Dame Mary Peters, British athletics champion, was today presented with an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by the University of St Andrews.
Mary Peters represented Northern Ireland in the Commonwealth Games from 1958 to 1974, winning gold or silver medals in 1966, 1970 and 1974, and setting 25 British records.
Having narrowly missed a medal in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, where she competed along side Chancellor Sir Menzies Campbell, she competed – against injury – in Mexico in 1968 and went on to take the pentathalon gold and a world record in the Munich Olympics of 1972 – winning by one-tenth of a second in the vest numbered 111.
It was on this basis that members of the Treble One Squadron RAF at Leuchars adopted Mary Peters as their mascot.
Treble One Squadron leader Karl Jewitt attended the graduation ceremony as a mark of the squadron’s long-standing respect and affection for Mary Peters.
It is a great personal honour to be here. The connection with the squadron, formed back in 1972 when she first met the guys and 1974 when she came to visit again, is still strong. It’s great for us to have a connection with someone like Mary.
Dame Mary Peters said:
It is such a privilege and an honour to join the University as an honorary graduate. I feel very humbled by it. I wasn’t the very academic myself – I didn’t go to university, I went to training college – so to receive an honorary degree is very special.
Meeting with the Treble One Squadron again is quite emotional because soon after I won my gold medal they honoured me with a dinner. I came back to visit them in Leuchars in 1974 and renewed my friendship with Ming Campbell. We’ve stayed associated with the squadron ever since.
Issued by the University of St Andrews
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