Your University, One Photo at a Time

Smi h On The Memorial Gates

Smi h On The Memorial Gate

They don’t make them T’s like they used to…

This shot is from the Memorial Gates which stand next to the John McIntyre Building on University Avenue, just across the street from the Round Reading Room. If you go back to the very first shot featured in this photo blog, well, you won’t see it, but you’ll see where the Memorial Gates are situated, as the initial photo of the Main Building is cropped just so that the Memorial Gates would be at the very bottom of the shot.

The Memorial Gates were installed in 1951 to mark the first 500 years of the University of Glasgow and is adorned with the names of some of the most outstanding and influential figures connected with the University thoughout its 500+ year history. Some notable names include Adam Smith, James Watt, Joseph Lister, and King James II.

Currently the gates hold 30 names, with extra space for another 10 names. If you’d like to see who the 30 names on the Gates are, there is an interactive image of the gate on the University website on the University Story page.

The “Smi(t)h” in the above photo refers to John Smith, the former leader of the Labour Party (1992-1994) and a graduate of Glasgow University. Smith’s name was added to the Memorial Gates in 2001 during the University’s 550th year celebrations, along with Donald Dewar’s name. Smith and Dewar are pretty simple to find on the Memorial Gates as for some obscure reason they were made in a different font from the other names on the gate.

Not only are the names Dewar and Smith written in a different font from the other 28 names on the two doors of the gate, they are also the two in the worst condition, even though they only date back to 2001, whereas the other names date back to 1951.

They just don’t make them like they used to…

[Poll #2: What's your connection to Glasgow University?]
Click on the photo above for a larger version.
© 2009 All Rights Reserved.

4 responses

  1. James Harrison

    It’s interesting to think how history could have been different. If John Smith hadn’t died suddenly in 1994, then he would have become Prime Minister, and Tony Blair wouldn’t have happened.

    June 19, 2009 at 10:39 am

    • Maybe one day a Glasgow University graduate will be Prime Minister. Well, we did have Dewar, so I guess that counts. Considering the picture above, had a Glasgow University graduate been Prime Minister, would this memorial to him be in this state? (Note to self: Check condition of Dewar’s sign)
      I do like the fact that someone had enough respect to pick up the T and place it on the gate, instead of pocketing it or chucking it away.

      June 19, 2009 at 11:23 am

      • James Harrison

        Nicola Sturgen the Deputy First Minister also went to Glasgow

        June 22, 2009 at 11:53 am

  2. Iain A F Fleming

    Glasgow has actually had already two of its graduates become prime minister: Henry Campbell-Bannerman, and (briefly) Andrew Bonar Law.

    Neither feature on the gates, though. I wonder why?

    October 31, 2010 at 11:43 pm

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