The Robert Gordon’s College community celebrated their annual Founder’s Day tradition in a new format never experienced before in its 86 year history.
Returning to Aberdeen, Iain Anderson, Executive Chairman, Cicero/AMO walked back through the school gates today to be the first orator live streamed to classrooms and virtual guests around the world.
Live from the Craig Centre for Performing Arts, Mr Anderson, Class of ‘86 spoke to pupils about human spirit, kindness and bravery. Challenging pupils to listen more, he shared: “My time at Gordon’s stirred me with the restless curiosity I have to this day. I was a bystander in my earlier school years until Mr Duncan, former Teacher of English, encouraged me to take part in debating. I listened. I was no longer a bystander in life.
“The challenges our country faces right now are immense. Like the servicemen and women from World War II, we now need to rebuild our country. My generation, your generation we all have a part to play to fire up the future.
“What will you do? At school, for your family, for your friends, for Aberdeen, for the country, for the world. The world changes when we care. What do you care about? What is your passion? How can you make a difference right now? This is not the time to be a bystander. This is the time to be on the field of play and be the best you can be.”
Mike Duncan, former Teacher of English shared: “Iain was one of the College debaters of what was a golden age in competitive debating. He bridged two skills - public speaking and debating. As a public speaker he was remarkably confident with a commanding presence. As a debater, he employed a forensic style of debating. It was not a flamboyant style but a deadly style of taking apart the arguments of others. In fact it was a mature style not shared by all young debaters. The highlight in Iain’s debating career was, along with his debating partner David Stenhouse, winning the Press & Journal Debating Competition in 1986. The prize was an all expenses paid trip to Denmark.”
Mr Macpherson, Head of Robert Gordon’s College commented: “We are delighted to welcome Iain back to Gordon’s for Founder’s Day. It is a special day in our school calendar and we are honoured to have Iain serve as our orator. It has been fascinating hearing him speak to pupils and staff about his time at school and the impact his teachers had on realising his path in life. Sharing his own perspective of the current pandemic, Iain highlighted how the warmth of the human spirit brings out the best in us. He also spoke about the ‘Greatest Generation’ of WWII servicemen and women who fired up the future going on to build and shape our modern lives. Iain encouraged pupils to really think about how they can make a difference and play a part in firing up the future and this is exactly the spirit we want to continue in our school community.”
In addition to our new format for Founder's Day Mr Sumner, piping instructor composed a new musical score called "The Founder's Day March" which was presented to Mr Macpherson and Iain Anderson this morning.
Watch again: Live Broadcast of Founder's Day 2020