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Memorial held for University’s ‘generous and passionate’ Professor Ogston

Updated: Mar 27

Staff, students and alumni pay tribute to Professor Derek Ogston


By Olivia Mackenzie Smith


A memorial service was held in Kings College Chapel on Saturday, 26 February.

Ogston was a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, achieving a degree in medicine in 1957. He rejoined the university in 1962 as a professor, becoming Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in 1983.


He was also a strong supporter of the music department, with a scholarship set up both in his name and that of his cousin, Margaret Carlaw.


Courtesy of the University of Aberdeen

His funding allows the university’s ensembles to tour abroad.

The memorial service was attended by many of Ogston’s friends and family with students, graduates, and lecturers. Performances were given by the university chapel choir, saxophonist Matthew Kilner, and music graduates Caitlin Bell and Ross Cumming, highlighting Derek Ogston’s love for music.

The university chaplain Rev. Marylee Anderson shared how those in attendance gathered “knowing our lives were all the better for knowing Derek”, while Principal George Boyne told how he “had a deep love for the university and wanted to see it do well”.

Speaking of his steadfast support of the university’s many music projects, former student Ross Cumming said:


“If there was any kind of public performance happening, you could bet he and Margaret Carlaw would be in attendance.”

After the service, jam doughnuts were served in Elphinstone Hall – a confection of particular significance as Derek Ogston and Margaret Carlaw were often known to bring them to rehearsals.