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University employee Donald McPherson passes away

Mostly known as Donnie, he was recently commemorated for his 50 years of service to the University

By Mireia Jimenez

Donald with his wife Sandra and his son James. Courtesy of the University of Aberdeen.


It was announced by the University that Donald McPherson, long-time employee of the University for more than 50 years, sadly passed away on Monday 11th of April.


He had worked as an integral member of the Rowett Institute for five years, and later became part of the Estates and Facilities Team at the University where he acted as a handyman and gardener.


The University shared an email saying,

“He remained a valued member of the team when the Rowett became part of the University and witnessed many of the key moments in our recent history during his long service.”

“He was also a familiar and supportive face to many in our student community over the years and an active contributor to local and national charities.”


Donnie was awarded a commemorative quaich at his home in Aberdeen at the beginning of April, only a week before his passing.


He was diagnosed with a brain tumour in November, and was presented with his quaich by Robert Philp, Deputy Director of Operations and Maintenance Manager Atholl Murray.


The University wrote,


“Donnie made his mark in the team by going above and beyond the call of duty. Whether that's through being the first to offer help, providing assistance to international students and leading team-building walks up Ben Nevis. He also raised money to buy equipment to support disabled youngsters in the north-east.”


He summed up what he was most proud of simply as: “My long service and the friends that I made.”

His funeral was held on Thursday 14th, where the attendees were asked to wear grey, the colour of the charity Brain Tumour Research.