’ academic achievements were celebrated at the 2017 Academic Awards Dinner last week. The event was held on International Women’s Day and guest speaker Associate Professor Sarah Percy, Grad Centre Deputy Director in UQ’s School of Political Science and International Studies, inspired students, supporters, and staff with her address focusing on two main themes: feminism is for everybody and communicate your passion.

In addition to the ceremony awarding many scholarships and bursaries to deserving students, a special meeting took place between a generous alumnus and an outstanding student.

Alastair MacLeod resided at Emmanuel College from 1964 to 1967 completing a BE (Hons) in Civil Engineering. He has had a distinguished career as an engineering professional, working for Port of Brisbane Authority, Hutchison Port Holdings and currently as a Director at MacPorts Pty Limited. In 2014 he established the Alastair MacLeod Civil Engineering Scholarship at Emmanuel College to be awarded to a second-year or above student who is achieving good results and is making a positive contribution to the life of the College and the community at large. Financial and/or geographic disadvantage is also a condition of the scholarship. Alastair said that the personal satisfaction he has gained has more than justified his decision to establish the scholarship. “On returning to Australia after working overseas for over 20 years as a civil engineer on major projects, I decided to put back into Emmanuel College and the University some contribution for the benefits I received as an undergraduate engineer while residing at Emmanuel. I decided that I would offer a modest scholarship for a deserving Civil Engineering student resident at Emmanuel and also undertake a mentoring role as part of the EAIT Faculty mentoring program. I hope that I have been able to provide useful guidance and assistance to up-and-coming graduate engineers from Emmanuel.”

Third-year Bachelor of Engineering student Alex Beetson from Dalby, who has a GPA of 6.75, is the recipient of the Alastair MacLeod Civil Engineering Scholarship for the second successive year. In addition to providing financial assistance, Alastair is mentoring Alex through the UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology’s MEET a Mentor program, where his extensive experience, help and advice will be invaluable. Alex said, “Meeting Alastair was a career-changing event. Having an experienced engineer guide me through university is something few people get the chance to experience. This will give me the chance to sprint off the start line at the end of my degree and set up career, which wouldn’t have been possible before I met Alastair. I’m very grateful to Alastair for giving me this opportunity and look forward to learning from his experience.”

Alastair’s support exemplifies the ethos of Emmanuel alums giving back to the College community through their work, wealth and wisdom and is a testament to the bonds forged through the College experience.