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Sabhal Mòr Vice Principal made Honorary Fellow

John Norman MacLeod, Vice Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture, was made an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies (ASLS) at an event in Edinburgh on Friday 27 April.

A native of Staffin on the Isle of Skye, John Norman was educated at Portree High School, Glasgow University and Jordanhill College of Education.  He began his career at Plockton High School, where he was a teacher of history. Then in 1983, he became the first lecturer to be appointed to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, where he developed and managed the introduction of full-time Further and Higher education courses through the medium of Gaelic.

This honour is given to those who have made, in various ways, outstanding contributions to the literature, languages and culture of Scotland and the Council of the Association wished to recognise the immense contribution John Norman has made to the furtherance of Gaelic during his long period of service at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The President of ASLS, Professor Alison Lumsden, who is Professor in English at the University of Aberdeen, said: “The dynamic leader of an academic staff of over 40, John Norman is also the highly respected and popular Director of Studies to the students at Sabhal Mòr. More than 1000 graduates have now passed through the College and it would be no exaggeration to say that he has supported each one of them, in some way, to complete their studies successfully. His vision, energy, determination and charisma have made a truly massive contribution to the development of Gaelic in Scotland. His name is synonymous with Sabhal Mòr and in this year of his retirement ASLS is delighted to recognise his magnificent achievement.”

Professor Boyd Robertson, Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, said “John Norman richly deserves this award from the Association for Scottish Literary Studies which recognises the enormous contribution he has made to the Gaelic revival as a whole and, in particular, to the expansion and development of Gaelic education.  Sabhal Mòr Ostaig would not have attained the high status and profile it now has as a higher education institution were it not for John Norman’s leadership, vision, industry and commitment.  It is fitting that this is now acknowledged in diverse ways by a variety of bodies.”

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